Retail Channels

Meet the 5 beauty brands entering the Walmart Start accelerator

Brands in the inaugural program get access to resources, and a chance to launch at Walmart.

the hair lab

The Hair Lab by Strands is heading to Walmart shelves. (Courtesy photo)

Walmart unveiled the five beauty brands that will take part in the inaugural class of Walmart Start, a startup accelerator program that offers a chance to launch at Walmart and business-building resources.

Launched earlier in 2022, the nation’s largest retailer put out a call that it was aiming to discover up-and-coming beauty brands through Walmart Start. Like many accelerators, Walmart Start offers education in the form of classes, and 1-to-1 mentorship and networking opportunities.

Being a large retailer, Walmart is also offering brands the potential to launch at Walmart stores. While it is not guaranteed, having the scale to expand to mass retail is a requirement for application. The company is also holding out the opportunity for inclusion in some marketing efforts, as well as support with the Walmart Connect retail media platform.

Among the participants who have already launched at Walmart is The Hair Lab by Strands, which is already available at Walmart.com, and is set to launch at 2,500 Walmart stores starting on Sept. 1. Founded by Eric Delapenha, the company builds customized hair care products by analyzing a customer’s strands through a handheld scanner or online test. Then, it develops a haircare routine based on these unique strands. It makes more than 1,000 combinations available, and takes into account all types, textures, and styles. By applying data, Delapenha said in a news release that the brand can cut down on trial-and-error, as well as waste in the haircare system.

The Hair Lab “offers customers the ability to choose hair care products that match their needs at an accessible price-point," said Creighton Kiper, merchandising VP for Walmart U.S. Beauty, in a statement.

"We've heard from customers that they are interested in products personalized for them and this new offering delivers on those evolving interests,” Kiper said.

Here’s a look at the other brands that were selected for the first cohort, according to Walmart’s website:

  • Pardon My Fro: Founded by Dana Bly to celebrate women, the brand started with products in home and travel. It is set to launch its first line of beauty products at Walmart.
  • Dossier: Founded by Sergio Tache, the brand manufacturers fragrances in France that are designed to be a fair alternative to luxury perfumes.
  • Undefined Beauty: Founded by Dorian Morris, the brand’s skincare and wellness products pairs “ancient plant wisdom with modern day powerful actives.
  • Paintlab: Founded by Karina Sulzer, the brand makes expressive press-on nails, makeup and accessories.

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