Shifting priorities: Ouai hair care observes rising interest in scalp care in SEA
Since the US brand launched in the SEA market around five years ago, its best-selling products have been its hair oil and leave-in conditioner, which help to control frizz.
“Here it was all about frizz control. Our hair oil and leave-in conditioner are the most popular products because they are heavily focused on frizz, and they also prevent colour fading with UV filters,” said Diana Pratasiewicz, director of education content.
However, Ouai’s latest scalp serum has overtaken its most popular products, even though it only launched in SEA in June last year.
“The scalp serum is flying off the charts, it’s our number one product now even though it only launched mid last year. It’s loaded with peptides to help the overall health of your scalp and hair. This you can use every day and it doesn’t compromise your style,” said Pratasiewicz.
Furthermore, it recently launched an anti-dandruff shampoo, an area it believes it can make a difference in SEA.
“Normally when you suffer from dandruff, you go to the drugstore, you don’t usually go into Sephora. We wanted to make the experience of finding a soothing relief from dandruff a luxury experience. It has 2% salicylic acid and relief the symptoms of dandruff, and we also added our signature fragrance Cape Town, so it smells really beautiful. And it’s also safe for colour treated hair as well.”
Scalp care a big focus for the brand moving forward. Awareness of scalp care is growing rapidly in the region, where consumer have to contend with a hot and humid climate.
“We have more scalp products coming out. It is a major, major focus for us,” said Pratasiewicz.
“Most people didn’t think the scalp was part of their skin. We call it a garden, and if you don’t take care of that garden, you won’t have healthy hair. We can sell all the styling products in the world but if you don’t have healthy hair, it’s going to be harder.”
In addition to the scalp serum and anti-dandruff shampoo, Ouai is set to introduce another product that will include scalp care elements.
“We have two massive launches coming at the end of the year. For one of them, we’re going back to styling – because we haven’t launched a styling product in three years – and it will have a focus on scalp at the same time. That’s all I can say,” Pratasiewicz hinted.
Taking the top spot
Pratasiewicz revealed that Ouai was now the number one hair care brand in Sephora SEA.
“We’re very excited. We’ve never been the number one brand before in Sephora SEA and we’ve been here for about four to five years.”
While Ouai is arguably a well-established name in SEA’s hair care space, the firm feels that it was still early days for the company.
“We’re always focused on how we can make it feel that Ouai is here all the time. We are looking into doing events and such, so we can be more connected to the community here,” Pratasiewicz said.
She added that the company is working to make product launches more universal in order to foster that sense of community globally.
“For the first time, we were able to launch our scalp serum and anti-dandruff shampoo as the same time it was launched in the US. It’s important because we have fans from all over the world. It’s definitely been challenging between supply chain and differing regulations.”