Product and tradeshow images courtesy of Glampalm
Good hair is one of the best accessories a girl can wear. And while some of us are blessed with perfectly flowing locks from birth, the vast majority of us need just a little bit of help – a fabulous flatiron should do the trick!
Finally, we have access to luxe hair tools and technology so widely used in in the East, and Glampalm – the number one hair tool brand in Korean – is leading the way in bringing finely crafted tools to the U.S. market. For years, Korean women have had the beauty industry cornered with some of the most prolific beauty products including makeup, creams and the ever-popular BB Cream. And now, we are seeing the beauty savvy extend into hair. We chatted with Glampalm CFO Daniel Yoon, who gave us a serious education in the art of their carefully-crafted flatirons.
The first and obvious question is, what sets Glampalm apart from other flatirons?
One thing that sets us apart is innovation that is real and funcational. A lot of companies come up with things that are very gimicky. We see things like that, and it works to a point, but for us as a company, we’re really passionate about the tools and how it’s going to work for the end consumer. We want to get a great product that is going to do what it says it’s going to do.
The other half is quality and craftsmanship. The plates are the most important part of any flatiron. Lower quality the plates will tug at your hair. Most other companies spray a coating on to the plates. You can imagine that if a person is doing the spraying, it can be very uneven. So lower quality flatiorns have little bumps on the plates. With our plates, we invested in a robot so our plates are all mechanically sprayed and it’s a perfectly even process. People feel it immediately.
Are there any other aspects of quality that set you apart?
It really has to be seen and felt in person. The trend since about 2008 has been the commoditization of hair tools. Back when they first came out, they were nice and expensive but people bought them because they would last a long time. Now, the mindset is is that a flatiron might last a year. The expectation has been lowered so much that it’s shocking. A lot of people who sell flatirons have an amazing passion for fashion or style. We want to give people awareness, because the current perception of flatiorns is that they’re all kind of the same. Our passion is making the best tool available for the stylist.
What are some examples of the cutting-edge innovation you’re bringing to the hair market?
The ZigZag is literally brand new. Right now, people use a crimper. Using a crimper, that takes forever because you have crimp individual strand. This gives you a shape by wrapping a strand of hair around each one of those compartments. It’s pretty unique – we still don’t know what can be done with it. We’re sending it out to a few stylists that we know and asked htem what they can do with it.
Also, the Simple Touch is the first touch-activated flatiron. To activate, you simply tap the plates together and it turns on. This iron heats up in 10 seconds. It has two different temperatures to go back and fourth between. If you tap three times in a row, it will go lower, and two taps gets you back to the higher temperature. The last feature is that it shuts down automatically in 35 seconds. As engineers, we’re always thinking about the tool and how best to use it. With this, you never have to worry about walking away and leaving it on.
What are the top hair trends that you are seeing right now?
One of the things that happened recently is the pixy cut, which not great for our line of business, but short hair will be in style for awhile, then it will go back to long hair. We look at the trends, and make sure that our tools are up to the task of creating the styles that are currently en vogue. We don’t actively try to make stying trends, but that’s more for the designerns and stylist.
One other hair trend that is big right now – you know a lot of guys are shaving the sides but the hair is long at the top and it’s straightened and comed over. To get that look, you need to have a flatiron to get the straight hair. The Koren male beauty market is one of the largest in the world. And this should extend to hair tools and hair products; right now, mostly women have these tools but in the future guys should have one or two as well.
Any other prominent trends that you’re seeing in beauty in general?
One of the things that’s been big the last couple of years are Korean facial products. This whole idea of the Asian beauty regimen, where you wash you face, then apply toner, then serum, then moisturizer, then put on the mask pack later – this whole idea of Korean beauty products being high quality and some of the best in the world – we want people to understand that Korean hair products are the best in the world.
Where can we try Glampalm’s flatirons?
We’re the number one brand in Korea, but we haven’t been here [in the US] for that long. We’re selling them on the website. They are also on Amazon. In terms of a retail presence, a few boutique stores in Los Angeles have it. We’re starting to reach out to more distributors. We really are on the beginning stages.