Behind the scenes of our very first SCANDAL!
Owning a company is hard... and your shampoo bars should have been harder.
That's all the energy I got folks for a clever opening :)
As a hair snob who obsessed over performance--I just spent the past year perfecting our shampoo bar with our team of chemists to solve the problems I had with other bar shampoo brands that never really met my high standards for hair care.
I took more showers this past year than I have ever taken in my life to make sure this bar would genuinely change my own behavior about salon bottled products, and then hopefully yours.
When I say showers, it's not like your normal shower. I would obsess--
- Half a head of this one, half a head of that. Rinse, repeat.
- Half a head with this ratio of ingredients, half a head with that. Rinse, repeat.
- Half a head with our bar, half a head with a competitor's. Rinse repeat.
- Half a head with our bar, half a head with Pureology/Oribe/Kerastase. Dry and compare.
- Full head with our bar, half a head blown out & half a head air dried.
- Get 50 sample bars and test them out on 50 different heads and get feedback, adapt, and learn.
This was a year of testing, fixing, finessing, stressing, and commanding "MORE FOAM! IT NEEDS MORE FOAM!" like a maniac.
And I tested this thing even more, because if my name was anywhere near these products I wanted to make sure they worked. I made sure the shampoo & conditioner didn't melt in a hot car, in a hot mailbox, and I made sure you could use the shampoo bar for months until the very last few swipes...
Until at last, sweet perfection: The Everydayable Shampoo Bar.
It was made to solve the specific problem of: do I need to choose between my workout and a good hair day? If you're someone who loves to exercise and shower afterwards, this was supposed to be THE bar for you because you could use it every day without worrying about drying your hair out. The oils we selected were made to nourish the scalp, moisturize your locks, and double as skincare.
To me: it was perfect.
So we ordered it. And you guys trusted our "Honest Reviews" for that shampoo formula during our pre-sale from our testers and you bought our bars based on faith. For that I am so grateful.
Then came the red flags:
1. Our model Brie ("ponytail envy" on our site!) who had tested the approved bar asked if something had changed on the Shampoo after she bought it. Normally there is a tiny bit of variance when you go from lab batches to production so I thought it was nothing
2. I started to see people re-ordering online after only having the shampoo bars one month. These were tested to last at least 3 with regular use...so I thought maybe they were multi-person households or user error.
Remember Instagrammers when I posted that sloth gif and told you all to slow down and buy less!?
3. A bunch of bars melted in transit from the lab to us--like A LOT. Granted, it was a really hot week so we thought maybe they were left in the sun. In the back of my mind I was getting worried because I had already done a heat test on these guys and they got a little soft in extreme heat--but never melted.
4. I prioritized our customers having shampoo so I was using a competitor's bar just until we caught up and I could justify taking one for myself. My production bar was mushy within 2 weeks and it was NOT the experience I signed off on.
5. My very first hand delivered package was to a cool customer named Dominique (ok so she is an internet stranger who I am convinced is my internet-soul-sister now because I love her vibe)--and last week she sent me a photo of a mushy gucky mess of a shampoo bar. She had it less than 2 months and it looked like a thing of nightmares.
That is when I knew--there was no way this was the bar I perfected and tested to death. This wasn't the bar I promised you or the experience I wanted you to have.
I kept asking "what is happening with our shampoo!?" but no one had answers.
My late mom used to say: Don't just step around a mess, roll up your sleeves and clean it up. So, I did.
It really would have been easier to pretend it wasn't happening, but it was, and all I could think was: I took money from these people that believed what I said-- and I don't want to be another company that overpromised and underdelivered.
That mushy bar photo from Dominique came late last week--by Sunday night I arranged for family members watch my 2 little boys ( thank you Suzy & Eric!) and I drove 13 hours to our lab. Our production partners are awesome and were ready to troubleshoot and get our Shampoo back on track the way it was meant to be.
The root of the problem was this: the formula I loved and approved was very difficult to mass produce, so it became impractical to scale.
So we needed a plan B-- that meant finding a formula with a different ratio of the same ingredients that worked and wouldn't melt and get mushy. The formula was previously adjusted to alleviate scaling problems but I was never made aware. It is ok--we could waste time obsessing over that or we could get to work and fix the problem.
We chose to get to work.
I'll update process photos on our Instagram--there were lots of hours spent this week obsessing over foam height and lather and performance. It felt really silly to set timers and run back to check our foam height to the millimeter with rulers, but I was adamant about preserving that sudsy experience for you that I signed off on in the first place.
I refused to leave the lab until it was fixed--but also, a lot of good jokes were cracked about how seriously we were taking something like "shampoo" and "foam height" during 2020, an outrageous year full of bigger problems. So, although it was stressful, we knew that if we all put our heads together, we would find something that worked: optimism & collaboration at its best.
Forgive me that this is not our usual edited type of blog post where every word is obsessed over.
This is the real, raw backstory to a problem that ended up in your mailboxes and some of you were too polite to say your bars got mushy because you are awesome and wanted to support our brand.
The current shampoo bar is still great & leaves hair beautiful, but it deteriorates quickly and does not last as long as promised.
Thank you all for understanding. We are taking responsibility and fixing it for you. The bars you currently have are fine, keep using them until your replacements arrive.
For those of you that have ordered online: do nothing, a new bar will come to you in a few weeks. Sit tight.
For those of you who purchased in stores: contact us directly. firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know where you bought the bar from.
Oh yeah, and please don't lie to us to get free products, I don't think we could stomach it!
Side note: The face wash and body wash ARE intentionally softer bars. They are full of ultra hydrating ingredients that leave your skin feeling nourished and soft and help skip the step of adding bottled moisturizer or lotion to your routine.
That's all for now!
Thanks for reading,