The Idea

 

Living an on-the-go lifestyle, I realized how inconvenient it is to travel with hair products. Plain and simple, there is nothing exciting about it. Buy small products last minute, squeeze them into a bag, get to your destination and find they leaked all over everything else. Every. Single. Time.

Think about it. When was the last time you purchased a hair product that enhanced your travel experience, was worth the price, and ultimately made you want to buy it again? I could not remember. In fact, I don’t think I ever had.

This is when the idea for a powder shampoo came to me. I started doing some research and learned that liquid shampoo is between 70% and 80% water on average. I realized there was an even bigger problem with liquid shampoo- environmental sustainability. I decided to take action and create a powder that you could add water to and it would work just like a liquid shampoo. Why stop at shampoo? Or even conditioner? I shouldn’t have to compromise my beauty routine when I travel or when I want be environmentally conscious. Neither should you.

Kailey Bradt

Founder & CEO

 

 

The Founder

 

Kailey is always on the go. Whether for work or for fun, for two days or for two weeks, she only travels with her Away Bigger Carry-On. “I always made traveling an opportunity to pack samples to try- masks, moisturizers, a new serum. My bag was full of clean, green beauty products for my skin and I loved it. What I realized was that I never looked forward to using my travel hair products. Why did I have to compromise my haircare regime?”

After some research, Kailey found herself developing a new technology for a line of powdered hair products that would hydrate with water to form the ready-to-use products she loved. Most hair products are made up of mostly solvents, typically water and alcohols. She knew if she could develop formulas that were high quality and performed as well as, if not better, than traditional diluted hair products, she would be on to something. Not only did this make sense for her travel bag, but for the environment as well.

Kailey’s interest in the science behind beauty did not come overnight. When Kailey was looking to attend a university, she wanted to pursue either interior design or photography. “I have to admit, I was not the best artist, but I had a lot of ideas. Being creative to me was far from a hobby, I saw it as a career.” Upon taking her first chemistry class she found her calling. She was inspired by the science behind everything from fireworks to cosmetics. Learning that there was a way to take her strengths of math and science, and apply them creatively in the same way she approached her art classes, seemed like a perfect fit. From that point she began looking into universities that offered chemical engineering, but also had a focus in design and sustainability. This is when Kailey chose RIT. Her undergraduate studies allowed her to work on formulating battery cathodes and designing functional inks and coatings. After graduation, she moved to Los Angeles to take a position at the clean tech startup where she had completed her last co-op. She loved the fast-pace and uncertainty the startup world had to offer. However, she did not feel she was able to exercise her creativity. After a year and a half of working full-time, she had the idea for a powder shampoo. She knew she had to pursue it. She packed up her car, drove across the country, and moved back to Rochester to return to her alma mater and pursue her Masters Degree in product development.

“The first day of my entrepreneurship course was eye opening. I didn’t fully understand what an entrepreneur was, but that day I knew I was one.” A few short months later in April 2017, Kailey won first place in the products category at the New York Business Plan Competition with her idea for OWA. In July 2017, OWA Haircare was named a Top 500 Global Deep Tech Startup by Hello Tomorrow and was invited to exhibit in Paris in October. In November, OWA Haircare was named Rochester Business Journal’s FastStart, and Kailey was interviewed by 98PXY. Now Kailey is on her way to bring you “out of this world amazing” haircare. Launching 2018.