Supernova Is Determined To Be The Next Big Hair Tools Brand

Attachments are great in personal relationships, but not so great in hair tools.

New from The Conscious Beauty Group’s brand Supernova, SupernovaPRO describes itself as the world’s only attachment-free hair tool combining a hair straightener, curling tong and wave wand. As it aims to make a splash, the company has brought on Anthony Davey, chair of Absolute Collagen and former CEO of GHD, the hair applicance brand acquired by Coty for $511 million in 2016, as chair of Supernova.

“During 30 years in the beauty industry I’ve seen a lot—I mean a lot—of me-too products. For years, a lack of innovation caused companies to launch products very similar to what is already on the market. SupernovaPRO is different. That’s what got me excited,” says Davey. “It’s the only three-in-one styling tool on the market, and it really gives superior performance. And that is super performance for all hair types. This is truly innovation that is worth it.”

The idea for Supernova came to The Conscious Beauty Group founder and CEO Yolanda Cooper, formerly global marketing manager for Vita Liberata, in 2016 when she packed her luggage with so much stuff for a vacation to Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands that it exceeded Aer Lingus’s 50-pound weight limit. Frustrated, she pulled out her curling iron, flat iron and wave wand to lighten the load. It did the trick, and her frustration led to inspiration.

Yolanda Cooper, founder and CEO of We Are Paradoxx, Mini Humans and Supernova parent company The Conscious Beauty Group, and Anthony Davey, chair of Supernova and former CEO of GHD

“I actually remember shouting out, ‘Why isn’t there a hair tool that does it all?’” says Belfast-based Cooper. “While there are amazing products on the market, they are all attachment-based. I knew those attachments would be lost or I wouldn’t use half of them. I didn’t need a diffuser. I just remember thinking, ‘I would love it to be fully integrated.’ I thought this surely must exist. I’m not the first woman to want a fully integrated tool.”

Cooper searched retailers and couldn’t find the integrated tool she desired. So, she set out to develop it. In 2019, Supernova released a cordless beta version of the hair tool directed at general consumers that entered 30 retailers and generated roughly 250,000 pounds or about $317,000 in sales in around three months prior to the pandemic disrupting stores and global travel.

Once the pandemic hit in 2020, The Conscious Beauty Group halted sales of the consumer-oriented beta version to concentrate on perfecting a professional version of the hair tool. Meanwhile, it operated two other brands—haircare brand We Are Paradoxx and baby haircare and personal care brand Mini Humans—that have helped finance Supernova. Mini Humans premiered exclusively sold at Target this year. We Are Paradoxx is sold at Lookfantastic, Target, Amazon and QVC, and its 2023 sales have increased approximately 25%. Both positioned as eco-conscious, Mini Humans and We Are Paradoxx’s products are housed in aluminum packaging.

Priced at 299 pounds or $399, SupernovaPRO has ceramic plates and a 30-second heat-up time. Its variable heat modes include 165-degree, 185-degree and 205-degree Celsius or about 330- degree, 365-degree and 401-degree Fahrenheit options. It has a smart switch that enables toggling between its three functions and double-pivot system to lessen impact on the hands and wrists of professional hairstylists. There’s a 1-year warranty on the SupernovaPRO, but it’s designed to last a decade. Supernova manufactures in the U.K. and has a recycling program to handle hair tools at the end of their life cycle.

Explaining the patented smart switch, Cooper says it “allows the tool to be turned on independently. When the tool is open, it knows you want the inside plates, so it powers the straightener, but, when it’s shut, it knows you want the outside plates and then that creates the waves and curls. It not just protects your scalp when you don’t want the entire device to heat up close to your scalp, but it also cuts down energy by half.”

“This is truly innovation that is worth it.”

Discussing the double-pivot system, she elaborates, “Usually when you use a hair straightener, the spring on the hair straightener is working against the pressure in your hand, and you are having to stress your wrist to close it. The double pivot allows us to soften that spring area, and the tool follows the pressure of your hand. That alleviates the pressure on the nerve. So, from an occupational therapy point of view, we have created an easier tool for hairstylists to use on their shifts.”

In addition, SupernovaPRO features oil-based so-called Trionic technology infused into its straightener plates to protect hair from heat damage and heighten shine, which Cooper reports has been a surprisingly strong selling point. Supernova plans to conduct clinical trials to determine how much shine it delivers relative to SupernovaPRO’s hair tool competitors.

Although Supernova originally intended to place SupernovaPRO in retailers out of the gate, with Davey’s guidance, it’s decided to stick to salons in the United Kingdom at the outset. It’s secured 10 distributors to spread to salons in the country. Supernova estimates there are about 50,000 U.K. salons, and 10,000 of them are premium class-A salons. It’s targeting the premium group.

“The product is just so unique, and I think that, at class-A salons, aesthetics are really important,” says Cooper. “They want a really simplified workstation. Previously, you had a hairdryer, straightening iron, curling iron and wand, and sometimes a mermaid waver. Now, all of a sudden, on 99% of hair types, all you need is SupernovaPRO and a hair dryer.”

Market research firm Fortune Business Insights projects the global hair tools market will advance at a compound annual growth rate of 3.7% to go from $30.09 billion in 2019 to $39.63 billion by 2027. Hurt by the pandemic, the salon business in the U.K. has been picking up lately. Last year, market research firm IBISWorld figures the size of the hairdressing and beauty treatment industry in the U.K. was up 35%. Still, it declined 3% yearly on average between 2017 and 2022.

New from The Conscious Beauty Group brand Supernova, SupernovaPRO describes itself as the world’s only attachment-free hair tool combining a hair straightener, curling tong and wave wand.

“We have an opportunity to not just have the stylist, but then also to use salons as an opportunity to retail to the end customer,” says Cooper. “The key to scale is for them to come in, have their hair styled, trust the recommendation from the stylist and buy one for themselves.”

In the near term, Supernova is dedicating 100% of sales to marketing. Along with digital marketing, the brand expects to host pop-up events and meet-ups with prominent hairstylists and the people behind the brand. It’s in the process of nailing down a celebrity hairstylist to be creative director. “We are putting creators at the center of our strategy, professional hairstylists and also TikTokers and Instagrammers who are really good at doing hair,” says Cooper. “It’s created for all hair types, and we want to demonstrate that diversity and reflect it in our marketing. We will be showing different hair types and hairstyles.”

The Conscious Beauty Group has raised about 6 million pounds or $7.6 million in funding from Aircore Ventures, a Belfast-headquartered investment vehicle spun out of renewable energy company Air Core Ltd., and Lotus Herbals, a Delhi-headquartered natural beauty brand, among several investors. Cooper shares it’s taken a few million dollars to complete SupernovaPRO. Supernova doesn’t anticipate being profitable until SupernovaPRO’s second year of availability. Cooper declined to disclose a specific sales goal. A consumer edition of the hair tool and liquid haircare products are on the merchandise roadmap.

“It’s an expensive tool and considered purchase. We need to crack the right merchandising mix for people to see it 10, 11 times, and then we will take the playbook around the world,” she says, continuing, “We are lucky that we are well-funded. We have probably raised more than any other brand of our size. Most of that has gone to R&D. We have built a world-class product with a tenth of the budget of the big conglomerates, and we have been agile and gotten it done faster. We have done it in a couple of years, while some of our competitors would have taken 10 years.”