Canadian haircare brand bullish on PhilippinesBy Marge C. Enriquez
Philippine Daily Inquirer
A Canadian haircare brand is making a bid to be a major player in the haircare and salon industry.
Under the brand name Cynos, it is setting itself as a high-performance product at an affordable price.
In just 18 months, it expanded its marketing from 200 accounts to 800. The most salable product, the keratin treatment, accounts for nearly 30 percent because it addresses the main concern of most Filipinos—frizzy hair (buhaghag in Tagalog).
The local distributor, Summit Colors Inc., has been bullish.
“We set up head branch offices in Cebu and Zamboanga, where the salon business is booming. This maximized our reach to our clientele. We had on-the-spot selling vans to penetrate the far-flung areas. The sales executives and technical advisors visited the salons to sell the products. We conducted salon demonstrations to educate the clientele on how to use our brands. Beauty bloggers and editors were pampered by our salon products such as hair coloring, treatments, digital perm in partner salons,” explains Lynne Ona, marketing manager for New Summit Colors Inc.
Members of the technical team, who have become brand ambassadors, are long-time salon practitioners.
Cynos touted the product to Tinette Ozamiz-Puyat, artistic director of Tinette & Co.
Earlier, this California-accredited hair dresser introduced the Brazilian Blowout, a popular hair straightening treatment that uses liquid keratin and a stabilizer with flat iron. Only licensed hair stylists can use this product. The Brazilian Blowout was such a hit that other salons had their versions of hair-smoothing treatments.
On testing Cynos’ Kerasilk Keratin, Puyat was impressed with the results. For one, it took 90 minutes for the treatment that results in smooth, silky hair and the effect lasted for three months.
The procedure for the competing brands took three to four hours and the effect lasted for two months. Cynos’ product was a fraction of the price of the leading brand.
At Tinette & Co. in Forbestown Center, Bonifacio Global City, the Cynos treatment ranges from P3,000 to P5,000, while the Brazilian Blowout costs P7,000 to P8,000.
Likewise, she discovered that making adjustments with Cynos’ formula could produce different results on the hair.
“You can the change amounts to get different results. It depends on what you want—frizz-free hair, frizz-free with a little curl, frizz-free with a little wave or straight hair with some body. The others can’t offer that. The problem with Pinoy hair is the buhaghag. Rebond is not suitable. When hair grows out, one part is straight while the other part is frizzy. [With Cynos] you can’t tell the difference between the outgrowth and the old hair,” explains Puyat.
Beyond the product breakthrough, Puyat was surprised that the technical team, who were supposedly veterans, did not have the depth of knowledge on the Cynos product.
Hence, Puyat has been providing technical training as her advocacy in raising the salon standards. She points out that Filipinos have the gift of wielding their scissors to create beautiful hairstyles. However, they don’t have the scientific background on using color and treatment products.
“Sometimes, it’s the hairstylist who makes you feel like a hundred bucks with the charm, but the service is bad. Although it’s important to make the client feel good, it’s more critical to give them the service that is of international standards,” says Puyat.
Working on the Cynos team, she says, “they must know how to maximize the use of the product so that they can endorse it properly.”
She adds that their basic training and work experience are insufficient due to lack of technical knowledge. Hence, Tinette & Co has become a lab and training ground.
“They’ve got to know how to mix colors and formulas. For a long time, it was guess work.”
Puyat is experimenting on Cynos’ hair color that boasts of low ammonia, thereby making it gentler on the hair. “I’m testing how it fades.”
She notes that its grade is equivalent to a leading European brand but at a low price.
Although she is Cynos’ technical advisor, Puyat maintains fair play when using hair products.
“I’m not partial to one brand. We choose the product that is suitable to the state of hair and the needs of the client.”
Ultimately, the salon’s expertise in the art and science of hair keeps customers coming back.
Asked if the market is overcrowded with salons and salon products, Puyat replies there’s room for more.
“Most Filipinos are vain. Their hair is their crowning glory. It’s a hot country so men get their haircuts often. What differentiates a salon from the rest is the technical expertise of the staff. This is what we should be doing to the rest of the other salons—putting science into their skills.”
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