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How to keep a Clear head |

Fashion and Beauty

How to keep a Clear head


What was so important that Unilever’s anti-dandruff shampoo brand Clear had to bring dozens of media practitioners from all over Asia to their headquarters in Shanghai? Some of us thought the event was designed to introduce a shiny new celebrity endorser — not that eventful when you consider that just about every brand has its own celebrity face. Others suspected that the shampoo and personal care products giant would announce some startling new discovery — like the “hair-growing shampoo” at the center of the corporate spy vs. spy drama in the Julia Roberts movie Duplicity.

The answer was none of the above. On April 12 the media got a crash course in scalp and hair care, complete with a tour of the high-security Clear research facility. The occasion was the launch of the new and improved Clear shampoo with Nutrium 10, which Unilever executives hailed as the beginning of a paradigm shift in scalp care management. In short, the star of the event was Clear itself.

In his welcome remarks Clear global vice president Francois Renard set the tone for the Clear Technology Expo by drawing a parallel between shampoo technology and recent developments in personal computing. When Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the iPad, he described it as the technology that would bridge the gap between the smartphone and the laptop. Similarly, Renard declared, new Clear would bridge the gap between anti-dandruff shampoos — which are perceived as treatments to be resorted to only when one has an outbreak of dandruff, and beauty shampoos — which promise the consumer healthy, shiny hair with regular use. By focusing on scalp care, he said, Clear would deliver both a lasting solution to dandruff and shiny, great-looking hair.

Consumers tend to view anti-dandruff shampoos as “medication” to be used when a problem arises and put away once the hair is healthy again. Clear takes the view that if you want to be dandruff-free and have beautiful hair, you need to take the best possible care of your scalp.

Clear category project leader Dr. Graham Turner then spoke about Clear’s breakthrough technology, Nutrium 10.

Graham Turner, category project leader; Amit Jayaswal, global R&D director; and Francois Renard, global vice president, Clear

Most anti-dandruff shampoos zero in on that nasty fungus Malassezia, which weakens the scalp barrier and causes flaking. Malassezia lives on everyone’s scalp, but not everyone has dandruff. Excessive secretion of sebum — natural oils — promotes the growth of the fungus. Stress, smoking, poor hygiene, weather conditions, hormone changes, heavy alcohol consumption, diet and poor immune system can also trigger Malassezia growth. The Clear solution is to address the source of dandruff: the condition of the scalp. By improving the health of the scalp, it heightens the strength of the hair fiber.

New Clear with Nutrium 10 does not just wash away dandruff, Turner pointed out, it goes right to the root of the problem. It delivers nutrients deep into scalp, infusing the skin with vitamins that inhibit the formation of harmful substances that lead to dandruff. The more scalp lipids (the stuff that holds the skin together), the less scalp itch. Nutrium 10 then restores balance to the cell proliferation process to help the scalp achieve a healthy condition.

“Most people have the misconception that removing visible flakes is the key to removing dandruff,” notes Clear global R&D director Amit Jayaswal, “But dandruff persists due to many factors, including weakness and damge in the underlying scalp structure.”

Clear’s research on Nutrium 10 was presented at the 2010 International Academy of Cosmetic Dermatology (IACD) World Congress. Of the 294 dermatologists in attendance, 90 percent said they would recommend Clear Nutrium 10 to consumers with poor scalp health, and 80 percent said they would trust Clear.

According to IACD president Dr. Lawrence Parish, “Clear’s revolutionary technology will contribute not only to better scalp healthy but also improve dandruff sufferers’ confidence and quality of life.”

Interesting factoid: Filipinos have the highest hair-washing frequency among the nationalities surveyed. However, 77 percent of Pinoys still complain of scalp problems.

The speakers emphasized that women and men have different scalp needs and cannot simply share the same shampoo. Male scalps are weaker, have greater sebum secretion, and are more likely to have dandruff. Female scalps are more prone to chemical residues.

Bearing in mind the gender differences in scalp care needs, Clear Nutrium 10 for men boosts the scalp’s natural defense against dandruff and itch while Clear Nutrium 10 for women boosts hair growth through vitamin-and-mineral-infused moisturization.

New Clear comes in a cubical package that uses transport space more efficiently, significantly reducing the company’s carbon footprint.

Victor Hugo, global brand manager and project leader, Clear; and Kellda Centeno, Clear Philippines brand manager

After the presentation of the research findings, the media were taken on a tour of the Clear labs, where the methodologies and procedures used in the development of Nutrium 10 were explained in great detail. Suffice it to say that no strand of hair was left unscrutinized in the quest for the best possible scalp care.

At the press conference we asked the Clear team what led to their decision to compete with both the anti-dandruff and beauty shampoo categories. “The starting point is the consumer,” Renard says. “Competition is very stimulating. There are so many shampoos, but Clear appeals to consumers no matter what their needs.

“Among shampoos it’s the scalp care market that’s growing the fastest,” adds Clear global brand manager and project leader Victor Hugo. “One day 50 percent of the shampoo market will be scalp care — that’s Unilever’s challenge. At present Clear’s global market is 3.5 percent, but Clear is in only 40 out of 150 markets. In China, we have a seven percent market share. We view the growth of the brand as a measure of how we deliver performance.”

If all this talk about scalps has made you wonder about the state of your own, visit the Online Scalp Analyzer at

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