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Kristin Ess Hair: FUTURE50 2023

Published May 28, 2023
Published May 28, 2023
Kristin Ess Hair

The Kristin Ess hair brand began with a simple idea: create an affordable collection of salon quality haircare and styling products that would give everyone the chance to have modern, perfectly imperfect hair. The Kristin Ess hair brand’s approach to salon quality performance, modern aesthetic, and accessible price point has made the brand one of the most sought-after, affordable luxury haircare lines. The brand’s innovative haircare and styling products are vegan and cruelty free, made for all hair types and textures and are salon tested, stylist approved.

Founder: Kristin Ess

Founded: 2017


  • Founder, Kristin Ess
  • General Manager, Hazel Nussbaum

2023 Full Year Expected Revenue Range: $125 to$150MM

Category: Haircare

Distribution Channels: Mass

Funding Rounds: Incubated by Maesa

What are some of your key business initiatives for 2023?

The Brand will continue to accelerate in 2023. There is great demand for the brand, and we want to meet our consumers more broadly and continue to drive greater awareness of our differentiated proposition. In line with our strategy, Kristin Ess hair brand will launch in over 2,000 Walmart locations and in 2023. This launch will include our best-selling Signature Shampoo and Conditioner, Weightless Shine Leave-In Conditioner, and Style Reviving Dry Shampoo. We are excited by this expansion as it allows us to offer more consumers salon quality products at an affordable price. Being the innovator in haircare, we are also launching new hair accessories exclusively at Target, including The Luxe Hair Stick, The Half Moon Claw Clip, and The Luxe Faux Fur Scrunchie.

What are you most proud of having accomplished?

Kristin Ess Hair started as a simple yet powerful idea. We are incredibly proud how the brand has continued to grow and expand from its small beginnings to a truly impactful brand loved by millions of consumers and their allies in achieving their daily hair goals.

What has been the biggest surprise since the brand was founded?

How passionate our consumers are about our products! And their willingness to share their favorite products and haircare tricks with their community. These organic brand creators have had a reach of over 400 million!

What aspect of your brand DNA fuels your competitive advantage?

The Kristin Ess Hair brand is driven by our relentless attention to detail particularly our salon quality performance, modern and premium aesthetic, and accessibility by offering products for all hair types and textures—an easy to use product education at a masstige price point.

Please share your insight on the future of the beauty industry.

I think the beauty category will continue to reflect the diversity of our population and continue to celebrate our individual uniqueness. As such, we will see more customized products as consumers demand products made specifically for their hair/skin.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

You can’t be everything to everyone … Know who your brand is and what it is providing to consumers and be relentless against that mission. You won’t please everyone, but you will find your community and that community will celebrate you every day.

Paying it forward, what advice would you give to someone contemplating launching a beauty brand?

The beauty category is very competitive, but there is room for more players if you know who your consumer is and what you provide that is unique from everyone else; otherwise, you will just get swallowed up.

If you could change one thing in the beauty industry what would it be?

We believe that beauty should create a sense of belonging grounded in an exchange of ideas and amplification of experiences. Unfortunately, the beauty industry today often promotes unachievable and predefined standards of beauty. We see beauty everywhere and encourage diversity in beauty.


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