It’s a 10 creator Carolyn Aronson discusses Travel Retail and global expansion

With its cult-classic product, the Miracle Leave-In, It’s a 10 hair care has grown exponentially, becoming a global brand now sold in more than 84 countries. More than 10 million bottles of the product are sold annually and It’s a 10 products are available in more than 25,000 salons and 15,000 professional chains like Ulta in the U.S.

TMI had the opportunity to speak with It’s a 10 founder and CEO Carolyn Aronson, head of one of the only female- owned professional hair care brands in the world, about the brand’s venture into travel retail and other exciting expansion endeavors.

It’s a 10 creator Carolyn Aronson

It’s a 10 started its venture into travel retail in late Spring 2023 through Katherine Sleipnes’ International Brand Builders Inc. (IBBI), with an expanded rollout this year.

“We’re very excited about introducing hair care into travel retail; it’s long overdue,” Aronson tells TMI’s Lois Pasternak.

“It’s a very approachable brand. Much of the traveling population feel very comfortable buying my products; it’s not too high end, it includes easy to understand products that have multiple uses. People don’t need to travel with five different products, they can travel with one. And it’s the kind of product that once you start using it, if you forget it at home, you feel like ‘oh no, I’m going to have such a bad hair week’ because I don’t have my It’s a 10 Leave-In with me. I mean, there are not many companies that have been able to create a Golden formula within the beauty world. And this is truly what I consider one of the Golden formulas, she says.

“I’ve been a hairdresser for 38 years, I’ve seen products come and go. I’ve seen the ones that last for 30 and 40 years, and this is definitely one of those products. And if someone is running through an airport that carries it, they would say ‘Oh, look, I can grab my Leave-In, because Paris doesn’t have it.’”

After being in business for 18 years, It’s a 10 is now going worldwide.

“We are currently in 84 countries. We just launched Vietnam. The woman who runs the distributorship tried it when she went to college in Boston, and knew she wanted to bring it to her country,” notes Aronson.

“This product is a good hair day in a bottle. That’s the best way to describe it. And you know that when you are without your good products, you literally feel different. Right? You want to feel just as good traveling as you do at home.”

Aronson points out how well suited the brand is for people on vacation.

“For those beach days when you’re in the sun – It’s a 10 protects your hair because it has UV protection. We have a huge surfer following where their hair gets really trashed from the salt and the sun and this is one of the only products that they can continuously use and save their hair. So people traveling on these ‘sun and fun’ vacations are using Leave-In to help save their hair.”

The multi-functional products are formulated to appeal to women from their 20s to 50 and above, with tailored products to meet all hair needs, says Aronson.

“One of the things that makes It’s a 10 different is that the products deliver instant, multifunctional results. When I say it’s for all hair types, it’s because I’ve created a collection around each Leave In formula, and each one solves hair problems. So no matter what color your skin is, or what ethnicity you are, or what type of hair you have, we have a formula to work within all cultures and all hair types. And that’s really what I focused on from the very beginning.”

For travel retail, the company has created a travel retail assortment with travel size products, sets and duos in its best- selling collections. The company is also introducing TR gondolas.


Be a 10 and Rewind

Aronson expanded to makeup several years ago with Be a 10 color cosmetics and just recently launched a men’s hair color line called Rewind it 10.

“My mantra is to create products for women that are easy to use and address her beauty needs from head to toe. Be a 10 is a multi-functional easy to use makeup line that has built in applicators so you don’t need YouTube tutorials or a million brushes to create those instant ‘be a ten’ looks,” says Aronson.

Each product has an innovation – from the metallic colors of the Dazzling eye shadows that can be layered for different intensities, to the 2-wands-in-one applicator of the mascara, Be a 10 is a simple, easy to use multifunctional makeup that’s professional quality, she says.

Rewind it 10 is a men’s hair and beard color kit, with vegan, cruelty free formulas that fights greys at the roots. Aronson’s partner in the venture is rapper Fat Joe, and the brand has gotten a huge boost from celebrity endorsements.

Available in four different shades, each one sports “famous guys” on the box, including football player Travis Kelce; kickboxer and mixed martial artist star Stephen Thompson; R&B singer, songwriter, and producer Tank; and actor/ singer Jencarlos Canela.

“We launched Rewind It 10 in Sally Beauty stores at the end of December and sold $1.5 million worth of product in three weeks. Our celebrity endorsers have an aggregate social media posting of over 10 billion people between all of them, with more joining them every day. It is a huge success,” says Aronson.