Indie brand Robecurls launches into Target stores nationwide

By Cassandra Stern

- Last updated on GMT

“Prior to launching RobeCurls in June 2020, the market lacked innovative solutions for hair curling, with rollers being the last significant advancement,” said brand founder Emily Kenison. © Marina Demeshko Getty Images
“Prior to launching RobeCurls in June 2020, the market lacked innovative solutions for hair curling, with rollers being the last significant advancement,” said brand founder Emily Kenison. © Marina Demeshko Getty Images

Related tags hair tools Target Innovation

Inspired by a recent viral heatless hair curling trend on TikTok, Robecurls was one of the first brands to capitalize on a growing market share – and has now fully commercialized its efforts with a launch into Target stores across the US.

As detailed in a recent market research report by KBV Research, “the Global Heatless Hair Curler Market size is expected to reach $221.2 Million by 2029, rising at a market growth of 5.0% CAGR during the forecast period.” The report further explained that “the North America region led the heatless hair curler market by generating the maximum revenue share in 2022,” and “in North America, the market for heatless hair curlers has expanded substantially in recent years as more consumers seek alternatives to conventional hot styling tools.”

Tapping into this market is independent brand Robecurls, a company that “was the first to market a heatless curling headband in 2020 and with the mentorship of Sara Blakely of Spanx,” shared brand founder and inventor Emily Kenison, and has now launched nationwide into Target stores this month.

To learn more about Robecurls and the brand’s place in the hair care market, including insights into the product’s R&D process and the influences on the product’s development, and how the recent Target launch fits into the brand’s growth and expansion strategies in 2024, we interviewed Kenison for her experience and thoughts.

Brand background

Kenison did not begin her career in personal care product development but in the legal field, and the process of transitioning between industries “from a career in law to inventing a category-defining product that has fundamentally changed how women approach styling their hair,” she explained.

The experience and “professional legal background has helped me navigate the complexities of patents that has in turn helped grow RobeCurls to establish its place in the personal care industry,” she added, sharing that “it’s noteworthy to mention that less than one percent of patents are held exclusively by women, a statistic that speaks volumes in the underrepresentation of female inventors in our industry.”

When approaching the Robecurls launch, Kenison strove to implement change by focusing on a hair care tool that is “a century-old invention by men and it has dominated the market for a long time,” she said. Her innovation, therefore, “not only represents a breakthrough in hair care, but also serves as an inspiration for more female inventors to bring their innovations to the forefront of the industry, shaping the future of consumer products with our unique perspectives and needs,” she explained.

R&D process

“Prior to launching RobeCurls in June 2020, the market lacked innovative solutions for hair curling, with rollers being the last significant advancement,” Kenison continued. The product development process subsequently began when “we recognized this gap and it brought on a meticulous R&D process that incorporated feedback from over 500 customers to refine our product,” she shared, and “this hands-on approach ensured our curling headband catered to all hair types effectively.”

However, it wasn’t until “the real breakthrough came with the development of our proprietary fabric that proved to hold curls five times longer than traditional curling irons,” she shared. This innovation “was grounded in the scientific understanding of hair and moisture balance, marking a significant leap forward in hair care,” said Kenison, and was inspired in part “by a viral trend on TikTok that utilized a bathrobe belt for heatless curls.”

She elaborated that this inspiration was an “unconventional method [which] highlighted a widespread desire for simpler, healthier hair styling techniques,” and through this method, “we saw an opportunity to innovate, which resulted in a product that embodies ease of use and effective style.”

Robecurls launches into Target retailers

About the recent launch, Kenison shared that “our partnership with Target represents a pivotal moment in the strategy to expand RobeCurls in 2024,” and “aligning with a retailer that shares our values of innovation, quality, and accessibility will enhance our market presence which makes our products more widely available.”

Furthermore, she added, the expanded distribution footprint because of “our collaboration with Target is a key milestone in our journey for helping women simplify their routines and achieve perfect heatless curls.”

Regarding the brand’s place within the current hair care market, Kenison commented that “the hair care industry has space for growth, particularly when it comes to utilizing techniques that do not damage hair long term.” Therefore, at Robecurls, “we are at the forefront of this movement,” she said, “with a robust pipeline of innovative products set to redefine what hair care can look like.”

Future brand outlook

Moving forward, the brand will continue to maintain its “focus on delivering high-quality products” by connecting “with our customers in a personal way with 1-on-1 curl classes that help them get the most out of their experience,” said Kenison, as this “helps us further look for opportunities and address issues our customers are facing with advanced solutions for hair care.”

Additionally, she shared further, when “looking ahead, our R&D efforts are geared towards diversifying the types of curl shapes we can offer, ensuring our products remain versatile and inclusive.” She clarified that the brand is “committed to maintaining the core principle that our solutions should be wearable anywhere,” as “this approach not only empowers our customers, but also reinforces our dedication to practical and transformational hair care solutions.”                                                                                                    

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