‘Bad’ hair fix lands Aussie huge Coles deal

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A woman who was “embarrassed” by her natural curls has landed a major Coles deal after creating a product to fight “stigma” associated with “bad” hair.

Katherine Ruiz created People Haircare after stating she “struggled” with her self-image, detailing an incident as a young girl where she felt “shame” while visiting the hairdresser, for not being able to afford a salon shampoo and conditioner.

The incident stayed with Ms Ruiz, and inspired her to create a haircare brand as an adult that is high-quality, but something everyone can afford.

After formulating a range with products for all hair types including her own, People Haircare launched exclusively into Coles in 2022, with Ms Ruiz describing the huge deal as an incredible milestone.

Fix for 'bad hair day' lands Aussie huge Coles deal

“I really wanted to debunk the stigma that you can’t buy quality haircare from the supermarkets,” she told news.com.au’s The Beauty Diary.

“I developed People Haircare to give people the confidence to feel like themselves everyday and to be who they want to be.

“In addition I had been searching for salon quality hair care but without the price tag. This was important to me and I saw an opportunity to bring beautifully designed high performance haircare to the supermarket shelves, one that worked.”

Ms Ruiz said her struggles to find a product suitable for curly tresses really drove her to create People Haircare, but stressed there was something for everyone in the range.

“We know how unique everyone’s hair is so from day one we set out to create products that talked to each individual hair need,” she said.

“As a curly girl myself I know how hard it is to find products that do what they say they are going to do so I think people have immediately responded to having an offering that is accessible, affordable and it performs (plus it looks good in your bathroom)”.

The brand’s recently extended range, which includes ‘curl’, ‘blonde’, ‘smooth’, ‘hydrate’ and ‘volume’ options, is sold across more than 860 stores. Ms Ruiz revealed that response to the products has been “amazing”.

“The consumer reaction has been so positive since we launched our new products in early March,” she explained.

“During the launch week alone we saw 10,000 units sold, making it our largest launch to date. “The reaction has been so encouraging, especially to be able to see that other curly girls are so receptive which also clearly highlights the need for such a range within the market.”

It’s not just her customers who are enjoying People Haircare, with Ms Ruiz explaining she now has the confidence to “love who I am”, something she could only have dreamt of as a young woman.

“I have always cared about my hair, it’s always been a big part of my identity, but for a long time I struggled with my own self image,” she said.

“I wasn’t comfortable or confident in myself and the way I presented myself to everyone felt like an act.

“I had to work really hard to show up in social situations and be who I thought everyone wanted me to be. It’s only recently, that I am now able to love who I am and part of that is embracing my natural hair – my curls.

“It’s actually one of my favourite features about physical self and a big part of what makes me.”

On social media, many have shared their feedback on the $16 shampoo and conditioners—often sold at half-price for $8—labelling them “insane”.

“My curls are now so defined,” one shopper shared on TikTok.

“Love that I can pick these up when I do my grocery shop, makes my life so much easier,” another added.