Neuma Beauty has taken their line of professional hair care and styling products in a new, and yes, exciting direction. The change came about when Global Artistic Director Kathy Simon came on board earlier in the year and worked closely with the marketing team to help rebrand the messaging. Until recently, Neuma has been perceived as being very bohemian, which is not unusual for a natural brand. However, Simon and the current creative team saw much more potential with the line and sought to create a more well-rounded branding effort.
Simon explains that product manufacturers typically come out with a collection that showcases styles and the products and techniques needed to create them maybe once or twice a year. In each case, the new series usually supersedes the previous one. People are expected to turn their backs on what came before, essentially forgetting the last collection. This action, according to Simon, perpetuates a lifestyle of obtaining things and throwing them away quickly, which is not the way that Neuma wants to express itself creatively. Instead of changing course with entirely new creative directions every year, the creative team at Neuma went for a message and visuals that relate to people in their respective style collective.
“Our style collectives identify different groups of people that exist in society and communicate with them through imagery. For example, some people are very urban. They have a street sort of look and tend to be city-wise with their overall style. Other people are always very polished in their overall look. They always dress sharply and have a different kind of perspective on style and fashion. With what we're saying and showing hair-wise, we are giving each person inspiration for their own personal style while showing them how to use the product creatively,” mentions Simon.
She continues, “Instead of reinventing the wheel every six to twelve months, we went for an approach where we build upon previous looks and offer hair styling ideas that suit various lifestyles. We have four very distinct style collective groups that include the Neu Bohemian, the Neu Classic, the Neu Urban, and the Neu Minimalist. Some people relate to only one of the collectives, others two or more. We want people to know that we see and identify with them and want to offer looks and styling products that suit them and their specific lifestyles. In the Neu Minimalist, for example, we're working hard to prove to people just how straight, polished, flat, and completely tailored our products can make the hair. So, people that think that they couldn't get their hair really shiny, clean, crisp, and super well blow-dried, we can show how shiny and smooth we can get that hair using Neuma products.”
Simon goes on to explain that the collectives also feature “icons” as she calls them, one with an edge for the hairdresser and one more fitting for the consumer. When viewed together in the collective there’s an obvious connection, but separately they appeal to different ends of the spectrum.
“When you look at the collection as a whole it's kind of like it's got tentacles a little bit everywhere, but it's well thought-out. Our plan is positioned so that it’s reaching both the hairdresser and the consumer and we're also helping different types of clients and salons because that's just the reality,” Simon adds.
This mindset carries over into the education program at Neuma. Classes are based on each of the style collectives where the professional can see how the cut was done as well as how to create the various styles. These classes are tailored based on the salon’s needs.
“We’re able to adapt our classes based on the area that we are teaching it and the type of clientele this area and the stylists are getting. If, for example, we are in an area where the looks are a little more urban, we'll be able to present a class that's a part of the urban style collective. If we're in an area where the looks need to be more classic or even a little bit more minimal, the Neu Minimalist or the Neu Classics program or a mix of the two may be more appropriate. We're able to pinpoint what that area needs and can deliver the class that's right for them,” says Simon.
All About the Faves
As far as product use and her personal favorites with Neuma, Simon explains, “I like to layer products, and I refer to myself as a layer-er. I like to cocktail as well. I have to say that I like to create my own in my hands and what I like is having a product that's not going to break down to my hand as I'm layering it. I would say one that I really love a lot for finishing is our Neu Styling Texturizer and our Neu Volume Surf Lotion mixed together. It’s a fantastic mix that's cool for multiple types of textures, but it's great for wavy hair that's been dried naturally. It provides an edgier finish. I also love the Neu Styling Mousse and putting a little bit of the Neu Repair Argan Oil in it just to kind of break it down a little bit so that it's not as strong. It’s more about encouraging curl while adding a little bit more moisture to my mousse.”
When asked what brought her to Neuma, Simon answers, “I think that the experience that I took from my past was tremendous and to this day I am extremely grateful for that. There comes a time where it is important, I think, to follow your heart and really go in the direction where you feel that you can make the most impact. It was a scary decision because I was fairly happy doing what I was doing, but it just wasn't exactly what I wanted for my life.”
She continues, “I looked and was able to pinpoint a lot of good natural lines that fit with my own healthy lifestyle, but Neuma stood out to me. I could see that what they would perform professionally to the level that I'm used to performing. My daily work includes a lot of photo shoots, videos, fashion shows, education, and also with my own academy as well as the occasional private client. At the end of the day, the performance was number one. If the product I use doesn’t perform, it doesn't matter how nice it smells and or whatever lifestyle is attached to it. It has to perform, or I’m simply not being true to myself.”
Hair Artists: Kathy Simon, Jean-Sébastien Lacombe
Hair Color: Jennifer Marsan, Jessica McColm
Makeup Artists: Olivier Vinet, Maina Militza
Wardrobe: Kathleen La Ronde
Photographer: Justine Latour
Videographer: Vincent Laurin