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DIP IS BETTER! - How Dip Founder Kate Assaraf Created a Sustainable Premium Hair Care Brand

DIP IS BETTER! Premium Solid Hair Care Brand

Dip is better!

I’ve been a long time convert to using solid shampoo and conditioner bars myself and I would be hard pressed to recommend you a cooler solid hair care brand than Dip! Their packaging is fun and colorful, and their brand messaging is refreshingly honest and direct.

They have both shampoo and conditioner that comes in 7 different fragrance options plus a fragrance-free option. Some of the options offered are “Rose + Matcha Tea”, “Coconut + Almond” and “Rosewater + Jasmine”.

We talk to founder Kate Assaraf about how she created Dip!

Dip Premium Hair Care Reusable Aluminum Case For Solid Conditioner
You can get a re-useable case for your mini dip, perfect for traveling!

What is Dip?

Dip is premium hair care for people who want to "be" eco-friendly, but don't want to "look" eco-friendly. Our goal is to make luxury hair care more affordable & to make the formulas work so well, plastic free is just a bonus.

Photo of Dip Premium Hair Care, the colorful boxes are stacked on each other and lit up by a disco ball.

What made you want to create Dip?

Dip was built out of frustration. I can't tell you how many bar shampoo & conditioner brands I've tried that left me disappointed--and did the exact opposite of what they were supposed to do, which was create less waste. I wanted to solve the problem of the conditioner bar the most--I obsessively A/B-half-head-tested our formulas against my favorite luxury brands until I was convinced Dip was better.

Photo of Dip Conditioner & After Swim Detangler in the scent Tabacco and Driftwood

What has been the biggest challenge so far?

Besides the supply chain & rising costs, which are universal, the biggest challenge is the competitive landscape. There has been an explosion of bar brands everywhere. I made the decision to broaden my mission by helping educate customers about fast fashion; championing small, independent retailers that do not require plastic-wrapped pallets & intentionally keeping Dip off of Amazon; and of course, making my formulas from scratch without another bar brand as a benchmark.

Photo of long hair women using Dip conditioner in her hair by the beach.

What was the most important thing to get right?

I think there is zero point in making products that don't solve a problem.

The shampoo bar had to solve these problems:

  1. It had to be gentle enough to use every day since I trail run every morning in the woods-- I never want to choose between my run & a good hair day. This is a universal inner-monologue for every runner I know.

  2. I wanted to make the bar experience better, since I hated the way the friction of traditional shampoo bars felt, I asked the question: what if we made it so that the less you press it to your head, the more it lathers? Eventually we got it, and now both thinning hair and Type 4 hair have a bar that solves a problem for them too :)

The conditioner bar had to solve 2 problems for me:

  1. It had to work. It had to work so well that I would never be tempted by my favorite salon brands again.

  2. It had to resist heat and detangle my hair after a dip in the ocean or lake. Since I was a teenager I have brought conditioner with me after swimming, everywhere. I don't think I've ever been without it. The dip conditioner bar had to be my trusty sidekick for my beach days.

Dip Haircare bars packaging design

Who is Dip for?

Dip is for people who want to have a good time, get their hair wet, and enjoy the ride. Simple as that. Bonus points if you like 90s pop culture and our packaging nod to Sweet Valley High.

What makes Dip better?

We don't pretend to be something we aren't. We aren't all natural and we aren't organic--and we are upfront with that. We are ok with honesty & marching to the beat of our own drum.

Ad reads: Oh really fool? we think dip is better.
Billy Madison Ad in Whalebone Magazine

Since you are not using typical advertising and marketing strategies, how does Dip get the word out?

Besides this month's Billy Madison Ad in Whalebone Magazine (our favorite hammock companion) Dip has grown completely by word of mouth & hustle. We launched at the end of October 2021 and are in 55 stores nationwide.

Photo of Dip Shampoo and Conditioner in the Wild Sage + Vetiver Scent. The packaging is peach colored.

What is the number one thing beauty brands that want to be more sustainable should be focusing on?

Please avoid putting more plastic into production. If you are really listening, people are desperately trying to do the right thing out there--and they are getting so frustrated by being led astray by greenwashing. They will forgive you if you are upfront with them, even if you can't go completely plastic free.

Anything else you want to add?

It is very rational for people to feel helpless & then rationalize that small steps to help the planet don't matter--so please stop using environmental alarmist marketing & guilting them into buying your products. It's actually hurting the cause.

Dip logo

Bright Future

Dip is featured in my Bright Future Beauty Brand Archetype Report. Check out my report for more fun sustainable beauty brands.

Thank you for reading! //Jennifer Carlsson


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Jennifer Carlsson
The Beauty Brand Expert

I'm Jennifer Carlsson, a 32 year old strategy consultant, competitive market researcher, data analyst and designer from Stockholm, Sweden. I know more about more beauty brands than anyone else and I'm an expert in what it takes for beauty brands to succeed.
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