King says that the 1960s brought about greater awareness of health and sanitation needs.
King Research Inc., manufacturer of Barbicide brand salon disinfectant, celebrates 50 years in business this year. Established Feb. 1, 1947, in Brooklyn, N.Y., King Research made a variety of chemical preparations sold to beauty and barber shops, and specialty products for veterinarians.
Ben King, the company’s current president, says, “My father, Maurice, started the company when he got out of the Army after World War II, where he served as director of technical instruction at the Transportation Corps School." The company’s first headquarters were on the second story of a rented building in Brooklyn, but expansion forced the company into a larger facility. King Research moved in 1952 to another location, where the company stands today.
King explains that when Maurice and brother James Ring were selling Barbicide in the late 1940s and early 1950s, there were no state board regulations that addressed salon sanitation. “My father and my uncle travelled by car from state to state, often with me in the back seat (I was very young at the time) to lobby the departments of health for sanitation laws to require salons to use commercially prepared disinfection products for tools used on hair or skin,” King says. The shape of the tall, glass Barbicide jar has changed very little since it was first introduced. “We use the same molds and made the same shaped jar that we have since the early 1950s,” says King.
King says that the 1960s brought about greater awareness of health and sanitation needs; the company enjoyed quite a growth period then. He took over the company in 1988 when Maurice passed away.
Although used primarily by hairstylists and barbers, Barbicide has earned acceptance and wider use in nail salons, especially with the 1996 introduction of its mid-sized Barbicide jar, specifically designed for manicuring implements.
King Research now distributes its full line of disinfectant, toiletry, and skin care products, including Barbicide disinfectant and Love & Kisses protective cream, through distributors across North America as well as in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and South America.