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Wakati 1

Kao champions a more inclusive approach to beauty with the launch of Wakati 

  • Kao commits to growing its portfolio of purpose driven brands with new hair care brand Wakati, designed for women with type three to four hair, and predominantly for kinks, coils and curls.
  • The launch of Wakati is based on Kao’s corporate purpose and key element of its business and ESG strategy, the Kirei* concept: Creating a life that is more beautiful for every consumer and products that empower and recognise the individual beauty of all. 
  • Wakati has been developed based on a deep consumer understanding, the Genba approach** by Kao. For five years, a team of diverse researchers at Kao Americas Research Laboratories in Cincinnati, USA, studied type three to four hair, creating a US patented formula for natural hair with kinks, coils and curls. 
  • During the development, Kao also worked in partnership with FAMU, a historically Black college in the US, where students helped conceptualise the brand identity, and supports the education of Black students at FAMU through student challenge rewards, University scholarships, and donations. 
  • The Wakati range is now available in Superdrug and Ocado in the UK, in Kruidvat stores in the Netherlands and Belgium and will launch mid-year in major hypermarkets in France. 
Diversifying its EMEA portfolio in the hair care space, Kao is launching a new brand in the UK: Wakati, designed with and for women with type three to four hair.
Wakati showcases Kao’s commitment towards innovation and championing purpose driven brands through a more inclusive approach to beauty. Aligning with Kao’s Genba philosophy, which focuses on listening and developing products based on a deeper consumer understanding, Kao has worked with a dedicated team of hair, scalp & skin experts, scientists and African American researchers, who spent several years innovating and developing the Wakati range. Additionally, Kao also worked in partnership with FAMU, a historically Black college in the US, where students helped conceptualise the brand identity, and supports the education of
Black students at FAMU through student challenge rewards, University scholarships, and donations.
As part of Kao’s Kirei Lifestyle Plan, its ESG and main business strategy, which is designed to deliver the vision of a gentler and more sustainable way of living, with Wakati, Kao aims to enable women to embrace their individual beauty and support their everyday lives with products that help them save time and effort in their hair care routine.
This launch is also building on Kao’s commitment to create brands that care for society as outlined in the ESG strategy of Kao’s Consumer Care Business. It is complemented by initiatives of other Kao brands such as Bioré’s partnership with Mental Health Europe to drive the awareness of Mental Health problems among young adults in Europe, and John Frieda’s new campaign “It’s For Me”, designed to embrace every individual for who they truly are without judgement.
Wendy Brown, Country Manager Kao Consumer Care Business, UK, comments “Creating products that empower and recognise the individual beauty of each of us is at the heart of our strategy. After a successful launch in the US, Wakati is now launching in the UK as part of our ambition to celebrate diverse hair care
needs and create a more inclusive approach to beauty.”
The demand for hair care products tailored for textured hair is growing year on year and saw a 28% growth in 2021 alone***. Yet, the range of brands tailored specifically to this hair type is underrepresented compared to the total hair care market. Wakati was launched successfully in the US in 2019 and is now available in over 300 Superdrug stores across the UK and online as well on Ocado.com.
Similar to the approach in the US, Kao also aims to support the community with dedicated partnerships in the areas of education and culture in its European markets.
Wakati, meaning “time” in Swahili, has been eight years in the making. It is designed to help women across generations embrace community-centred hair traditions. The new hair care line recognizes the beauty and diversity of Black culture whilstsaving consumers time and money, thanks to its formula specifically designed
for kinks, coils and curls which includes a complete care system and water-activated technologies. The line
includes a sulphate-free shampoo, a water activated conditioner, a re-activating mist and an oil-infused cream, providing the benefits of ten products in just four. 

For more information about the Wakati product range please visit https://www.wakatihair.co.uk/

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