Before Aneeka Chauhan built Hair Veda, she studied Optometry at university and was practising as a qualified optometrist. As an optometrist she would constantly be working with patients, helping them with their sight and eye health. She decided to become a contractor in this field as it allowed her to have the flexibility to work within different companies and teams, which in turn allowed her to develop adaptability skills. Little did she know that these skills would come in handy when she launched her own company, Hair Veda.
Hair Veda was built after attempts to help her husband who was suffering from alopecia, an auto-immune condition where the body attacks its own hair follicles. Aneeka shares that her husband has suffered from alopecia since his childhood. He hadn’t had a relapse for many years but about 2 and half years ago his alopecia flared up, and he was left with several bald patches across his head. After being told by a doctor that nothing could be done, Aneeka saw the impact the bald patches had on her husband’s confidence and mindset and knew that she needed to do something to help.
Aneeka has always believed in the power of natural healing and this has been instilled into her by her Indian family who passed down the core principles of Ayurveda to her. She began researching the beneficial properties certain plants have and created an organic remedy for hair growth. After using this oil on her husband, she found that his hair transformed and his patches disappeared. Knowing that she had the secret to help improve hair growth, Aneeka knew that she needed to share it with more people. She had always been interested in starting her own business that involved helping people. And once she saw the results of her organic formulations, she had the lightbulb moment that lead to the creation of Hair Veda.
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Why Hair Veda?
As our oils are inspired by the principles of Ayurveda I wanted this to be incorporated in the name. Ayurveda essentially means the science of life, Ayur (life) and Veda (science or knowledge). In addition, I felt it was important for it be clear that our products are to be used for your hair and so Hair Veda was created after combing the two words to mean ’Knowledge & Science of Hair’.
My favourite part about running Hair Veda is being able to provide a product that genuinely helps people. Whenever I get a customer emailing me to let me know that my oils have helped to improve their hair growth/health and that it has restored their confidence, I genuinely feel so happy. Knowing that what I have created has been able to have a positive impact on someone and helping them to achieve their hair goals is such a rewarding feeling. This is the fuel that gives me the drive to keep continuing and wanting to grow the business and continue to help more people.
Please explain the learning curve that you underwent to start a business.
I didn’t have much business experience or knowledge before starting Hair Veda and so starting the business I must admit I had to learn so much very quickly. There are a lot of things that you need to complete before you can start a cosmetic business. Luckily, I had already created a formulation that worked so, to begin with, I had to check all the requirements that are needed to have the product tested and certified as safe for the consumer and for sale.
Once I got the formulation approved, I had to look into suppliers to source the high-quality ingredients and packaging. For me, I had a strong vision of how I wanted the brand to be, I kept envisioning how I wanted the packaging to look, to help bring this to life, I created many sketches and rough templates of the design, I was then able to take this to a professional designer who was able to bring my ideas to life.
Through the start-up process, I was constantly developing and learning new things. I had to move quickly, be able to go with the flow, and be open to making changes where needed. There were of course some hiccups along the way but being able to learn, accept feedback and move forward was important so the business can grow successfully.
Hairveda currently has two oils, and each is made of an amalgamation of ingredients. How long did the R&D stage take for each of these oils, and when did you know you could stop tweaking?
Both oils and their formulation are very similar. The oils were created 2 years ago and this was after my husband had a flare-up with his alopecia. He was left with several bald patches across his head and after many GP consultations, he was not given anything that helped and this really had a negative impact on his confidence and mindset. I started doing a lot of research into the beneficial properties certain plants contain and after careful consideration I created the formulation which is Hair Veda today. Both oils focus on regrowing, repairing, and strengthening scalp hair, the Sabal range has the addition of garlic which was made to give an additional boost for those with quite severe hair loss such as alopecia sufferers. The Avani range was created as an alternative, the formulation is very similar to the Sabal range, however, it does not contain garlic. After using the oils I created, we were able to stimulate and increase hair growth, and his hair was restored. The results the oils offer solidified that the formulation did not require any more amendments, this formulation was submitted and certified as safe. Our customers continue to prove and support our superior formulation due to their amazing transformations.
Your first success story was your husband’s, and I’m sure you’ve heard many since then — what’s next for Hairveda?
My aim and mission are to help fight hair loss and thinning and to improve hair growth and quality. I want to continue to grow the brand, increase brand awareness and in turn, continue to help more people. We recently started shipping internationally however, our aim is to supply more people, globally. We see our brand and our ranges being featured in department stores so our products are easily accessible to the public. In the future, we also plan to expand our ranges, to help tackle hair loss and continue to improve hair health through organic and plant-based ingredients. We feel Hair Veda has the potential to become the No1. trusted hair care brand and we love the idea of creating a Hair Veda community for our users.
I had the pleasure of trying Hair Veda’s oils, and as suggested to me by Aneeka, the Avani oil really fit the bill. Living in London, my hair is exposed to pollution and sudden weather changes (grey and gloom tend to be constant thought), so my hair tends to feel brittle if I don’t take care of it even for a day. I grew up oiling my hair (the smell of coconut oil haunts me) and I continue the process here in London. It’s definitely a form of self-care to me and I like having a mini army of oils lined up for me to use. The Avani oil is now a part of the star lineup, and I can’t wait to see an improvement in my hair growth. My hair already feels healthier and thicker (much, much thicker) and I’ve decided to grow my hair out this year. Couldn’t have come at a better time, a must-try!
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Check out Hair Veda’s products on their website and follow their journey on their Instagram page.