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  • Writer's pictureConnar Stratton

Startup Idea #16: Personalised shampoo, and hair care subscription

Updated: Dec 21, 2022

Idea: A startup that uses analytics to provide personalised shampoo, and hair care formulas delivered on a monthly basis.

Problem: Hair can vary in length, texture, thickness, shape, oiliness and many other factors. Although there is some racial convergence with hair types, there are still many sub-categories within races. Many hair products today seem to be targeting a non-existent 'average' person leading to poor hair care for all. Ethnic minorities are especially underserved.

Insight: This idea is quite early, but you could try the same angle as a startup that went on Shark Tank pitching a razor designed for people with an African-American background. The point being that African-American men often experienced razor burns with mainstream razors due to their unique facial hair.

Validation method: This would require some fierce segmentation. I would start by running some google ads for people who are looking for 'personalised shampoo', 'shampoo care routine' or 'best shampoo for oily hair'. Try to understand the demographics of the people who are looking for said product, and target them with a fake landing page. To start the business, you may want to do some research into the types of hair that exist, ask customers to fill in a short survey, and check if they're willing to pay for a subscription service. There are a lot of kinks to figure out in this business: what are the right questions to ask, would consumers want a trial period first, can you make sales without any research to back-up your claims etc.

Notes: I'm sure there are already some companies that are doing this. It's a similar idea to dollar shave club, and Shiseido's AI-driven skin care formula. The important part of this business is to find its niche and the specific value proposition. Dollar shave club was clearly trying to undercut incumbent prices using a subscription based service. Companies like body shop, and Shiseido have proven that people are willing to pay a massive premium for body care, as long as you use the right branding.

Why am I doing this? I’m an innovation consultant who helps businesses build new products, and ventures. And I want people to see how easy it is to build, and validate an initial business idea. Hopefully inspiring them to start their own business.

Am I worried that people will take the ideas? I hope they do. These ideas will hopefully make the world a better place. Just remember, “Ideas are cheap. Execution is everything”. What’s most likely is that within a month of testing the idea, the idea would have completely pivoted, but this is a starting point.


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