Sephora Is Carrying Tristan Walker’s New Haircare Line For Black Women

Written by Dana Sanchez

Tristan Walker, the Silicon Valley entrepreneur who founded the iconic Bevel blade for men, has a new haircare line for women that just debuted on Sephora.com and it’s destined for stores around the U.S. in the fall.

Black consumers spent about $2.5 billion on haircare products last year, according to Mintel. The luxury haircare sector is ripe for disruption, Business of Fashion reported. It grew by 7 percent in 2016 in the U.S. to $459.6 million:

Investors and established beauty players alike are taking notice of the opportunity. Walker & Company Brands — a health and beauty company founded by Walker and focused on products for people of color — has raised more than $33 million from Institutional Venture Partners, Andreessen Horowitz and others. On Tuesday, the company announced the launch of a prestige women’s hair care line, Form.

Form is the second brand launched by Walker & Company,  which was founded in 2013. The Form product line includes 10 items — two shampoos, two conditioners, and six styling products — ranging in price from $22 to $32.

Sephora won’t provide a consultation to prospective customers—something Walker & Company offers online—but that could change later, Walker said in a Fast Company interview:

“The consultation thing is so uniquely interesting because it really speaks to what software can enable for an industry like this,” he said. “It’s online right now, but think about what it could mean if it were offline.”

Walker’s first brand, the Bevel, includes a line of razors and shaving products designed to reduce or eliminate razor bumps — a problem that affects a majority of black men, Recode reported. Bevel products are sold on Target.com, in Target stores, and on Bevel’s own website.

E-commerce, social media and digital influencers have transformed the beauty business, but so far makeup and skincare have taken the lead. Haircare, by contrast, has been slow to change:

For one, consumers have a wider range of individualised concerns and, often, less styling knowledge when it comes to hair, making the salon — a trusted touchpoint where consumers routinely go for haircare — a natural place for product sales. And while images of hair color transformations resonate on Instagram, a key driver of beauty sales, it’s much harder to see the impact of a de-frizzing oil, for example.

Sephora is Form’s first retail partner, and joins just a handful of black-owned haircare brands at there that cater to women of color, Fast Company reported. These include Madam C.J. Walker Beauty Culture, Hairfinity, Earth’s Nectar, Qhemet Biologics, and Briogeo:

An online Form consultation includes questions about your haircare routine—how often you wash your hair and what products you use. It also asks about your exercise routine—or lack thereof—including how often you swim, your zip code, and takes into account how the weather might affect you hair. Once the consultation is complete, Form recommends products that cater to your haircare needs.

Walker described the new Form products as being “steeped in science,” which he said allows the line to work for a wide range of hair textures — not just straight hair, Recode reported.

“We are inclusive from the very beginning,” Walker said in an interview.

 

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