Grandma used to wear a flimsy plastic shower cap, and when she stepped under the shower it sounded like angry rain on a tin roof. And her hair always got wet anyway.
That's a throwback image, to be sure, but it points to a modern problem for women who are trying to keep their freshly blown-out 'dos intact. The lowly shower cap has been stuck in time, says Jacquelyn De Jesu, an art director who launched a startup called Shhhowercap. To fill a void she saw in the market, she developed a sleek turban-like shower cap that's waterproof, noise reducing and machine washable.
De Jesu says she wanted a product that actually worked—hers is made from nanotech fabric and has rubber grips for a secure fit—and wasn't hideous or bedazzled. "I needed a shower cap, but I wouldn't buy one," says De Jesu, a veteran of Saatchi & Saatchi and BBDO Chicago. "It's like needing a car, hating all the cars you see, and just deciding to walk."
She figured there were plenty of other gals in the same boat, especially with the explosion in popularity of Dry Bar and other salon services. When she found little branding in the category, she decided to self-fund Shhhowercap. (She didn't fully give up her day job—she's still working as a freelance art director for Huge, 360i and other agencies.)
Marketing kicks off with a website and colorful photos starring Instagram influencer Taylor LaShae, and will continue with digital content and social media that intends to wipe out the stigma of Great Aunt Helen's coif protector. "No one wants to be caught in one, no one wants to admit they use one," De Jesu says. "Maybe that will change."