Rebundle Transcends Hair Extensions Industry with All-Star Financial Backing

Rebundle, the first U.S.-made plant-based braiding hair brand, has quickly evolved the hair extensions industry through its first product, braidbetter. As the first hair extensions brand to earn a USDA Certification for Biobased Product Label, Rebundle is providing consumers with a clean, non-toxic, biodegradable solution. Founded by Ciara Imani May, she continues to be a catalyst for change in the textured hair extension community.

The patent-pending formula has caught the attention of investors early on — such as former NFL star and activist Colin Kaepernick and NBA All-Star Chris Paul. Up to date, Rebundle has raised $2.1M.

Check out the conversation with May below.

How long have you been in the beauty industry? 

I’ve only been in the beauty industry since starting Rebundle in 2019. Before then, I was in college, getting my bachelor’s and my master’s, and then I was teaching entrepreneurship at an HBCU in Charlotte, NC.

How did you discover your plant-based solution? How did that lead to creating Rebundle and the product braidbetter?

May: In my search for more comfort and less waste in hair extensions, I didn’t find anything on the market that met my needs. I researched as much as I could about how plastic synthetic hair was made, why it might cause scalp irritation, and what else hair extensions could be made out of. Ultimately, I discovered that I needed to look for natural materials and not petrochemical-based fibers, and I landed on banana fiber because of its versatility, dyeability, and its likeness to hair.

How were you able to bring along Chris Paul and Colin Kaepernick as investors? 

May: Both Chris and Colin learned about our work through people in their network, and I was excited to meet them and tell them about what I thought the future of hair extensions looks like. The relationship with Colin came by way of our investors at Anthos Capital, and we connected over our love for hair. One of Chris Paul’s managers DM’d the brand to talk about ways that we could collaborate because Chris is vegan, and we decided that his investment in the company would not only help our fundraising goals but also form a partnership.

What was the biggest lesson you’ve learned within your journey so far? 

May: I learned so much about what environmental and climate justice looks like, I’ve met incredible founders who are doing so many cool things, and I have learned what it means to lead a team. My biggest lesson involves leading people who are inherently only hungry, motivated, creative, selfless, and thrive in their realm of genius in a collective environment.

As the first hair extensions brand to earn USDA Certification for Biobased Product Label, describe how you were able to receive the distinction.

May: We thought carefully about what type of certifications would substantiate some of the claims that we were making and investing in for the product and learned about the USDA certification for bio-based products. We were excited to pursue this certification, not only for disability within the eco-political environment but also to demonstrate that there are non-obvious products that meet criteria in places where people aren’t looking.

How can this push forward innovation in beauty products?

May: Beauty brands should continue to seek out certification, programs, and partnerships that demonstrate their commitment to people and the planet in a very genuine and scientific-backed way.

With success over the last few years, describe the impact having a plant-based product has had on the beauty industry.

May: Specifically within our community, the awareness that we’ve created around what it means for hair extensions to be made responsibly, ethically, and sustainably is something that I’m really proud of. And I look forward to pushing the industry to a more realistic future. We have challenged the status quo and allowed people to expand their imagination and their perspective on what clean beauty can look like in communities where products are a little more nuanced and niche.

What are some things the brand is looking forward to doing this year and beyond? 

May: We’re having a lot of fun testing and learning our messaging and building a community both online and in-person. We look forward to expanding our product line, reaching as many Black women and people who wear braids as possible, and exploring an expansion of our brand and mission through new products.

How can people reach Rebundle?

May: We’re very responsive on email, chat, and socials! Follow us across social media.