Denton’s Sally Beauty Develops New Haircare System With Bonding Tech

Bonding tech is booming in hair care, Sally Beauty notes, but the category is often "premium priced." Sally wants to bridge that gap in care for damaged hair. Its four-step bondbar system leverages technology that impacts the chemical bonds within human hair.

"It was crucial for us to deliver a product that truly delivers on its promise to strengthen and repair damaged hair at an accessible price point" says Steve Chattin, VP of global product development at Sally Beauty.

Lots of gaps worry Americans: The healthcare gap. The education gap. The digital access gap, and more. But thanks to Denton-based Sally Beauty, there’s one gap we can all be less worried about today: the damaged hair care gap.

That’s the gap between new tech breakthroughs in hair care treatments and their affordability by a wider public. Especially in something called bonding technology—which can help consumers with damaged hair keep their tresses healthy and strong.

Today, Sally Beauty launched bondbar—a new product line it says will help close that gap. The four-step system includes a bonding pre-shampoo; a bonding shampoo; a bonding conditioner; and a bonding styling cream. The company says key features of the system are both its effectiveness and pricing accessibility.

4-step bondbar system

Sally Beauty’s 4-step bondbar system. [Image: Sally Beauty]

“Hair damage is something that everyone experiences, so delivering a high-quality, accessibly priced product with clinically proven performance was key,” said Maryann Herskowitz, group VP of merchandising at Sally Beauty, in a statement.

Sally Beauty claims that using all four bondbar products as a system can reduce up to 70% of hair breakage during combing and up to 90% improvement in wet detangling. Those impacts come in a line the company says is “cruelty-free, vegan, SLS/SLES free, paraben-free, and phthalate free.”

Based in Denton since 1982, expanded HQ in 2020

Sally Beauty headquarters in Denton [Photo: Sally Beauty]

Founded in New York in 1964, Sally Beauty Holdings relocated its corporate HQ to Denton in 1982 and now has over 29,000 employees worldwide. In 2020, the company expanded its investment in North Texas with 40 new HQ positions and a new 500,000-square-foot Denton distribution center.

The company is a leading global distributor and retailer of professional beauty products to both retail consumers and salon professionals, with a longtime mission of providing customers with “top-quality products so they can be their own ‘pro’ at home.” It appointed its first-ever female CEO, Denise Paulonis, in October 2021. At the time, Board Chair Robert McMaster said “We believe Denise will provide fresh perspectives and valuable insights in order to take our brands and our company into the future.”

That future now includes the newly launched bondbar line.

Making a premium-priced, ‘booming’ category accessible

Bonding technology is booming in the hair care industry, Sally Beauty said in a statement, while noting that the category is often “premium priced.” The company said it knows this space and developed bondbar in an “intentional move” to be available at an accessible cost. 

“It was crucial for us to deliver a product that truly delivers on its promise to strengthen and repair damaged hair at an accessible price point,” said Steve Chattin, VP of global product development at Sally Beauty.

Bond-repair products target chemical bonds in hair

So what are bond-repair products? According to Allure magazine, human hair is made up of a number of chemical bonds that are too small to be seen by the eye. The goal of bond-repair products is to improve the health of your hair by utilizing a similar chemistry. 

“The common thread is that all technologies start with amino acids,” cosmetic chemist Ginger King told Allure, calling amino acids “the building blocks of proteins.”

A ‘skincare-based approach to hair care’

Sally Beauty didn’t detail the scientific elements behind its new bondbar system today (the brand is stylized by the company in lower case). But it emphasized the line’s impact on consumers who do their own styling and hair color.

“Over the last few years, we’ve witnessed a remarkable increase in DIY styling and hair color, from vibrant to natural shades,” Chattin said in the statement. “Customers are taking beauty into their own hands. However, frequent coloring and the use of heat can lead to damage. That’s why we see our customers take a more skincare-based approach to hair care. They want their hair to feel and be healthy—not just appear healthy.”

Generating ‘new bonds for stronger hair’

The company says its new #3 Bonding Pre-Shampoo helps reduce breakage while generating “new bonds for stronger hair.” Its #4 Bonding Shampoo “strengthens and hydrates damaged hair while preventing flyaways and frizz.” Its #5 Bonding Conditioner is said to improve manageability while preventing split ends. And its leave-in #6 Bonding Styling Cream promises to strengthen and moisturize hair “while reducing frizz for up to 72 hours.”

An innovative outlook

Sally Beauty fosters a pioneering outlook for new products and brands. Last spring, the beauty giant launched its third Cultivate Accelerator Program. The program was created to bring beauty entrepreneurs’ visions to life. The company aims to find, launch and support small businesses that create unique and innovative products within the hair care, hair color, styling tool and nail categories.

“We want to give entrepreneurs a chance they otherwise might not receive,” said Maryann Herskowitz, group VP of merchandising at Sally Beauty at the time.

It’s challenging for new brands to break into such a challenging industry, she says. Sally Beauty has propelled “undiscovered” brands: The company was one of the first national beauty retailers to offer in-store distribution to Mielle Organics, The Mane Choice, and Arctic Fox. That spirit of discovery was an impetus behind its accelerator program.  

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