There is a new hair-care brand on the market that prides itself on offering optimal moisture for natural textured hair. The creators of it stand by their products’ ability to do that because they took their time — eight years of research and development — to get everything right.
Wakati, the latest offering but first line catered to Black beauty buyers from Kao Corp., launched four products in January: a Water Activated Advanced Conditioner ($11.99 for 8 oz., $18.99 for 16 oz.), a Sulfate-Free Shampoo ($11.99), the Oil-Infused Cream ($11.99) and the Re-Activating Conditioning Mist ($11.99). All are currently available at Target and its online site, Walgreens and its site, Walmart.com, and in May, Rite Aid. The Advanced Conditioner, though, is the first product in the collection and a must-have that addresses tangled coils, difficulty gaining curl alignment, and difficulty maintaining curl alignment (it’s already sold out on Walmart’s site). The end result is a formula that prevents tangling, offers moisture and slip to each hair strand, and leaves consistent curl bundles once hair has fully dried. The brand says it’s the first and only patented conditioner of its kind.
“We knew we had a stellar formula, one that would deliver against the needs of modern women who embrace the natural hair movement,” says Kenya Foy, U.S. Marketing for Wakati. “For an audience traditionally overlooked by mainstream brands/products, we asked ourselves how we could create a product collection that would truly enhance the lives of our consumers and decided the best way was to go to the source – consumers with highly textured hair.”
They didn’t only seek out input from consumers in the development of their formula, though. They also worked with business students at an HBCU, Florida A&M, on ideation, marketing, and packaging design.
We talked with Foy to learn more about Wakati, the process to create it, and asked point blank period what makes it so special. Here’s what was shared.
Eight years ago when the concept for Wakati was being worked on, there were a lot less hair lines on the market dedicated to 4C hair. Things have changed and a lot more brands have prioritized this group, whether the products really work well or not. What would you say sets Wakati apart?
What sets Wakati apart is a similar philosophy to all the brands that fall under the Kao USA umbrella – the mission to be closest to our consumers is our number one priority. We knew in order to truly deliver a product that would meet the needs and wants of the 4C consumer, we had to build it from the ground up with their input and guidance throughout the entire process.