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Design Thinking: Crown Affair

(Image courtesy of Crown Affair. Image depicts the Rose.Inc X Crown Affair haircare kit. Crown Affair describes this kit as, "Rosie Huntington-Whiteley knows good hair. After 16 years spent learning from beauty’s most seasoned experts (and practicing herself), the inimitable founder of Rose Inc. has boundless knowledge—and she’s here to share it. We had Rosie curate her ideal haircare kit in a selection of Crown Affair classics, all together in one. The Rose Inc. kit pairs The Oil, the Comb No.002, and the Scrunchie No.003, in two colorways—Carrara, a marbled ivory, and Rose, a blush pink. For the month of June 2021, buy Rose Inc. x Crown Affair from our site and a contribution of 10% of the purchase price will be made to Dress for Success." Price=$98. You can order this kit at. )

In Graduate School, one of the buzzwords professors love to discuss is "Design Thinking." Design Thinking is an iterative process in which we seek to understand the user, challenge assumptions, and redefine problems to identify alternative strategies and solutions that might not be instantly apparent with our initial level of understanding (Dam and Siang). Design Thinking enables a company to understand consumer needs to serve their audience better. For this project, I contacted different companies to learn how the organizations apply Design Thinking into their market offerings. I had the opportunity to talk with Crown Affair to learn more about their organization.

(Image courtesy of Crown Affair. Image depicts The Dry Shampoo. Crown Affair describes this shampoo as, "You’re reaching the end of your work day and are feeling a little dull. Time for a pick-me-up. You grab The Dry Shampoo and flip your hair over. Using its fluffy brush, you dab the fine powder into your roots where it needs it. Throw your head back. Now your hair looks, smells—even feels amazing. And so do you. Subtly targeted, The Dry Shampoo is like nothing you’ve used before. It gently absorbs oils and enriches the scalp, leaving your hair voluminous, silky soft, and clean-feeling. Japanese persimmon is a natural deodorizer, so your hair smells as good as (better than?) it does on wash day. The Dry Shampoo adds subtle volume too—without the grit of traditional aerosol products—so you can use it in lieu of shampoo, or to combat lankiness on the day-to-day. Finished with our signature fragrance: a cool, light scent combination of bergamot, yuzu, and lemongrass." Price=$36. You can order this shampoo at )

1. What makes Crown Affair different from other hair care companies?

In an industry that’s been driven by professional lines, style, and color, Crown Affair is about mindful care. We work with the best craftsmen and chemists in the United States, Italy, Switzerland, Japan, and Korea to create clean formulas and beautiful tools that transform your everyday hair routine into a true ritual. We handcraft our tools from carefully sourced materials like 100% plant-based acetate and natural beechwood, and design them to last a long time. Our formulas are all designed as thoughtfully as possible, with clean ingredients, ethically sourced materials, and the effectiveness you would expect from any favorite hair product.

(Image courtesy of Crown Affair. Image depicts The Brush No.002. Crown affair describes this brush as, "Handmade from beechwood, this everyday brush gently detangles without causing breakage, prevents static, and gives your scalp a nice massage.The all wooden brush of your dreams—strong enough to remove knots, but gentle enough to protect your scalp and strands from breakage. Perfect for everyday detangling on all hair types, The Brush No. 002 prevents static, smooths frizz, and gently stimulates your scalp to promote blood flow and create the optimal environment for strong, healthy hair to grow. Please note The Brush has a small breathing hole on the pneumatic pad to better distribute and absorb pressure across your entire scalp."Price=$62. You can order this brush at )

2. How does Crown Affair incorporate its mission and vision into its product offerings?

Crown Affair is on a mission to make products that empower people to find a luxurious ritual and celebrate haircare as a part of their daily wellbeing. We connect with our community by helping them re-imagine their everyday beauty routine with accessible yet luxurious essentials. It’s not just about changing the way people feel about their hair -- it’s about changing the way people feel about themselves.

(Image courtesy of Crown Affair. Image depicts the Renewal Mask. Crown Affair describes this mask as," Hydrating tsubaki seed oil and smoothing yuzu work to reinvigorate dry, dull, or damaged hair—and remind you to take your sweet, sweet time.Picture this: post-shampoo, you comb a nourishing treatment through your strands, indulge in a few deep breaths, rinse and emerge with softer hair and greater peace of mind. With The Renewal Mask, haircare is no longer routine, it’s a true ritual. Thoughtfully formulated with hydrating tsubaki seed oil and yuzu fruit extract to help smooth and strengthen even the most damaged hair, The Renewal Mask works to nourish and repair strands from the inside out. Use it as a weekly treatment for all hair types, or as a rebuilding mask for over-processed, bleached, or damaged hair. The Renewal Mask is finished with our signature fragrance that combines bergamot, yuzu, and lemongrass for a cool, light scent." Price= notified when available. You can preorder this renewal mask at )

3. What are the quintessential Crown Affair products?

We designed all of our formulations and tools as “hero products,” steps in your routine that transform your entire life into a ritual. Our Set, which includes the products we originally launched with, is the perfect place to start. It comes with The Towel, The Oil, The Brush No. 001, The Comb No, 001, and The Scrunchie No. 001, and a little bonus hourglass to remind you how important it is to Take Your Time.

Our microfiber towel is much more gentle on wet hair than a bath towel, preventing breakage and frizz while helping you achieve the perfect air dry. Your hair is more vulnerable to breakage when it’s wet, so our brush is best used when your hair is dry and our comb is best for use in or after the shower, or on-the-go (it’s small and light, and fits right into your purse). Our oil is made from 5 ingredients and smells absolutely amazing, light and perfect for use on hair that is either wet or dry. Our scrunchie is 100% silk, preventing creasing and breakage.

Aside from The Set, The Dry Shampoo and The Renewal Mask are two products we cannot live without. Our dry shampoo powder comes in a sifter jar and is applied with a kabuki brush, an entirely new application, and the base is made from tapioca starch (no talc), which means it’s good for both your hair and your lungs. The Renewal Mask is a light mask designed to be layered by all hair types (our Crown Affair team uses a tiny bit as our conditioner, while we work on something else launching soon!).

(Image courtesy of Crown Affair. Image depict The Scrunchie No.002. This scrunchie is described as, " Protect your hair from breakage and look great at the same time. What, like it’s hard? Regular elastic hair ties can cause breakage, especially for hair that’s fine, dry, or already damaged. We craft ours from silk-satin for less friction, breakage prevention, and smoother hair when you take it down." Price=$25. You can order this scrunchie at )

4. What is the future of the company?

We’re excited to launch a range of new formulas and expand on the in-shower ritual. We have a few product collaborations in the works as well, and we plan to expand our retail and international presence

. (Image courtesy of Crown Affair's Instagram)


Me on my first day of graduate school

Rachel Huss

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