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Prose’s Long-term Plans Move Beyond Hair Care

The back-end debut of custom machinery will allow the hair-care brand to expand.

Custom hair-care business Prose has developed a piece of machinery that it expects to help propel the brand forward, and one day, into categories beyond hair.

Prose has been growing. Sales are projected to increase 300 percent for 2020, to around $50 million, industry sources said. The brand is estimated to be worth $350 million and is on track to become profitable in 2021, according to industry sources. 

In order to support continued capacity expansion, Prose has developed a proprietary machine that allows the brand to produce up to 30,000 customized products a day. The 60-foot, 10-ton machine, making its debut in September, will be able to generate all of the brand’s made-to-order products and allow for the development of customized stockkeeping units in the future.

Since the brand’s 2017 founding, Prose’s goal was to move away from the mass production model the hair-care industry has followed in order to avoid overproduction and waste, as well as offer consumers individualized products meant to be more effective. The product line includes shampoo and conditioner, hair oil, curl cream and more, ranging from $25 to $48. 

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In the short term, Prose will stay in hair care, and is launching a product scent this fall. In the longer term, Prose will look to enter categories. 

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“Moving from mass production to made-to-order production, the direct impact is that we’re just producing what we need,” said Arnaud Plas, who cofounded the brand with Paul Michaux and Nicolas Mussat. 

The machine has been in development for around two years and will be put into effect at Prose’s Brooklyn manufacturing facility. It can produce 30 bottles a minute, a significant increase from a typical lab production of about one bottle per minute.

While creating space for education and upskilling workers, the machine also allows for the development of personalization products beyond the hair-care industry, hinted vice president of finance and operations Cyrille Deschamp. 

“We are barely scratching the surface of what we want to achieve.…We are accelerating in all aspects of the business,” said Deschamp. “There are many more things to come.” 

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