I am pretty obsessed with what’s happening in the hair industry right now. It’s exciting af. Why? Because a whole new crop of players are entering the arena and they are diverse and passionate about opportunity and representation for all. I can’t believe I get to be a part of this!So in tribute to these amazing companies and an evolving industry, I penned this newsletter to highlight innovation and have cultural discussions about the future of this industry.
6 Companies to Watch
1 - Mayvenn caught the attention of the industry with a $40M series C raise this summer, to extend its hair extension and wig online direct to consumer model into retail at Walmart. The company is founded by Diishan Imira who created the Mayvenn platform so that the salons and hairstylists in the Black community could be the retailers of hair products, allowing their customers to shop in a dignified way, while receiving the best products and service for their hard-earned money.
2 - Prose knows that hair is not one size fits all. It’s algorithm uses first party data from user quiz results and creates custom hair care products. It stands out as one of the most innovative players as a B Corp certified, climate-neutral company that has a very data-driven approach in terms of product, product performance and digital experience.
3 - Parfait is disrupting the wig industry in more ways than one. For one, it’s an African American female owned startup and the wig space is almost exclusively dominated by Asian brands. But it’s also bringing tech into the process by creating custom wigs based on first party data and a powerful AI. Despite, early skepticism from traditional investors, they raised $5M spearheaded by Upfront Ventures and Serena Venture.
4 - ShearShare aims to help hair stylists reimagine how, when, and where they work. They do this by matching freelance stylists with salons with open chairs. The mobile app company raised $2.3M this year to expand.
5 - Stylebee is one of many beauty tech startups that aim to connect consumers with local stylists. They stand out as the service that matches you based on current availability, which is a major pain point for consumers who need last minute styling.
6 - Crownhunt birthed The Future is Curly newsletter after seeing a need for publications covering the rapidly evolving global hair industry. But what you may not know is that they’re positioning to unite the textured hair industry (curls & coils) on a single platform, starting with stylist education – one of the least diverse and modern segments of the industry.