DevaCurl is now riding the full curl wave.
The business has added a new line of products to tackle wavy hair, following an expansion into supercurly hair last year. Low-Poo Delight and One Condition Delight, which launched in June, are meant for those with wavy locks. In 2015, DevaCurl launched its Decadence line, which is meant for girls with supercurly hair. The brand is known for No-Poo, a curl cleanser without sulfates, parabens or silicones.
“This will make a huge change in our business,” said chief executive officer Colin Walsh. “The business has doubled over the past three years, based on some of the innovation we’ve had — the launch of Decadence for supercurly — but now with the launch of Delight and being able to offer products for wavy, curly and supercurly, and speak for all curl kind — 65 percent of the population — we see tripling this business in the next three years.” That projection would bring the brand to more than $100 million in sales, according to industry sources.
DevaCurl celebrated the launch of the Delight line with a party at Lightbox in New York on Tuesday, where the brand’s dedicated following of curly-girl influencers were in full force. The brand’s ambassadors, Kai Frias, Ginny Pettit and Tori Piskin were there as well.
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“Any of those heavy-moisture [products are] too much for a wavy girl who will have finer hair, more often than not. We have Low-Poo Delight, it has a very light lather, because a wavy girl is not as used to these cleansing conditioner-type products, she’s been shampooing her whole life,” said Walsh. He’s been leading the brand since Tengram Capital’s investment in 2013.
“It’s grown very strongly,” said Matthew Eby, managing partner at Tengram. “The prospects for growth remain strong. It’s a category that has tremendous tailwinds right now.”
Despite evident interest in the curl category with brands from L’Oréal to Bumble & bumble rolling out curl-specific lines, DevaCurl isn’t feeling the competition.
“Candidly, we’re grateful for the conversation and how much attention it’s bringing,” Walsh said. “Every major player or generalist brand has launched something. The difference is, to have it as a range, equal to volumizing or moisturizing or color-protecting is a very topical benefit of hair, versus a deep expertise and understanding and [ability] to advise, inform, coach [and] provide specific products at specific times to a naturally curly-haired consumer.”
“Deva is the original,” Eby said. “It really was the first brand to focus on the category and that authenticity is really important to the curly-haired consumer. When they find a company that says ‘we’re embracing you for who you are and enabling you to embrace your curls…the big brands can’t manufacture that.”
That authenticity is something that resonates with DevaCurl’s unpaid base of social media influencers. While the brand will occasionally send free product, Walsh said, they do not pay their influencer base or request exclusivity — even as it chose a handful of its influencers to come on board as ambassadors.
In addition to the launch of Delight, DevaCurl has revamped its packaging. The new look is still green, but includes yellow caps for the Delight line and blue caps for the Decadence line. The regular line will keep its green caps.
“There was a fundamental opportunity to communicate more clearly from a design standpoint,” Walsh said. “We also wanted to have some differentiation so people understand the formulas now.”
The brand’s plan for continued growth includes two main parts — geographic expansion and styling product expansion.
“Our biggest opportunity is global expansion, we’re really a North America business today,” Walsh said. “We have a small rapidly growing business in Brazil, so that’s exciting to be in South America, but really global expansion is the huge, huge opportunity.”
“Culturally, it’s an emerging curl market,” Walsh added. “Obviously the hair texture is there, but they haven’t been wearing it naturally curly. They’re on the same trajectory that North America is on the curl trend, they’re probably just a little behind, but the opportunity is there. The economy can be a hot mess, but [people] are still very committed to their beauty routines.”
On the product end, the next big launch is Wavemaker — the styling component of the Delight system. “We’re launching [Wavemaker], which will be a superstar designed specifically to create waves,” Walsh said. “Then you can imagine getting into things around beach, next-day curls, so different styling formulations — but we also have a substantial business in tools.” To that end, DevaCurl is looking into building a hooded hair dryer business. “We’re looking at opportunities and options to make that available at home,” Walsh said.