Lather and save: Waterless brand Bhuman unveils powdered shampoo to ‘make bigger impact’ on sustainable mission
Bhuman is a waterless personal care brand by Yeeli Lee, former vice president of Amazon China and brand consultant that has worked with Unilever, Proctor & Gamble, Coty and The Estée Lauder Companies.
The brand, which launched in 2020, specialises in waterless products, allowing it to cut down on emissions from transport as well as packaging – especially single-use plastics.
Its first-ever product was the B Clean Waterless Facial Wash Powder, a 100% plant-based enzyme powder cleanser.
In October, the company announced the launch of bättre, a range of plant-based, unisex, water-activated powder-to-lather hair wash, as the latest addition to its waterless personal care line. It is also packaged plastic-free, in an infinitely recyclable aluminium bottle.
While B Clean had been well received by consumers, Lee opted to shift gears to hair care as she saw more demand there for a waterless zero-waste option.
“Part of the inspiration was listening to my customers. As I did, I came across anecdotes about how some men would love to use B Clean but don’t because they don’t wash their face. I didn’t realise the penetration rate for face wash was so low even though I had created a unisex product,” said Lee.
Previously, Lee had told CosmeticsDesign-Asia that the company was conscious about launching too many products and would prefer to stick to developing products with a high penetration rate among women and men.
“I know for a fact people tend to shower and shampoo every day, so I thought [hair care] was a category I could make a bigger impact on,” said Lee.
While powdered shampoo is not new for the Asian market, the development of the new range took a year to develop.
“I’ve probably tested every powder shampoo that’s out there, and the issue is always about how it works on the hair, depending on the type of water that’s used. So, we had to test it globally. Every batch was tested not only in Singapore where the water is more chlorinated. We also tested it in places like in the US and in Canada where the water is harder,” said Lee.
Hard water is defined as water that has higher mineral content, such as calcium and magnesium.
Additionally, the company had to ensure the formulation could lather and foam up with very little moisture to begin with. The result was a set of three shampoos catering to daily use, drier hair, and hair loss issues.
Customised for you
Aside from being eco-friendly and travel friendly, Lee told us that users could get the most out of the shampoos by personalising them to their needs by mixing them – an easy enough feat thanks to their powdered format.
Furthermore, while the product is marketed as a shampoo, Lee revealed that one tester has been using it as a body wash, making it potentially usable as a head-to-toe wash.
“The thing that I did not expect was the multifunctionality of the product. I was so glad to hear the extensions people have in the usage of the product, it was so creative,” said Lee.
Next year, the company will be focusing on geographical expansion. Aside from its home market, Bhuman is currently available in Malaysia, Hong Kong, and South Africa.
It is also selling direct-to-consumer in the US and is seeking retail partners for this market, said Lee.
“From day one, my goal is to have maximum impact. The developed markets have always been had a greater appetite for eco-friendly products. I would say the US is the biggest [focus] just from a total available market point of view.”
The company is also targeting the travel and hospitality segment. Lee revealed that the brand would soon be available to purchase on Krisshop, the flagship retailer of Singapore Airlines, the world’s most awarded fleet.