Thinking Outside the Bottle

Hi. It’s Kailey, Founder & CEO of OWA Haircare.

If you haven’t heard about how I got here or of how OWA came to be, you can find it here. If you already have this information, then it’s time to “think outside the bottle.”

First and foremost, thank you for being here. It means a lot to us at OWA that you are interested in what we are doing as a haircare brand and what we’d like to share with you through this platform. OWA exists to create change in the haircare industry. We want to offer you sustainable haircare without compromise, but we also want to provide a place where you can find scientifically-supported information about products. These concepts and the information being provided is more than just insight to hair products, but insight to our impact as consumers. In order to fully understand our environmental impact as a brand, and your impact as a consumer, we’ve created this blog to get you to “think outside the bottle.”

The Concept

Being constantly curious about everything is something I’ve experienced ever since I can remember. I’ve always been interested in how things work, what they are made of, and how they were put together. Every shampoo bottle I’ve ever encountered has always listed water as the primary ingredient. I didn’t really question it, because I assumed it was necessary. Then, one day when I was making a list of products I needed to purchase before traveling, I did start to question it. Why was shampoo a liquid? How much of the shampoo was water? I started to “think outside the bottle.”

Researching answers to my questions, I found shampoo is 80% water on average. I needed to know why. I decided to look into why liquid shampoo dominated the market and not an alternative like a shampoo bar. Did a powder shampoo exist? It did not. Why not? It was 2017 and we were essentially shipping bottled water around the planet. There was not a good answer to any of my questions. I decided to challenge the status quo. What made a liquid shampoo more desirable to consumers? Why weren’t shampoo bars universally adopted if they were more economical, lasted longer and were more environmentally sustainable? Was performance the limiting factor? Could shampoo be delivered in a different format, yet produce the same results as a liquid shampoo? 

The Validation

It was possible that a powder shampoo may not be the answer. What were the shortcomings of this powdered-product form? Was it as environmentally sustainable as it seemed? Could it work in hot and cold water? Would it lather? Was it something that could be rinsed easily? Would it be conditioning? Could it be designed to have the same features as liquid shampoos- volumizing, smoothing, hydrating, etc? I knew if I could get the powder form to work as well as, if not better than a liquid, I would be onto something.

Thinking outside the bottle considers the entire life cycle of a product. This is how developing Hair Wash was approached, as well as the other OWA products to come. The idea is to get everyone thinking about what goes into making a product, not just what we as consumers see. To think outside the bottle offers many topics of discussion. As the industry evolves, I don’t see the conversation slowing down.

The Conversation

The blog was developed to serve as a platform where we as a brand can have conversation with you, the readers, on haircare-related topics that you may read about in another media outlet yet there is limited information, or that you can read in a scientific journal but not in a digestible format. Topics in question should be generated by you, the readers. Outlets with additional information will be referenced to support the findings should you want to dig deeper. From ingredients to the life cycle of a product, let’s open the conversation. We want to hear from you as a hair-washing human and know what you’re interested in learning about. There is a request form at the bottom of the main blog page. We encourage you to use it! Let’s use this blog together to get accurate information out there. Let’s start to “think outside the bottle” together.

Talk soon!

Kailey