Aquis, which pioneered the concept of removing excess water from hair faster than standard towels in the 90’s, is known for setting trends. Two years ago, the company, known best for its Hair Towels and Turbans, took the line to the next level, introducing Aquis Luxe, which incorporated Aquitex, a high-performance, ultra-fine woven fabric technology that quickly wicks away water, bringing hair from wet to dry 50 percent quicker, without friction or heat. The result: hair regains strength quickly, retains vibrancy and, overall, looks healthier.
Aquis’ unique market position has helped the company sell more than one million units globally. And plans are to grow sales by 100 percent in 2018. The company’s digital commerce and distribution footprint includes top prestige partners such as Sephora, Ulta Beauty, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus and QVC. Recently, luxury brand Violet Grey launched the Aquis x Violet Grey, an exclusive product. Aquis also is distributed in several countries with more in the pipeline. Prices range from $30 to $35 for the Lisse Luxe and $35 to $45 for the Waffle Luxe.
The company’s rapid ascent attracted the attention of Guthy Renker Ventures, which invested in Aquis in 2017. Along with other investors, Aquis has raised $5 million to gear up for future expansion and product launches.
Co-Chief Executive Officers, Britta Cox and Suveen Sahib, discuss why Aquis towels go beyond drying to support hair health and what’s next for the brand.
CEW Beauty Insider: What’s the secret behind Aquis?
Britta Cox: It is important to educate people about our hero hair towel and what happens when hair is wet. Not enough has been discussed about the effects that water has on hair. What we have learned is that wet hair is weak hair and when hair is exposed to water, a chemical change occurs. We call this change water fatigue. That’s the stretching and swelling of hair when it’s wet, just like what happens to nails when wet. They become weak. Aquis minimizes water fatigue to help hair regain its strength quickly. We have so many learnings about people enjoying better hair by using our towel. We want to evangelize that story in a big way. This is a new approach to dealing with your hair and by using Aquis, people find their hair is healthier and quicker and easier to style. Just like skin care prepares the face for makeup, Aquis preps hair for styling. It is the skinification of hair.
CEW Beauty Insider: How have you built such strong distribution?
Suveen Sahib: The number of stories and consumer experiences that we hear about every day shows how the hair towel has changed their lives. They no longer have an adversarial relationship with their hair. With more than 1,400 reviews for Aquis on Sephora.com, we are one of the Top 10 rated hair care brands. We have more than 33,000 likes on Sephora.com alone. And this has been consistent for our partners and our customers globally. That’s why we have established a global footprint over the past few years. Now we want to find out how to share these stories to those who haven’t heard about Aquis and don’t know that wet hair is part of the problem. Changing an antiquated habit, the bath towel, can lead to a substantial hair difference.
CEW Beauty Insider: Can you discuss the impact social media has had on your expansion?
S.S.: Social has been a big part of our growth in the last two years. When from a credible source, it has been the single biggest driver. We find that when someone tries it out and shares it with friends and encourages others, they say they don’t know how they ever lived without it.
CEW Beauty Insider: You mention a new hair care system is in the works. Can you tease just a little about it?
S.S.: A new hair care line is launching in the fall and is created to defend hair from water fatigue – that means it works with the natural integrity of hair. We are the first hair care line to address this. Our products are made to help women reclaim their hair’s natural state.
CEW Beauty Insider: What role will Guthy Renker play?
S.S.: Guthy Renker is one of our key partners and we have learned so much from them. They bring deep consumer insight with proven success and scale. Guthy Renker is sharing best practices with us every day. Education is a key part of our mission and Guthy Renker certainly brings a wealth of expertise in that area, but also the ability to roll out distribution in specific channels for products that best meet their consumers’ needs.