Ashesi juniors excel in L’Oreal Brandstorm International Competition

June 16, 2018
In the future, when you visit the hair salon to get your hair braided, instead of the average 5 to 7 hours it usually takes, you’ll get it done in half the time! In addition, not only will each individual braid be perfectly done, but also, you can be assured of healthy natural oils throughout the process.

All this will be possible through using a hi-tech, hand-held braiding device, which is sure to revolutionize the beauty industry. 

This futuristic concept, which was the core of the idea presented by juniors Sasha Ofori ‘19, Fynnbar Biney ‘19 and Obaayaa Gyapon ‘19, earned them the top position at the 2018 L’Oreal Brandstorm International Competition.

“I’ve had my fair share of problems going to the salon to get my hair braided,” said Sasha. “I’ve always wanted the opportunity to help give someone a better salon-experience, and the L’Oreal competition offered the perfect platform to share our solution.”

Started in 1992, the L’Oreal Brandstorm Competition, open to graduates and undergraduates the world over, gives teams of students the chance to tackle a real business case and innovate new ideas for some of L’Oreal’s international brands. This year, over 34,000 students from over 60 countries took on the challenge of Inventing the Professional Salon Experience of the Future!

Across the world, over 50% of women braid their hair at least twice a year. The process can be time consuming, messy and sometimes may not meet the customer’s expectations. Their proposed solution of a hi-tech handheld device looks to address these gaps.

After winning the national and regional competitions, Sasha, Fynnbar and Obaayaa excelled in the international competition, qualifying among the six finalists.

“Our idea is about allowing customers to be a part of their hair journey by eliminating ambiguity in the products that are going into their hair,” they explained. “The second part is the innovation of a hair braiding device that allows clients to minimize the amount of time spent on braiding their hair to achieve desired styles while incorporating a desired hair product into their hair.”

Following their success in the international completion, the team looks forward to working closely with players in the beauty industry to improve stakeholder experiences.

“It was definitely a great learning and networking experience, and I’m glad I got to experience Paris beyond movies and books,” said Obaayaa. “My biggest lessons were that truthfully projecting yourself as who you are in everything you do proves your credibility, authenticity, virtue. We represented ourselves, Ashesi and Africa to the root in confidence and style and in my opinion that did it for us.”

Watch the final pitch here. 

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