Unilever is set to acquire TIGI, the Toni & Guy premium hair care business, for $411.5m (£295m).

Adding to a portfolio that includes Silvikrin and Timotei, the deal marks Unilever's first step into hair salon products and includes major names Bed Head, Catwalk and S-Factor.

"We already have a strong position in daily hair care and adding the salon brands will further build our position in the hair category," said Vindi Banga, Unilever president, Foods, Home & Personal Care.

"We can bring our world-class R&D expertise to it and offer greater opportunity for geographical expansion.TIGI's strength in styling, and its fashion and beauty expertise will also help us raise the bar on innovation for our existing hair brands."

In the deal, expected to complete by the end of March, Toni & Guy co-founders and brothers Bruno, Guy and Anthony Mascolo will retain ownership of the chain of hair salons.

Bruno Mascolo said: "Being able to advance the industry through Unilever¹s products and education [of the market] using the company's impressive resources, while continuing to involve the customers and employees that have made TIGI successful, is very gratifying."