DevaCurl has appointed Robert Schaeffler as its new chief executive officer, effective Dec. 1.
Schaeffler comes to the hair-care brand from Henkel Professional North America, where he worked on brands such as Sexy Hair, Kenra Professional and helped launch hairstylist Guy Tang’s hair-color line.
“The thing with DevaCurl is there are few brands in the industry that are focused on one key target group,” Schaeffler said. “DevaCurl is amazing at doing one thing, and that’s the curly hair community. They’ve created a loyal following and you can’t replicate that in a new environment, which makes the brand special.”
Schaeffler replaces Colin Walsh, who left the company in September to take on the role of ceo at Ouai Haircare. In his new role, Schaeffler has three main goals for the brand: continue global expansion, spotlight the brand’s professional heritage and expand digital efforts.
“[DevaCurl] has an inclusive and emotional message that reaches across age, race and culture,” he continued. “It’s so broad that every man or woman with curly hair can relate. It hits a powerful and emotional message that you can embrace natural hair. Before it was the opposite with getting rid of natural waves. The powerful message of the brand is to be yourself and embrace your natural hair.”
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While this messaging has been a part of the brand’s DNA since inception, Schaeffler wants to continue spreading this ethos to other global markets that DevaCurl has yet to enter, like Europe, Latin America and Asia. Schaeffler plans on doing this by continuing engagement on the brand’s social media platforms, embarking on authentic partnerships with influencers and finding the right international distribution partners. DevaCurl distributes in the U.S. and Canada through its own e-commerce site, Sephora, Ulta Beauty, Nordstrom, Amazon, CosmoProf and Paramount Beauty.
“2019 is about fueling and expanding innovation,” he said. “We have to do the homework and figure out the right markets that are receptive to the message of embracing curls and building the right internal capabilities.”
Schaeffler also wants to focus on the brand’s salon heritage by tapping into its stylist community to serve as brand ambassadors to work closely with clients. DevaCurl offers its products in roughly 10,000 salons in the U.S. and Canada.
Both initiatives will play into growing the brand’s social following, which already exceeds 800,000 across platforms.
DevaCurl was acquired by Ares Management LP in May 2017 for $250 million to $300 million, according to industry sources. Ares took over full control of the company from private equity backer Tengram Capital partners and cofounder Dennis Da Silva.
Over the last few years, the brand, which is known for its products targeting curly hair, expanded its product offerings to tight curls and wavy hair. The next product for the brand is its High Shine Multi-Benefit Oil, launching in March for $29, which gives curls shine while retaining definition and moisture.