City gaining headquarters of hair products firm

January 12, 2005|By Andrea K. Walker | Andrea K. Walker,SUN STAFF

Kao Professional Salon Services Inc., which makes and markets hair-care products for salons and day spas, is boosting the role of its offices in Baltimore.

KPSS, which has been in Baltimore since 1979, is making the city its official headquarters in April. As part of the plan, the company will bring to Baltimore the management of two of its subsidiaries, Goldwell Cosmetics (USA) Inc. and KMS Research LLC.

Goldwell makes hair color under the Topchic, Colorance and Elumen brands, and makes perms and shampoos under the Kerasilk, Goldwell Definition, Color Glow and Goldwell for Men names.

KMS makes shampoos and treatments under the Amp Volume and Color Vitality brands, among others. It makes styling and finishing products under the Hair Stay and Turnstylr names, as well as others.

The company will also oversee the operations of KPSS Canada, which will remain in Toronto, and Goldwell KMS/West LLC, which distributes products to salons and stylists in California, Washington, Oregon, Nevada and Idaho. Under the restructuring, KPSS will add 16 jobs, bringing the total number of employees to 62.

Andrew Biazis will take over as president and chief executive officer of the restructured company. Biazis has been president and chief operating officer of Goldwell Cosmetics (USA) Inc. for the past five years

Biazis said the company chose to increase the Baltimore presence because of proximity to the port of Baltimore and Baltimore-Washington International Airport.

KPSS is owned by KAO Corp., a Tokyo-based company that owns Jergens lotion.

Biazis said that as the industry grows, the company will increase its work force in Baltimore.

"It will increase as our business increases," he said. "Hair color is such a hot commodity. It used to be that hair companies prospered from the graying population. Now they're prospering from the younger generation that is using it as a fashion statement."

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