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Perseve aims to provide luxury hair care formulas at affordable prices

Co-founder and CEO Olivia Bae launched the brand in June 2022.
oliva bae
Perseve co-founder and CEO, Olivia Bae
oliva bae
Perseve co-founder and CEO, Olivia Bae

Perseve co-founder and CEO, Olivia Bae, dove into entrepreneurship at the tail end of the pandemic. After experiencing health issues that caused her to experience hair loss, she started to pay attention to the ingredients in the products she was using. “For the first time in my life, I had to actually take care of my hair, and hair was always something that was secondary on my self-care list. I didn’t really care about what I put on my hair, I would use the cheapest shampoo, because when you’re a broke college student, you’re not going to buy a $20 bottle of shampoo that only lasts a month,” Bae shared. Bae discovered that most of the affordable hair care products found in drugstores lacked the luxurious, salon quality experience she was looking for. 

Bae’s mother is a hairstylist with over 25 years of experience and even has a background in product formulation. She had a successful hair care business and brand focused on professional products for salons for nearly ten years. The mother daughter duo worked together to develop hair care products that offered luxury and salon quality at an affordable price. Bae said, “My mom was a single, immigrant parent and we’d always talked about creating a business one day. We have a great relationship and are very close.”

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Bae previously was in the hospitality industry in New York City, working as an event planner. “I get asked a lot about how I think that played into my role today, and one of my favorite things to say is, hospitality is all about creating that inclusive environment, warm energy, and memorable customer service. My mom handles the logistics and manufacturing aspects, but I am front facing, creating the aesthetic and building community.”

Perseve was launched in June 2022 with the Standard Shampoo, Standard Conditioner, Ultra Hydrating Conditioner and the Recure & Revive Dual Function Masque. Bae says the products were developed to address dry, damaged hair, with a focus on nourishing essential ingredients to repair and revive strands. “At the time we were launching, a lot of folks were experiencing hair loss. It was when everyone was dying their hair at home and trying DIY treatments. So a lot of consumers were also experiencing dry, damaged hair,” Bae explained.

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Perseve is sold direct to consumer and on Amazon, but will be launching at a retailer next year. Perseve was one of eight brands to be a part of the Ulta Beauty MUSE Accelerator last year. “I’m very grateful for the program because it really played a big role in where we are today. I’ve learned and gained so much knowledge. It catapulted our brand and the experience definitely piqued interest from retailers who reached out to us after.”

Perseve is clean, cruelty free, pH balanced and gluten free. Bae says the quality of Perseve is equivalent to luxury hair care products, but the price point of under $20 is a differentiator. She says this pricing will apply across the board for all future products to come. “Our best-selling Standard Shampoo is formulated with a lot of amazing natural ingredients. One key ingredient I really want to call out is royal jelly. It’s mostly found in skin care products because those products typically have a higher price point. Royal jelly is an expensive, prestige ingredient, but it has amazing benefits for your hair and scalp.”

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Bae says they have a lot of Gen Z and millennial customers. “I’m a very hands-on founder. I still manage our social media and our marketing strategies overall myself. I don’t think, even down the line as we expand our team, I’ll stop interacting with our community—commenting back and answering DMs. I genuinely love it.” Bae shared she creates content showing the behind the scenes of entrepreneurial life, even showing herself packing orders. 

Next year the company plans to launch a foam root touch-up with a five-minute processing time. “We’re growing slowly but steadily. We’re taking a very big leap into retail next year. The retailer adding us to their assortment has been following us along the entire journey, from us going through the Ulta Beauty MUSE Accelerator to this point. I’m very, very thankful for the Accelerator because I feel like that really played a big role in securing that relationship with the retailer.”

Megan Moyer is a 20-year retail industry veteran and HRG’s corporate marketing manager. HRG reviews new health, beauty, and wellness (HBW) items every month and assesses their potential for longevity in the monthly Products to Watch feature in Drug Store News as well as the annual Future 50 list.

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