It's no secret that shopping for new hair products isn't always an easy task. With so many different brands and products hitting the market, it can be hard to figure out what will actually work on our hair. Whenever I visit my local drugstore or beauty supply store, I spend so much time scrounging the internet for reviews and texting my girlfriends for advice before committing to purchasing a product. But, finally, a solution exists that makes haircare shopping more efficient for Black women everywhere.
Meet: the Coily app.
Founded by tech entrepreneur Asha Christian, Coily is a one-stop-shop for product reviews, product recommendations, and hairstyle inspiration. "After spending money on edge gels that didn't work, moisturizers that left flakes, or wigs that didn't last that long, I just got frustrated and decided to pair my background in technology with my passion for hair and create Coily," Christian says.
After beta testing the app in Guyana in 2019, Coily made its official U.S. debut in February of this year. One of the app's most enticing features is its barcode scanner. "You can walk into a store and scan a barcode on a hair product or even scan a product you have in your home and see product reviews for it," Christian says. "You can see image results of women who use the product on their own hairstyles. You can also sort those reviews and styles by your unique hair type."
To make your experience more personalized on the app, you can fill out Coily's hair quiz– a brief survey that asks questions about your hair texture and hair goals. Filling out the assessment unlocks your ability to receive curated product and hairstyle recommendations in the app.
Christian says that the community-focused features of the app have also received positive feedback. Coily users can upload hairstyle recipes, share product reviews, bookmark hairstyles, and build community with other haircare lovers on the app. One of Coily's standout elements is its hair type percentage match feature. You can visit any users' profile on the app and see how similar their hair type is to yours. "I know, it's been exciting for [users] to click on a profile and see that they have like a 60% match or an 85% match, and then be able to see how exactly they match up," Christian says. "They can see if they both style their hair a certain way, if they both have a certain hair texture, or even if they both have dyed their hair in the past six months."
As she maps out the future of Coily, Christian has her sights set on growing the platform into the largest and smartest black, black haircare marketplace in the world. Her next move? Brand partnerships. "Some of the coolest feedback we've gotten is that once they discover their products, they wish they could buy it right then and there on the platform," she explains. "So, we've spent the last month creating brand partnerships so that we can begin selling products on the platform this month." In line with her mission to encompass the Black haircare system from end to end, Christian also plans to add hairstylist booking to the app so you can easily browse and book appointments with stylists in your area.
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