Hair Story is a disruptor brand that proposes new ways to wash your hair. The company is leading the no-shampoo movement, claiming that detergents in shampoos are responsible for people’s dreaded “bad hair days.”Hairstory’s New Wash is the cure.
Hairstory founders should know. It was created by former Bumble & Bumble executives Eli Halliwell (now chairman and CEO of Hairstory) and Michael Gordon (founder and former CEO of Bumble & Bumble but no longer with the company). rice field. Another co-founder and current president, Maurico Bellora, holds a Ph.D. With a PhD in Pharmacology and Biochemistry, she has had an extensive career in beauty, including Allergan, Mary Kay Cosmetics and Natura Cosmetics.
Since 2015, they’ve been spreading the gospel of shampooless hair cleansing together. By blending essential oils with naturally derived, detergent-free cleansers, Hairstory offers a whole new way to clean your hair. “By eliminating the need for shampoo and conditioner forever, you save time, money and wasting the environment,” says Halliwell..
But Hair Story’s way of selling its products at retail is decidedly old-fashioned, with a 21st-century twist, and done exclusively through salons. Partner hair salons get a slice of the action when clients restock supplies online directly from the company.
Returning to the basics of hair care distribution
Hair salons have been losing ground as a place to showcase and sell products for at least the last five years. Halliwell estimates that when he left Bumble and Bumble in 2006, nearly 100% of high-end professional hair care sales were through salons.
Today, he estimates that less than 50% of such sales go to salon doors. For example, Estée Lauder recently reported quarterly “salon channel softness.”
While professional hair brands are moving away from salon distribution, they now occupy shelf space in over 700 Sephora and over 1,100 Ulta stores. New indie brands are also pushing to enter these stores. Hair care as a category is growing faster than color and skin care, with a 19% increase in the fiscal year ended May 2018, according to NPD.
But there is no Hairstory either there or in department stores. Nor is it Amazon, where salon and spa websites exclusively feature high-end, professional products.
“Every beauty company is abandoning the salon channel,” says Halliwell. “Amazon is probably America’s largest professional hair retailer,” he said, adding that the decline in salon retail is a direct result of these brands adopting direct-to-consumer strategies. I was.
While hair salons are losing ground in retail product sales, they remain top influencers for professional brands. “The hairdresser-client relationship is based on deep trust,” explains Halliwell. “That trust translates well into product recommendations when hairdressers trust what they use and what they sell.”
The influence of professional hairdressers is even more important for innovative brands like Hairstory, challenging the basic assumptions of hair shampoo that have existed for the past 100 years.
“Our products are so unique, new and different that people need to be well educated to use them properly and understand their benefits,” continues Halliwell.
“For these reasons, we are enthusiastically embracing the salon channel and will expand this focus next year to accelerate our reach at a time when all other hair companies have essentially abandoned the channel. I plan to,” he says.
How salons profit from online sales
Halliwell saw an opportunity to revitalize sales of salon products by giving salons a stake in the digital revolution. “What if we could enable hairdressers and salons to participate in e-commerce instead of being overwhelmed?” he asked.
Recognizing that “whatever the beautician recommends is fine”, Hairstory has developed a closed system business model. This allows hairdressers and salons to get the same benefits anytime, anywhere when their clients buy products at the salon or online directly from Hairstory. .
“When a client becomes a Hairstory customer, the hairdresser gets credit as long as the client keeps buying,” he explains.
This closed system requires salons to track all client transactions and share them with Hairstory. In exchange, hair salons continue to benefit from product sales lost to all other brands after clients turn to online or other retailers for replenishment purchases.
“It’s going to be a salon pension stream,” explains Halliwell. “The new wash has a very high repeat purchase rate, and as we continue to shift sales from salons to online, the return on investment is nearly infinite. The economics are amazing for hairdressers.”
Today, approximately 1,000 hair salons employ Hairstory’s “healthy hair without shampoo” philosophy and closed system business model. It’s a win/win for both.
“The enthusiastic adoption of this new hair wash method by hairdressers creates a significant multiplier effect,” adds Halliwell, adding to the high sales productivity of participating salons. “We found that hairdresser’s customers are more loyal than customers who are acquired directly online. Their value over the lifetime of their purchase is about 50% higher.”
As such, Ulta and Sephora will not carry the Hairstory brand, even as they expand into salon services. “If Sephora can somehow pass customer information on all Hairstory transactions and ensure that hairdressers earn commissions through Sephora (or even Ulta or Amazon), I am open to it. But as it stands, neither Sephora nor Ulta are new to Hair Story,” Halliwell affirms.
to something big
Hair Story is on top of something big. Its revolutionary ideas for hair care are written by fellow Forbes.com contributor Kristen Philipkoski.‘I have written so far in my 15-year career.
More and more people are discovering that Nu Wash actually works and does what it promises. That’s it,” he said.
Rave reviews of the product aside, Hairstory matters from a retail perspective. Because Hairstory has found a way to create lasting partnerships with independent salons that have helped it gain traction and attention in the consumer market.
That closed system business model has been long awaited.Giving a retail partner, in this case a salon, a cut in direct-to-consumer sales after a customer leaves the salon is an innovative idea. It’s how product brands help their small business partners continue to grow and thrive in the face of online disruption.
Specialty independent retailers repeatedly tell me they feel violated when the brands they launch are sold directly to consumers and excluded from repeat sales. I took him to my house, but he left with someone else,” they say.
While these retailers may still carry brands, they certainly don’t offer the same level of support they used to.The partnership between retailers and brands is broken.
Hairstory’s closed system sales could be a significant new model for brands looking to build omnichannel strategies that keep independent retailers in the loop, similar to hair care products.