Enter Candor Hair, which launched direct-to-consumer on April 20 (a nod to its hero ingredient). The brand’s founder, Jess Armentano, introduced two stock keeping units, a shampoo, $28, and conditioner, $32.
Armentano first created the line when she couldn’t find an effective, clean formula to bolster hair growth. “I basically reverse-engineered it from a consumer standpoint,” she said. “I knew what I was looking for, and I put it into Candor.”
The process, which began several years ago, started with a product chemist and ended with Armentano having to learn computer coding to build her own website, she said.
Despite not having experience in beauty, Armentano who graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology, found success by tapping into her own intuition as a consumer. “I’ve always been interested in beauty products, especially clean beauty,” she said. “I’ve switched over all of my beauty and cleaning products. Hair was just the only one I couldn’t find.”
As for why CBD? “CBD contains all these omega fatty acids, which really causes the hair follicles to expand,” she said. “Your hair grows so quickly, which is what I was looking for at the time to repair breakage. And beyond that, I just have found my hair and scalp health overall has really improved since using it.”
The two products, each of which are housed in recyclable plastic packaging, are made without parabens, sulfates, artificial fragrances and phthalates, and are made in the U.S.
Armentano’s ambitions for her self-funded line extend beyond shampoos and conditioners. “First, I’d love to do a hair serum,” Armentano said. “But we do also want to do a body wash, maybe a lotion. I’d love to expand into other categories.”
Although the brand is distributing d-to-c for now, Armentano said other channels are in the works. Industry sources expect the range to do between $300,000 and $500,000 in its first year of sales online.
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