For former Moroccanoil North America Chief Executive Officer, Zohar Paz, a wave of product imitators inspired him to focus on differentiation for his new hair care line.

“After I left Moroccanoil I knew if I wanted to stay in the [hair care] industry I had to find something different, from packaging, to the name to the product itself,” said Zohar, who this month rolled out Pai-Shau, a professional line of shampoos, conditioners, stylers and treatments that utilize a unique antioxidant-rich tea complex for a bevy of benefits. “We used the best ingredients in the market, which I believe puts us in a different space.”

Zohar was inspired to create the professional range after witnessing an ancient tea ritual while traveling through Vietnam in which locals soak in tea leaves submerged in hot water to improve skin and hair. To wit, each Pai-Shau product includes the proprietary tea complex made up of green, black, white, pu-ehr and African bush teas, as well vitamins B, C and E, rice amino acids and oat proteins to fortify and nourish hair.

Pai-Shau, a variation on the Portuguese word for passion, is Zohar’s personal passion project, and as part of his launch includes the introduction of a Passion For Life Organization, a charitable effort which allows people to follow an inspiring story and watch someone live out and pursue their dreams.

“The one thing that has resonated throughout this brand over and over is when Zohar was dreaming about this brand before it was even born was ‘passion,’” said Paula Cramer, the company’s Vice President of Sales. “The professional hair care industry is filled with people who have passion and everything in this brand is drawn by passion.”

The debut five-piece collection, priced between $26 and $45, is said to work on any hair type, adding body and shine as is needed and protecting from environmental stressors, while remaining virtually weightless. Central to the brand is a focus on uniqueness, from ingredients to technology.

“A lot of brands came after [Moroccanoil], with similar looks, names and claims, so when we decided to leave and look at other opportunities in the industry, [we sought] an original concept that no one else had done before,” said Paula. “We took ancient ingredients and fused it with modern technology to get the best performance.”

Pai-Shau’s hero product, Biphasic Infusion, a futuristic serum that absorbs almost instantly into hair, is meant to be shaken, then applied for shine and body, regardless of hair type.

“If you look at the infusion, usually the water is on top and lipid at the bottom, but in ours the water is actually heavier than the lipids, which tells you just how weightless those lipids are,” said Paula. Thinner lipids are meant to absorb seamlessly into the hair follicle without weighing it down, and the item is said to tackle virtually any hair problem due to its ability to penetrate deeply, leaving behind no residue.

“It is the smart phone of hair products,” said brand ambassador Rob Pizzuti, of Blyss Salon in Toronto, adding that “Every product in this line has a little trick to it.”

For one, the line’s scent is specially designed to wear away after a short amount of time to keep a sensorial experience while showering without conflicting with the wearer’s personal fragrance. Marketing efforts for Pai-Shun include a “luxury rather than trade-focused ad campaign, beginning with books such as Allure, In Style and Vogue, as well as social media, where the winners of the Passion for Life Organization will be named and their stories shared. “Most start up professional hair care brands are very limited in terms of what they can do to create consumer demand, but we were able to secure a significant investment,” said Paula. “I always say Zohar never does anything halfway.”

According to Zohar, who is also introducing a range of backbar products, the focus on salons is in part because the products are so result-oriented.

“We really believe in the stylists and believe they are the ones who can sell put products in the best way,” he said, adding that to minimize diversion products feature trackable codes and salons must sign a contract to keep products in-house. “By keeping the line exclusive to salon industry, we are creating demand but keeping it hard to get.” New hairsprays and a “volume ritual,” are planned for early 2016 as is expansion into Europe beginning with the UK.