Meagan Pate, pictured, co-founded Straand after becoming frustrated by lack of anti-dandruff options
Meagan Pate spent her teen years trying every home remedy for dandruff she could find, and would often cancel plans over her flakey scalp.
And while she grew out of feelings of embarrassment over the condition, she never forgot it and has spent years searching for the right treatment.
When she realised it didn’t exist she decided to make it herself. Two years later Straand was born.
Speaking to FEMAIL the 32-year-old Melbourne-based co-founder explained her products target the scalp, focusing on creating a ‘balanced environment’.
‘We really leaned into the idea of skin cycling when we developed our shampoo, treating it like we would skincare,’ she said.
‘When the microbium bacteria is out of balance it manifests as dry or oily hair, so we also have to treat it like the gut health, which is about that balance.’
She added that many hair treatments in the past have stripped hair and been harsh on the skin with some even working to strip colour from die.
‘When it comes to skincare we know we need to build up barriers instead of blasting it with harsh chemicals, and that’s how we have thought about the hair,’ she said.
Meagan used to avoid social situations when her scalp was at its worst, and doesn’t want other people to suffer through the same thing
Meagan was once embarrassed by her flakey scalp and tried every home remedy she could find to solve the problem – before developing a science-based shampoo
Meagan said she felt like the only person in the world struggling with her flakey scalp as a young woman.
But since launching her brand her friends have come out of the woodwork and confessed their own insecurities over their scalps.
‘There are women I talk about everything with, we talk for hours on skincare but kept quiet about our scalps,’ she said.
And the huge reaction from the market indicates people all over Australia have been seeking a product to help balance out their own issues.
‘We launched with Adore beauty and within a few days they had had ordered again, this time doubling it.
‘We were shocked because we hadn’t expected them to come back to us for a month.
‘It far exceeded what we thought they’d order and according to sales we are in line for another big order soon,’ she said.
The Straand products have been out for three months, with the company already turning over six-figures
Straand looks like an overnight success, but the team put in years of work before bringing the bright-orange packaged products to market.
‘We are three months in now but sometimes that’s easy to forget because we have been working on it for so long,’ she said.
Meagan said the team decided to launch the shampoo first before quickly firing out the conditioner and scalp treatment as well as a range of accessories.
‘It has been very popular, over the first three months we have done over six figures in sales,’ she said.
‘We are also getting ready to launch in the US because we have had a lot of interest there, so it is very exciting.’
The most difficult thing about the brand’s success has been sourcing the ingredients to be able to create the products to fill the demand.
Pictured here with her family, Meagan says the success has been much faster than she expected, and prompted people in her own friendship circles to share their own struggles with scalp care
‘We are very proud of the formulas, when we finished the conditioner the chemist was so proud, she said it was the best thing she’s ever made,’ Meagan said.
Meagan says her team have taken a strict science-based approach to their formulas and will continue to do that as they expand their range.
Straand’s scalp serum has been dubbed a ‘miracle treatment’ online with some reviews claiming it’s the only thing to have helped with their conditions.
Meagan’s family are thrilled with her success, especially her grandma.
‘She said “of all the wonderful things about you to think all the attention is over your flakey scalp”,’ she laughed.
Meagan’s co-founders include Sarah Hamilton who is co-founder of skincare company Sand & Sky, Jeremy Hunt who is a finance and e-commerce heavyweight, Tim Brown who has run high-profile businesses and Nick Morris who has 25 years in the personal care sector.