Carlos Barreto created Cleverman, an innovative personalized hair color company for men.

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Sales of men’s hair colors declined slightly in 2020, as reported in Happi, but the founder of Intelligent man, a new independent hair color brand, says it wants to reinvent home grooming for men with professional custom hair and beard coloring solutions. Delivered right to the doorstep, customizations to the brand’s range of shades promise natural-looking results every time.

Each Cleverman kit is made to order and is personalized from top to bottom after a quick quiz using PerfectMatch technology to deliver accurate color. Founder Carlos barreto spent 25 years building brands at Procter & Gamble, Coca Cola and Revlon.

Whether users find their first grays or have too many, Cleverman has designed their unique and customizable kits for easy home use. Barreto weighed in with Happi.com in the hair care market.

Happi: What has been the impact of the pandemic on the hair care industry over the past year?

CB: Hair coloring has seen massive growth in the home market in 2020, driven by a lag in salons. As was the case for other categories, it also experienced an acceleration of the online channel, driven by the pandemic but also by new innovative DTC brands offering a portfolio of premium and personalized solutions.

DTC has broken new ground in the women’s category with brands like Madison Reed, Color & Co and eSalon, while ColorSmith and Intelligent man launched in the male segment. Consumers are looking for more personalized solutions that can be delivered to their homes with the same quality they can find in a salon.

Trade shows and professional circuits have been strongly impacted by the pandemic. Many consumers are turning to DTC brands which offer excellent quality, professional tools and a variety of techniques in the home.

Happi: What do consumers want in their hair care products right now?

CB: Consumers are looking for quality formulas and less aggressive ingredients; they are very interested in what is inside our formulas.

Another big trend is personalization; brands offer more colors, techniques and personalized looks. Intelligent man, for example, launched the most personalized hair dye and pearls for men, with up to 10,000 combinations that allow consumers to truly personalize their kits (multiple options for color, technique, tools, hair care or beard).

The male market has seen better options thanks to new brands that offer more premium solutions than those of traditional pharmacies. The beard dye market has also grown as more and more men have facial hair.

Happi: Any future trends to watch in hair products?

CB: With more millennials turning 40, I think there will be an expansion of brands that appeal to this segment more than traditional brands. Millennials have driven significant changes across all categories of consumer products, from blades and razors to cosmetics, as they are more interested in new quality propositions, home delivered products and digitally driven brands.

We are also seeing an increased appetite for personalization. The retail market has significant constraints in terms of space and variety, especially for categories like hair color. The direct distribution channel creates room for more variety, more options for hair color and care just like in the cosmetics market.

We are also seeing more men using personal care and grooming products, including hair coloring. They now have more options readily available. The taboo of men concerned with their physical appearance is disappearing. Millennials care about their appearance!


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