WOMEN IN HAIR SCIENCE: MEET COLOR WOW’S SENIOR MANAGER OF R+D, LINDA COPPOLA

There’s a saying that “empowered women empower women.” And at Color Wow, that could not be more true! As a woman-owned, woman-founded, and women-led company, it’s our goal to help women all over the world feel empowered through their hair. How? By creating an innovative collection of products that solve your most frustrating hair probs with truly effective, healthy solutions.

And who better to have on our team of chemists than a woman who understands what it’s like to find a hair product that feels like it was made for you??

Meet Linda Coppola, our Senior Manager of Research and Development! Linda is part of our 2-person lab team (along with Dr. Joe Cincotta!) that has helped engineer ALL of your favorite game-changing products. 

We sat down with Linda to talk about the woman who empowered her to pursue a career in science, what it’s like to create the world’s most game-changing and innovative hair products, and her hope for the future of women in science. 

When did you become interested in science and what made you pursue a career in it?

LINDA: I had a chemistry teacher in high school who encouraged me to go into engineering. There was a big push at that time to get more girls and women into STEM. She set me up with some programs at Yale, and as nerdy as it sounds, I did it on the weekends for a while. My father also went to school for engineering, so I think I get my love for problem-solving from him.

How important to you was it to have a woman science teacher at that age?

LINDA: It was really amazing, especially back then because encouraging girls to go into science was never a big thing. She empowered me to feel like this was something I could achieve. Almost like I wanted to do it as a woman. You feel good about it, and you want to be as good or better than the men. 

How did you get into hair science?

LINDA: I studied chemical engineering at UConn, and while I was there I did a co-op at what is now Unilever. It was a really good job opportunity, and it was just interesting and fun. A lot of chemical engineering is geared towards oil refineries and different things like that. And this was something more tangible and fun that you could create and use.

What is your favorite part of your job?

LINDA: The fun part is making new things. Taking some problem that someone wants fixed with their hair and trying to find what type of ingredients work best and what form it should be. It’s especially fun at Color Wow because our company is so open to trying new things. 

In my mind, I’m not a super creative person. I wouldn’t be able to write a great article or draw anything. But this gives me an outlet to be creative with the science. So it’s fun for me!

In 2021, we launched Xtra Large, which you’ve said is amazing for your fine hair. What was it like creating a product that not only solved your own hair probs but spearheaded a whole new approach to volumizing?

LINDA: The good part about Xtra Large was I could test it on myself! Other volumizers typically make my hair feel sticky, stiff, coated or dry, and it doesn't look or feel natural. That’s because other chemists usually use salt or alcohol combined with sticky resins to rough up and dry out the cuticle to create volume. This can make hair look like it has more volume but it doesn't look healthy and can be harmful to the condition of your hair in the long term (especially fine/thin hair, which is already more fragile).

My goal with Xtra Large was to get volume in the hair while leaving it in great condition, which meant engineering a brand new way to create volume without harmful ingredients.

When I eventually found the key polymer in Xtra Large that not only adds volume to the hair, but also leaves it looking and feeling healthy and bouncy, it was a huge break-through! I was able to test it myself and say, “Yes! This makes me feel like I have the hair I’ve always tried to achieve with other volumizers but couldn’t.”

My hair has body and movement and looks less stringy. I can run my fingers through it and it goes back to the way I styled it. And it looks like there is nothing in my hair. It even maintains that body and bounce the next day after sleeping on it! 

Not to toot our own horn BUT Color Wow is constantly moving the needle WAY forward to empower women through their hair. What’s the most rewarding part of being the woman behind the science of it all?

LINDA: It's great to be able to find solutions and then to SEE the result on other women. I love to see all the reviews and videos of women who feel more confident in their hair. You see what people think and what they appreciate about it. You see what hair dressers like about it. It’s great because you feel appreciated and like you’re making a difference.

What is your hope for the future of women in science? 

LINDA: I would just hope that it’s not even a thought. You choose what you want to do and you become what you want to become without a thought to whether it’s against the norm or the odds. You simply follow your passion whatever that might be. And hopefully there’s teachers out there that are encouraging that same thinking.

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