HydroPeptide Founder April Zangl Peck’s Second Act In The Beauty Industry Is A Brand Dedicated To Combatting Suicide And Hair Damage
In her second act in the beauty industry, April Zangl Peck is intent on doing good.
After selling the skincare company HydroPeptide in 2016, she’s launched haircare brand Save Me From to fight suicide while addressing damaged hair. Six years ago, Peck’s sister Patty took her own life, and Peck is being vocal about the tragedy to urge others not to make the same decision. Ten percent of Save Me From’s net income is dedicated to organizations assisting people in crisis.
“I wanted to spread the awareness and knowledge about suicide prevention that I didn’t have and lost someone because of it. Since hair is a main source of self-expression, it lent me a platform for a threefold mission of empowerment, suicide prevention advocacy and helping women who struggled with their hair,” says Peck, adding, “Suicide is one of those silent struggles, whether it’s the person struggling with it or they have survived someone else’s. People are beginning to realize how important a conversation about suicide is and feel drawn to our brand because of that.”
Save Me From’s mission is so significant to Peck that she plowed forward with the brand’s creation as she underwent treatment for breast cancer. It’s starting with 13 stockkeeping units covering six formulations priced from $28 to $98 packaged in two sizes—100 ml. and 15-ml. jars—as well as an $88 introductory kit. Save Me From calls its treatment products Reboots, and each Reboot is designed to target a particular type of hair damage such as sun and sweat damage, pollution damage, chemical damage, thermal damage, damage caused by product buildup, and damage due to aging hair. The items can be used as rinse-off products like masks or leave-on products like styling treatments. Save Me From’s probable bestseller is the frizz buster Thermal Obsession Tip to Root Hair Reboot.
“Suicide is one of those silent struggles, whether it’s the person struggling with it or they have survived someone else’s. People are beginning to realize how important a conversation about suicide is and feel drawn to our brand because of that.”
“We are the first damage-specific haircare brand. Hair is damaged differently based upon its source, and we work to combat how each specific source of damage affects the hair. This is a completely new way to look at treating the hair,” says Peck. “Until now, other haircare brands have cared for damage with one or two different damage-repair products. Those products have been designed to primarily treat the ends of the hair, rather than the scalp or shorter hair. These products also tend to act as a Band Aid where they simply coat the hair, not necessarily penetrate and treat the hair…Our results have been shown to restore virgin hair properties.”
Save Me From’s clean haircare formulas are driven by a technology it dubs Fenugen centered on the ingredient fenugreek, a plant Ayurvedic medical practitioners have relied upon to improve digestion, relieve eczema and aid breastmilk production. Peck discovered the ingredient during a trip to India in which she sought Indian haircare secrets. In general, the ingredients in Save Me From products were carefully chosen to revive the hair cortex, cell membrane complex, cuticle and scalp. Peck notes, for example, that the brand tackles five aspects of cuticle degradation: abrasion, buckling, cracking, crazing and absence. In addition to Fenugen, Save Me From’s products contain chia, artichoke leaves, vitamin C and a dual rice compound.
“Just like the skin, the hair has several layers that affect the hair’s overall look, feel and strength. We looked at the different proteins and lipids that make up the hair and looked at what proteins and lipids were needed to bring the hair back into balance,” explains Peck. “We took an Ayurvedic approach in understanding our ingredients and how our ingredients could bring the hair and scalp back into balance. We wanted to know as much as we could about where our ingredient came from, what nutrients made up each ingredient, how each ingredient would perform within the hair and scalp and about our ingredients’ safety.”
“We are the first damage-specific haircare brand. Hair is damaged differently based upon its source, and we work to combat how each specific source of damage affects the hair. This is a completely new way to look at treating the hair.”
To hone Save Me From’s aesthetics, parent company Liv Lux Lab tapped Sheri Koetting, co-founder of MSLK, and Tanguy Chen Laurent, managing partner for the United States of Creative Capital. The bright colors incorporated into the caps of the brand’s airless pump jars are inspired by the Hindu festival Holi. On its boxes, the black and white background and lettering strike a serious chord to underscore Save Me From’s commitment to suicide prevention. Peck says, “The darkness on the outside transitioning to the lighter-colored jar on the inside represents that there is hope for a better future.”
Save Me From is planning to sell its products through direct-to-consumer channels, including its website, a professional Amazon store, and Facebook and Instagram shopping; prestige beauty retailers, and international outlets. Peck declined to disclose a sales projection for the brand. She shares, however, that the brand is courting a broad audience of consumers ranging from members of gen z to baby boomers.
“Our target customers are frustrated with dealing with damaged hair, and they’re not happy with their current options,” says Peck. “She wants multiple results and clean ingredients. She’s an affluent woman ready to splurge on luxury beauty products. She believes wellness can influence her family’s happiness and beauty can influence her confidence. She cares about what goes into her products, what the ingredients are, what they do and how they’re sourced. She demands safe, high-performing products from brands helping to do more good in the world and is willing to pay for it.”
Discussing Save Me From’s allotment of 10% of net income to its cause, Peck continues, “I have analyzed, reanalyzed, reanalyzed again my budgets over and over again. We feel that 10% is a balanced amount to make an impact and reinvestment back into research, development and marketing for continued growth. What’s really important is that we’re being mindful of our budgets, and we’re partnering with the right partners, both vendors and retailers. We need to have healthy margins for healthy profits so we can make a significant donation.”