Let’s face it: post-workout hair is a problem. When it comes to sweaty strands, a dry shampoo just doesn’t cut it when you’re on a tight timeline. Grease-fighting powders and super-absorbent aerosols simply can’t clean hair like a full-on shower.
But revolutionary new haircare brand SWAIR is setting out to change the post-workout game. Developed by two NYC-marathon training friends, Carrie Sporer and Meredith Krill, SWAIR is on a mission to refresh and revitalize your fresh-from-the-gym mane with their groundbreaking Showerless Shampoo. This thick cleansing spray is distinctly different from dry shampoo- it actually cleans your strands in seconds. A simple spritz and a quick towel dry is all you need to remove sweat, dirt and daily grime from your tresses without the hassle of a time-consuming shower. SWAIR is all about simple, effective haircare: every product is vegan, cruelty free, alcohol free, paraben free, sulfate free, and formulated without artificial dyes. They’re even dermatologist tested. What’s not to love?
We sat down with founders Carrie Sporer and Meredith Krill to find out more about Showerless Shampoo and learn what’s in store for this bright new beauty brand.
MA: Before SWAIR, you each had very successful careers. How do you feel your prior experience and education prepared you for starting SWAIR?
CS: I’ve spent most of my career in Sales and Operations for accessories brands before consulting in these areas for the last three years. This experience has been incredibly helpful as many of the best practices are the same across industries. Luckily my consulting schedule is flexible so I can build it around my SWAIR obligations until it makes sense to fully transition. Working with entrepreneurs while consulting gave me the courage to start something of my own. I realized that the only difference between them and me was that they had taken the leap while I was still only dreaming about it.
MK: For the past ten years, I’ve been working in finance in the professional sports industry helping teams optimize revenues while minimizing expenses to grow their businesses. Seeing how other successful business owners managed their profit & loss always made me dream of one day owning my own business and managing its profit & loss. My experience has enabled me to create SWAIR’s start-up budget and manage business decisions from a financial aspect, forecast sales and analyze margins. While the beauty industry is a world away from professional sports, many of the practices I’ve learned in my career transition nicely into this new world, with a few new line-items I’m quickly learning about. While I am not quite ready to hang up my sneakers in sports, I spend a lot of late nights reading articles and researching best practices in the beauty industry.
MA: There are other quick-wash products on the market, but none of them are quite like the Showerless Shampoo. What sets this product apart?
CS & MK: We are excited to see so many new products on the market – it means that customers are ready for a change and willing to try new behaviors. Showerless Shampoo covers the middle ground between a traditional shampoo and a dry shampoo. You spray a small amount on your hair, and the formula loosens the dirt/sweat/daily grime away from your hair follicles. Then you towel dry to remove the dirt. Since this is a “wet” product you may need to do a short blow dry or air dry your hair after using it. Unlike many of the other products out there designed for after you work out, Showeless Shampoo does not rely on powder to absorb the sweat, which often leaves behind pasty residue, or alcohol that may kill some of the odorous bacteria, but can also be incredibly drying.
MA: The Showerless Shampoo has a super unique formula. What was the process of creating this product like?
CS & MK: Because neither of us had any experience in the beauty industry, we really focused on finding the right lab with chemists that connected with our brand and our goals. They helped us to understand what was possible in terms of the science and we worked together over many iterations of the product until we felt that we had the right version to bring to market. We also had a list of ingredients that we did not want in our product, and we refused to compromise on that. Along the way, there were certain labs that said they could not get us a desired result without alcohol or other ingredients on our “no” list, so we moved on. It has been a crash course in chemistry, and we are continuing to learn as we go.
MA: We love SWAIR’s environmentally-conscious impact and commitment to clean ingredients. Why were these considerations important to you?
CS & MK: On a practical level, our product is designed for people that workout, so we know that they are probably health conscious – it seems contradictory to do a spin class for your physical and mental wellness and then go spray a bunch of chemicals on your head.
On a deeper level, we both noticed changes in our own purchasing habits toward clean products and brands that showed environmental awareness, so it felt natural to create SWAIR with the same high standards. There are so many resources out there in terms of clean ingredients and recyclable/reusable packaging that it felt irresponsible to downgrade just because something might be quicker, easier or less expensive. Currently, our bottles and packaging are recyclable, and we made a conscious decision not to use any filler materials inside our shipping boxes. We understand that sustainability is a spectrum, and we plan to challenge ourselves to keep moving further.
MA: SWAIR’s packaging is really unique. What inspired the aesthetic?
CS & MK: Working on the visual identity was one of our favorite parts of the launch process. We knew that color and a bold logo were important for being recognized on social media and at retail. We also wanted it to feel modern and fun (because hey, we’re modern and fun). We worked with a graphic designer to interpret that vision and she came up with the strand of hair for the “i”. It was love at first sight! We like how the strand of hair also feels like a wave, which is a nod to the water-saving aspect of Showerless Shampoo.
MA: What’s next for SWAIR?
CS & MK: Our plan is to continue to create game-changing hair products for people that workout. Anything we bring to market has to save time or multitask (or both)! If we have an idea, but it doesn’t fit into either of those categories, it doesn’t make it to the development list. We also don’t want to just bring you another version of something that is already in your bathroom cabinet. If you use one of our products and say, “How did I live without this before?” then we’ve succeeded.