Hair care brands often struggle to achieve the same kind of social reach as their color cosmetics counterparts. One solution is partnering with them. After facing struggles of scale, hair care brand Ouai took this approach, seeking out cosmetics brands with a similar target audience but a different suite of products.

The partnership started with a YouTube collaboration between Ouai and Charlotte Tilbury, where they produced a hair and makeup red carpet tutorial. Ouai was diligent about scaling the creative with spend, and the video became one of the top-performing videos in the hair space in Q1, accounting for nearly a quarter of Ouai’s YouTube views.

On its co-branded tutorials, Ouai has also been persistent about building buzz before the video release. The brand posted teasers and behind-the-scenes footage on Instagram Stories, making it the third most prolific brand in L2’s Digital IQ Index: Hair Care, responsible for 8% of posts by all brands in the study. This strategy generated organic hype for the final content, which was then scaled with spend for maximum visibility.

Ouai on Instagram

While hair care brands have collaborated with cosmetics brands before, the scale and frequency of Ouai’s partnerships suggest that this is becoming a core tenet of their social strategy. Ouai also recently partnered with Benefit Cosmetics, their collaboration centering around perfecting both a consumer’s hairstyle and brow style. The mutually beneficial partnership highlighted each brand’s hero products, allowing both brands to increase reach and discoverability. During the launch month of June, posts referencing the collaboration were responsible for 24% of total brand interactions.

Because Benefit’s Instagram community is significantly larger than Ouai’s, the partnership allowed Ouai to amplify its reach and tap into Benefit’s established digital clout. Posts about the Ouai x Benefit giveaway generated 68% of interactions, nearly twice as many as another Ouai post featuring Instagram influencer Brittany Sullivan. Benefit’s post on Instagram using the giveaway hashtag exceeded 125,000 views, five times as many as Ouai’s most-watched Instagram video in June. 


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