Oh, the palette possibilities.
Bringing to life yet another, on an already very long list of euphemism for something located in the happy-time-fun-zone, things which already have perfectly fine names, is Betty, a hair dye for those such areas; your pubic hair.
Betty products are, according to the company's website, "specially formulated color dyes for the hair down there." You can get your Betty in Blonde, Brown, Aurburn and Black, as well as colors called Malibu, Fun and Starburst.
An article in Advertising Age (must be registered on AdAge to read, or find it in the press section of bettybeauty.com) describes how Betty came to be: the creator, Nanci Jarecki, first had the idea when visiting a salon in Rome where she witnessed female customers being handed little brown bags, with "such delight," as they left the salon. In those bags, dye to match their Bettys to their Wilmas. From there, the research and development began with casual studies by a gynecologist, who reported that not one person had matching hair down there, and salon workers, who reported that many customers were interested but had "sensitivity" concerns.
Story Related Section of René Magritte's The Eternally Obvious; photo by wallyg
Currently Betty is available at 300 retail salons and online, and with its highly interesting subject matter, Betty has picked up a bit of press with mentions from DailyCandy.com, Vogue, Vanity Fair, and The Oprah Magazine.
The hair color market is a 1 billion a year industry, and according to the Advertising Age, bettybeauty.com is on track to meet the company's 2 million annual visits projection, beating out traffic numbers from competitors like Proctor and Gamble's Clairol.com. bettybeauty.com also mentions its "over 100,000 happy customers are using Betty to naturally match their hair above." Many of which are woman ages 60-80, as well as a number of men who are coloring their, um, Brutus? (FYI Betty, I'm trademarking that. So, if you want it for your male line extension, you're going to have to pay up)
I hadn’t planned on starting a cosmetics company. But sitting in a hair salon in Rome a few years ago, I made a discovery. As I saw women leaving the salon, I couldn’t help noticing that some would linger by the door. After a few minutes, their colorist would come back with a little paper bag, hand it to them and send them cheerfully on their way.
When I inquired about this mysterious ritual, the receptionist said: “Per sotto, per farli combaciare,” meaning: “For the hair down there...to make it match.” I thought, “How genius... A home coloring kit for the hair down there!” I knew there were no specialized products like this in America.
Obviously, all blondes in the world want to be true blondes. Redheads and dark-haired women, their natural true color, too. I couldn’t get the idea out of my mind.
Back in New York, I told a salon-owner friend about it. She responded, “I’m sure my clients would love a product like this, and I’d use it myself!” Not only did she like the idea of matching her chestnut brown hair, but also - she confessed - she desperately needed to cover some grays she’d recently discovered down there!
My next stop was to ask a gynecologist friend to estimate the percentage of her clients whose hair down there didn’t match the hair on their heads. As it turned out, almost no one matched!
Sophisticated women, who spent time and lots of money getting their hair color just right, had no solution for coloring the hair down there. They were totally overlooking this crucial beauty area. We even found blondes who had tried to do it themselves using off-the-shelf products with terrible results. It was clear women (and even some men!) were desperate for a product like this.
Over the next two years, I worked with our manufacturer to perfect a product that would address this need. I even consulted a toxicologist to make sure that the formulation we were creating would be safe to use near this sensitive area.
It’s been quite a journey. But I’m thrilled to be sharing my discovery of our easy-to-use betty colors with you. We call them BLONDE betty, BROWN betty, AUBURN betty and BLACK betty.
I also came up with a hot pink color not just for special occasions - our FUN betty. Response has been so terrific that we’re already working on more fun betty colors. When they’re here, we’ll be delighted to let you know.
Developing this product has already led to more discoveries and more products are on the way.
Listen to a podcast with Betty Creator Nanci Jarecki over at startupnation.
We heard about Betty from the Color Association.