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White Hot

A hair care brand created specially for grey and white hair.

Founded by Jayne Mayled in 2013 to celebrate grey and white hair as a stylish colour choice, just like any other.

Jayne Mayled, interviewed by Katherine Hajiyianni

At what point did the idea turn from a concept into a reality?

When I decided to stop dyeing my hair and grow out my grey, after more than 20 years I was struck by the amount of conversation and interest it generated. Then, when I looked for great products for grey hair that felt upbeat and positive, I couldn’t find any, so the idea of White Hot emerged. I wanted gorgeous, effective products with a voice for women who see their hair as a great colour choice rather than a sign of having ‘given up’. As I run a creative agency for retailers and brands, it was a relatively short step from idea to deciding to create a range of my own, launching 10 months later in June 2013.

 

You celebrated entering your 50’s with the launch of White Hot. Do you think there is an advantage to launching a business later in life?

It doesn’t feel later in life to me as I’m running a business full time and wake up every day with new ideas, but there is a misconception that entrepreneurial ideas are the preserve of the ‘young’. It’s less about ‘later in life’ more about ‘perfect timing’. I’ve worked in and around the beauty industry for large chunks of my career, so experience certainly helps and with experience comes a blend of boldness and sensible caution.

 

What have been the main contributors to your brands success?

First and foremost, the products themselves are fantastic - they really do work, helping white and grey hair look and feel it’s very best. We know when customers find White Hot and try it, they love it and remain incredibly loyal, which has to be testament to the products. However, the spirit of the brand, its optimism and confidence is what has really struck a chord with our customers. Women don’t want to feel they are ‘checking out’ or ‘giving up’ just because they have embraced their white and grey hair. There seems such a stigma about ageing in the beauty industry and customers tell us every day that they find our more positive approach hugely refreshing.

Your product is aimed for women to embrace their natural beauty, a strong message towards women of all generations. Do you feel having an empowering mission statement has enhanced the brand and its appeal?

While a desire to use gorgeous and efficacious products on my hair was the initial driving force for creating the brand, the reaction of others to my grey hair gave me the idea for our mission statement. At worst there was a real ‘horror’ that I dared to show my natural colour and at best it seemed people thought I was ‘brave’. Until going through it, I hadn’t realised the extent of the stigma that is still attached to outwardly showing any signs of ageing, which, when as a population we are all getting older, seems absolutely ridiculous. This insight has definitely shaped what we talk about and the way we talk and our customers seem to wholeheartedly agree.

 

What have been the most challenging aspects of starting this business?

Being an independent brand, catering to a niche audience can be tricky when you’re in an industry that is dominated by global conglomerates with mega budgets. However, on the flip side, being in our position gives us a real freedom that big corporates don’t always have - a freedom to try different initiatives, to switch things on and off quickly and to give our opinions freely.

 

The brand is based around women embracing grey hair, what is your one piece of advice for anyone considering launching a new beauty product to the market?

Be single-minded. Believe in your products, believe in your opinion and stick to it. Test, try and learn.

 

Where have you biggest influences come from?

I’m a voracious reader and suck up influence from a vast range of places but overall, from those who are creating something because they believe in it rather than as a way to make money.

What are the current trends in the marketplace and do you see these changing anytime soon?

Since we launched in 2013 we are seeing a slow and steady change in the market for products for undyed hair and the way that the media talks about women with grey hair. At the start there were some women’s magazines who wouldn’t feature us because they ‘didn’t do grey hair’ but thankfully that’s now changing.

 

Where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time?

With a small but perfectly formed global brand in White Hot and my first novel under my belt.

 

What do you think gives your brand an advantage over your competitors?

Of course it’s imperative that the products really work, but it’s more than that. We know our customers like the fact that there is a real person who has gone through a similar experience behind the brand and we believe that our very positive and vibrant personality really resonates with our customers - they appreciate a brand that agrees that there is an alternative to either clinging onto the vestiges of youth, or crumbling away!