Beauty Launchpad Magazine

JUL 2016

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48 | BEAUTY LAUNCHPAD | JULY 2016 W hen a haircare company called KMS California (kmscalifornia.com) exploded onto the scene in 1976, it was poised to take the decade's sky-high afros and feathered tresses by storm. Founders Dick Kornfi eld, Jamey Mazzotta and Gary Smith (whose last initials formed the company name) harbored a simple, but then-radical, motive: Create groundbreaking, high-performance products with advanced technology and naturally derived ingredients. "They had a vision of innovation and cutting-edge haircare, built on a combination of science and performance," recalls Trevor Attenborough, General Manager, North America, for the KMS Kao Salon Division. "Mazzotta was a biochemist and created most of the products, and together they actually built categories that today we take for granted." KMS initially shook up the industry with NEFA, an essential fatty acid shampoo, but in decades to follow, game-changing formulas became de rigueur—think two-part reconstructor, heat-styling products, leave-in conditioner, molding paste, sea salt spray and nonchemical relaxer. Even after Japanese manufacturer Kao Corporation acquired the company in 2002, creativity continued unabated with releases like reconstructing Inside Out Perfecting System technology, the TameFrizz line and CurlUp perfecting lotion. "Today KMS houses some of the most advanced styling technology, which is the area where we continue to innovate most," Attenborough relates. "But KMS also comes to life by seeking out authenticity from an educational perspective, with stylists teaching other stylists—a more social, democratic way to educate." Led by artists Simon Miller, Lori Panarello and Sonna Brado, the KMS educational team focuses on interpreting street-style looks while allowing stylists fl exibility to fashion their own spins—less humdrum doctrine and more inspirational motivation, creating eclectic, urban, organic education for the now-iconic brand. "By staying relevant and authentic, and providing great products while being open to how people use them, we're heading in the right direction," Attenborough notes. "And KMS has always tried to emerge at the edge of where hairdressing is headed." Celebrating 40 years of success, KMS California continues to thrive by innovating products and education that keep stylists working ahead of the curve. —TRACY MORIN Conversations/ Milestones Living On the Edge TIME CAPSULE 1976 1984 1985 1996 2006 The new company intros NEFA (Natural Essential Fatty Acids) shampoo, with oil-based moisture for dry, unruly locks. KMS launches Control, one of the fi rst-ever heat-styling products. Detangling, moisturizing Trilogy takes off as one of the industry's original leave-ins. Molding Paste—still a best seller—shapes the era's grungy 'dos. Jamey Mazzotta, one of the Founders of KMS California caption? KMS California, then and now New IOPS Technology (Inside Out Perfecting System) helps reconstruct damaged hair.

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