Ulta Beauty, the largest beauty retailer in the US, has announced a partnership with Myavana, an AI hair care technology company, to offer personalized hair analysis and product recommendations to its customers. The partnership was made possible by a strategic investment from Prisma Ventures, Ulta Beauty’s digital innovation fund, and BrainTrust Fund, a venture capital firm that supports Black founders.
Myavana is a beauty-tech company that was founded by Candace Mitchell Harris, a Black female tech entrepreneur, in 2014. Myavana uses AI to analyze hair strands and provide customized hair care solutions for different hair types and textures. Myavana’s technology, called HairAI, uses a patented hair analysis process that involves scanning, testing, and measuring hair strands, and then generating a hair profile and a hair care plan for each customer. Myavana’s technology can also recommend products that are suitable for each customer’s hair needs and goals.
Myavana’s mission is to transform the hair industry through science and technology, and to empower customers to understand and care for their hair better. Myavana’s vision is to create a digital hair ecosystem that connects customers, stylists, retailers, and brands, and provides data-driven insights and solutions for the hair industry.
Ulta Beauty: A Beauty Retailer that Embraces Innovation and Inclusion
Ulta Beauty is the largest beauty retailer in the US, with more than 1,200 stores across 50 states. Ulta Beauty offers a wide range of beauty products and services, from cosmetics, skincare, haircare, fragrance, to salon, spa, and brow services. Ulta Beauty also has a loyalty program, called Ultamate Rewards, that has more than 34 million members.
Ulta Beauty’s vision is to be the most loved beauty destination for all. Ulta Beauty embraces innovation and inclusion, and strives to provide the best and most diverse beauty experiences for its customers. Ulta Beauty has a digital innovation fund, called Prisma Ventures, that invests in and supports emerging technologies that can enhance the beauty industry. Ulta Beauty also has a diversity and inclusion strategy, called MUSE, that stands for Magnify, Uplift, Support, and Empower, and aims to celebrate and amplify the voices and stories of underrepresented groups in beauty.
The Partnership: A New Virtual Hair Analysis Tool for Ulta Beauty Customers
As part of the partnership, Ulta Beauty has launched a new virtual hair analysis tool, that integrates Myavana’s HairAI technology, and enables customers to gain a comprehensive understanding of their hair type and receive personalized product recommendations. The tool will be integrated within Ulta Beauty’s e-commerce virtual try-on experiences, and will revolutionize the way customers explore and select hair care products.
The tool works by asking customers to upload a photo of their hair, and then using AI to analyze their hair strands and generate a hair profile. The hair profile includes information such as the hair density, diameter, porosity, curl pattern, and elasticity. The tool then provides customers with a hair care plan, which includes tips, tutorials, and product suggestions that are tailored to their hair needs and goals. The tool also allows customers to filter and browse products by their hair type, texture, and concern, and to virtually try on different products and see how they would look on their hair.
The tool is designed to cater to all hair types and textures, especially textured hair, which is often overlooked and underserved by the mainstream hair industry. The tool aims to provide customers with more personalized, accurate, and inclusive hair care solutions, and to help them discover and embrace their unique hair identity.
The Investment: A Strategic Support for Myavana’s Growth and Expansion
Along with the partnership, Ulta Beauty, through Prisma Ventures, and BrainTrust Fund, have also made strategic investments in Myavana, to support the company’s growth and expansion. The investments will help Myavana scale its enterprise retail expansion, including salon channels and global product distribution, and leverage its consumer intelligence across the hair industry.
Prisma Ventures is Ulta Beauty’s digital innovation fund, that invests in and supports technologies that can pave the path forward for the world of beauty, especially those that aim to innovate the space through an inclusive lens. Prisma Ventures’ managing director, Agustina Sartori, said that Candace’s visionary approach to digitizing beauty experiences for all hair types, including textured hair, is incredibly unique, and that they are thrilled to collaborate with Myavana on their mission to open new doors for more customers through hair analysis technology.
BrainTrust Fund is a venture capital firm that invests in breakthrough brands led by at least one Black founder that serves the majority. BrainTrust Fund’s general partners, Kendra Bracken-Ferguson and Lisa Stone, said that Myavana is emerging as a leader in beauty AI, because its hair strand analysis super-serves every customer in this valuable marketplace, from the shopper seeking a personalized diagnosis, to retailers and stylists wanting to sell the right products to shoppers the first time. They said that they are looking forward to working with Candace and her team as the brand continues to accelerate.
Candace Mitchell Harris, the founder and CEO of Myavana, said that she is ecstatic to partner with Ulta Beauty to begin the digital transformation in retail, and to bring to market better identification and understanding of unique hair strands and unique hair journeys, while partnering with the nation’s largest beauty retailer that prioritizes innovation and inclusion.