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Hally Rides Clean Hair Dye Trend Into Stores

Former marketing exec Kathryn Winokur developed the ammonia-free cloud foaming hair color during the pandemic.

The clean hair trend has been around for a while, but a pandemic-driven rise in at-home coloring led more consumers to search for clean hair dyes.

Cue Hally Hair — an ammonia-free, cloud foaming hair color line launched by former marketing executive Kathryn Winokur last year that is now available at Ulta, Revolve and Urban Outfitters.

She came up with the idea when her summer intern asked for some time off to go to the hair salon to fix a bad at-home hair dye experience.

“I just couldn’t believe that this was still happening. I’m 35 and I had a bad run-in with Sun In when I was in eighth grade,” said Winokur. “I just kept researching the category and the more I found out, the more interesting I thought it was. There’s a handful of CPG players that have the lion’s share in this category and there’s very little innovation in the space. So I felt like there was this opportunity for a brand to come and inject a lot of fun into it, but also really focus on the formulation side of things.”

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With the help of $4 million she raised from a handful of venture firms and family offices, Winokur teamed up with a Brooklyn-based lab to develop two products infused with natural extracts: Color Cloud — a demi-permanent dye priced at $25; and Fluffy G — a part toning glaze, part hydrating gloss priced at $15. As well as being ammonia-free, the products are free from parabens and sulfates.

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“I was very keen on Japan and South Korea in all my research, and they’ve had this huge influx of the younger demographic coloring their hair this last decade with the K-pop craze. They all use a product called bubble dye, which is foam-based hair dye,” added Winokur.

She’ll soon be tapping further into the Gen Z market when she launches the Gamer Girl set, consisting of three small 30 ml bottles of different colors in a reusable heart-shaped pouch.

To coincide with the launch, gamer MeganPlays will be using Hally’s avatar hairstyles on Roblox.

“To the best of my knowledge, we are going to be the first hair brand to do something on Roblox,” said Winokur. “We are bringing some very recent trending hairstyles into the metaverse — some looks from Coachella, the Met Gala, Euphoria. Every gamer has an avatar so she will change her hairstyle and play with these for the first week of the campaign. We’ve seen a really good return on our investment and getting new customers from in-app mobile gaming advertising.”

According to Muffy Clince, director of emerging brands at Ulta Beauty, the clean hair dye category is gaining momentum at the retailer nationwide.

“Part of it started back in the pandemic when people were doing some of this coloring at home and they definitely want to maintain that even after,” she told Beauty Inc. “We’ve also seen a lot of it in the whole evolution of self-expression and the guest really enjoying bringing their newest mood to life through their hair. Now they’re prioritizing doing it safely. When you can look at some of these formulas and the evolution of the formulas, the guest is looking for more of these clean and conscious options. So when we look at Hally they really checked a lot of these boxes. We thought that the Gen Z guest would love it.”

Overall, Ulta stocks around seven clean hair dye brands, including Madison Reed and Arctic Fox.



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