My Story: Why I started Strands Hair Care

My Story: Why I started Strands Hair Care

Like many people during their freshman year of college, my ambitions of becoming a doctor quickly went out the door after realizing that 8 years of school was not in my career path. It wasn’t that I didn’t think I could do it.  After a couple classic reflective moments, I decided to keep studying biology and add business admin to my schedule with the goal of working in biotech after college. After being diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in high school, I understood the direct impact the biotech sector can have on a person’s life and I wanted to become a part of innovations like insulin that help me in my life everyday.

After graduating from USC with degrees in Human Biology and Business Administration, I got my chance to fulfill my goal of working in biotech and began working at a clinical genetic diagnostics lab in Los Angeles. I enjoyed placing myself in the mindset of the consumer and designing an experience that would drive people to purchase an innovative product like a genetic test. 

I became the project manager for the new direct-to-consumer genetics division with the goal to launch new tests to capture the rapidly growing consumer genetics market that was pioneered by companies like 23andMe. During this time, I stumbled upon a few articles about a startup that was making customized shampoo and conditioner using answers from an online questionnaire to develop the formulations. I went onto their website and tried to answer their questions and realized that I couldn’t answer them. I just didn't really know how to evaluate my hair. I sent the link to a few of my friends and they gave the same feedback. I bought a few books and did some quick research and realized that everything associated with hair is subjective. Everyone assesses their hair condition based off of “look” and “feel” and truly has no idea what’s really happening on their own heads. That’s when it clicked. I realized that I could adapt the same business model used in DTC genetics to the hair care market by removing all aspects of subjectivity with a purely analytical hair test.

I spent the next couple months visiting USC labs after work to discover and validate the tests needed to quantify hair condition. I even set up a makeshift lab in my apartment to my roommates displeasure, the place was covered in hair. The moment of truth came when I got back the first set of data that showed this could all work and that the science that would build the company’s foundation was valid. 

What’s next? 
We’re setting up our production facility in LA this month to begin producing sample products for you guys and we’re excited to hear your feedback. What’s great about being a company that specializes in customized products is that we can rapidly tweak our formulations based on your input. Also during this time we’ll be refining our brand identity based on your feedback as well, so your involvement in this process is very important to us. Glad you’re all willing to come on this journey with me.