- 20 April 2022
- Posted by: Canberra Innovation Network
- Categories: Coworking, GRIFFIN Accelerator, Innovation Connect Grant, Women in Innovation
They’re doctors, hairdressers, chemists, and beauty specialists but they all have one thing in common: they’re also inventors.
Inspired by challenges they’ve faced and issues they’ve found in their industries, these women are determined to make a difference and help others.
In this series of four articles, HerCanberra speaks to four female Canberra inventors about why they’re passionate about their idea, how it will change the world, and where their projects will lead them next. In the final of our series, we speak to Claire Chesterton of MIIROKO
When you ask Claire Chesterton why she’s passionate about MIIROKO, her answer is sweet and simple: she wants to help people feel good about their hair.
Launching MIIROKO in November 2021 with her husband Yuki Saito, Claire has boxed up everything a hairdresser uses in a salon to create a gentle home hair colour that’s free of harsh chemicals and easy to use – but still gives beautiful results.
Conceiving the idea around four years ago while sharing a glass of wine with some hairdresser friends after discussing a client who was trying to colour her hair at home, the idea of MIIROKO is ‘the perfect home hair colour kit’ that has everything you need, including colour advice from professional hairdressers.
“As a hairdresser, I saw the positive impact having good hair can have on a person, but the reality is, for many women, access to quality hair colour requires a significant amount of time and money,” says Claire.
“That’s why I developed MIIROKO home hair colour, so that women can access salon-quality colour in a convenient and affordable way…Plus the joy I get from helping people with their hair…that joy never leaves you, no matter how long you’ve been out of the salon.”
With experience working as a professional hairdresser, Claire worked on MIIROKO for three years while living in Tokyo, refining it with countless rounds of iterations and testing, pushing back on suppliers to be more environmentally conscious and not cutting any corners.
Both Claire and Yuki wanted to raise the bar for environmental standards in the beauty industry, including the removal of one-use plastics that are common in store-brought box-dye.
Fast forward and MIIROKO kits are 100% vegan, cruelty-free, reusable, made from recycled materials as well as free from paraphenylenediamine and ammonia.
“The bowl and brush, even though they are reusable, they’re also made from recycled plastics as well,” Claire explains. “I think it’s really important for a business to not just do things that are good for your customers but also do good things for the planet.”
Obsessed with the chemistry and the colour that goes into making quality hair dye for at-home touch-ups, MIIROKO also offers a detailed hair colour analysis questionnaire online and allows you to book a virtual consultation so customers can find the perfect colour match.
While Claire admits she has moments of doubt “all the time”, she says the support system in Canberra for startups is incredible. “In five years we want to be the leading online hair colour company in Australia and eventually, Asia,” says Claire.
“Beauty can be toxic sometimes… It’s really nice to be part of a business that makes people feel good. It doesn’t prescribe anything, we’re not saying you have to look a certain way to feel a certain way, it’s all about having access to what makes you feel good.”
Article originally published by HerCanberra.