In this issue...

More large consumer names are making strides into the salon market this month, underlining the importance of the professional, not only to add a new sales channel for brands but also to boost their consumer credibility.

Unilever’s acquisition of both Dermalogica and Murad made the consumer goods giant a key player in the pro market almost overnight. Meanwhile Nails Inc – already in the professional sphere with its nail bars – is set to launch a pro-only range of products and tools for the wider salon market, and retailer Holland and Barrett has outlined has plans to offer express treatments in stores [pictured], using the make-up and nail products it stocks. Read more about all three in the news pages of our August issue.

Having the backing of the professional allows brands and retailers to engage clients in a way that ties their products in with an experience, establishing more of an emotional connection with the client and hopefully securing their loyalty in the process. Marketing the fact that their products are chosen by the pros also helps give consumers confidence in their quality.

But on the flipside, the increasingly blurred lines between professional and retail products are making the salons and spas crave exclusivity. Most salon owners recognise the fact that popular trade brands will ultimately sell direct to consumers too, but the ones that are gaining favour with the pros are those that either have a separate trade-only line or at least introduce their breakthrough technologies in salon first before rolling them out to stores. Indeed, Nails Inc founder Thea Green says the brand’s pro range was borne out of a growing demand from salons for a clear differentiation between professional and consumer lines.

As we gear up for Professional Beauty North on September 20-21, this issue also brings you a first look at what all the major professional brands have in store this autumn. From new machines to treat all manner of skin conditions to pro-only skincare with patented actives and nails, make-up and tanning products to extend your offer. Check out some of the new launches in the August issue, then register online to join the fun.