I’ve always been motivated to problem solve and make a difference; that has driven the development of each new product and range over the course of my career. We have a saying, when it comes to our in-house product testing: ‘We have bad hair days, so you don’t have to’.


Meet Gail Federici; the brains behind luxe hair beautifier, Color Wow.

Admit it. You googled ‘how to look like Jennifer Lopez’ after her iconic Super Bowl half-time performance earlier this year. The bad news is you’d probably have to work out 10 times a day to achieve her abs (sorry). The good news? You and your clients can now achieve glossy, JLo-rivalling strands in the comfort of your own home or salon. 

Enter, Color Wow: A revolutionary range of high-performance, reparative wonders designed to restore condition to colour-treated and/or damaged hair – leaving strands miraculously smoother, more protected and less prone to breakage over time. (Try typing #ColorWow into your search fields for a quick glimpse into its transformative power!) 

Brainchild of beauty boss Gail Federici, the range boasts an exclusive selection of kit and cabinet staples – plus a growing list of brand loyalists and celeb fans alike. Kardashian-kred anyone? So, to celebrate Color Wow’s whirlwind launch down under, we caught up with the brains behind the business; brand founder and all-round wonder woman, Gail Federici. 

TJ: From John Freida… to Color Wow. You’ve been at the helm of some iconic brands… Can you talk us through your career and motivations? 

GF: I’ve always been motivated to problem solve and make a difference; that’s what has driven the development of each new product and range over the course of my career. Starting with an obsession to control and transform my own frizzy hair, [my attentions] moved toward helping keep blondes’ colour fresh and bright. With Color Wow, [my focus has been] to find new answers to problems faced by women who colour their hair (from roots and frizz to minerals from tap water); major problems that were yet to be adequately solved. 

TJ: Upon formation, could you have foreseen Color Wow’s immense growth in such a short time period? To what do you attribute this success? 

GF: I wouldn’t say that I was surprised [by Color Wow’s success], because we never launch something unless we see that it fills a need and really makes a difference. I would say, however, that I was very grateful. I think the success is due to product performance and word of mouth… the internet! Seeing is believing, and both women and stylists are showcasing their results all over the web. 

TJ: In your opinion, what makes Color Wow unlike any other brand on the haircare market? 

GF: Innovation! Our Dream Coat, for example, humidity proofs the hair for over three shampoos – and transforms texture into glassy, glossing strands. Our Dream Filter gently removes minerals (present in hard water) from the hair in three minutes – something that was never before possible prior to the launch of this formula – revealing fresher, brighter colour. Our Color Security Shampoo has been formulated differently from almost every other shampoo on the market.

It does not leave residues behind; residues which can cause dull colour and blocked follicles (which leads to hair thinning). When it comes to safe ingredients, we’ve gone one step further – banning over 60 ingredients commonly used in haircare formulas. These can yellow, darken or alter your hair colour. 

TJ: It all began with Root Cover Up… What inspired you to develop this now iconic favourite? Did you notice a particular gap in the market? 

GF: To be honest; after we had sold the John Frieda company and delved into music (during our non-compete), I noticed that a lot of the ‘girls’ in the office had root issues. I started thinking about it and wondered why they weren’t covering them. There really wasn’t a palatable solution out there – otherwise [I believe] they all would have been using it!

I remembered using eyeshadow on a shoot to darken roots on a blonde, but it looked dull and when the wind hit, the powder blew all over. We set out to develop a reflective powder that would stay put and blend seamlessly. It took us three years to make it so that you can even swim with the product in your hair.

TJ: How did you conceive of the idea for Dream Coat? How long was the period between inception, to distribution… to global cult status!? 

GF: In the past, we were the first to fight frizz with a silicone-based serum. However, we wanted a lighter solution that would not weigh hair down. The inspiration came from the textile industry and weather-proofing technology. There were many, many years of trials and testing to achieve exactly what we wanted. Dream Coat is so light that it’s literally imperceptible on the hair – save for the dramatic effect: a super sleek, glossy texture that humidity-proofs the hair and lasts for several shampoos. 

TJ: You’ve described yourself (and your brand) as a beauty problem solver. How do you hone in on the needs of consumers and professionals – and ultimately manifest these into new beauty solutions?

GF: Most of the problems we address, we have experienced ourselves. They are right in front of our eyes: roots, breakage, brassiness. Problems that have existed for a long time without solutions… or without consumer-friendly solutions (like messy sprays to cover roots, or inky purple stains to correct brassy blonde hair).

TJ: How much of a hand do you have in the development of new Color Wow portfolio additions? What are some of your key considerations when creating these?

GF: 100%! I am involved in every single aspect of each new product – from concept to naming, to formulation, testing and promotion. We are ALL ‘guinea pigs’; everyone in our office is constantly trying out new formulas, and I try them all. We have a saying, when it comes to our in-house product testing: ‘We have bad hair days, so you don’t have to’.

TJ: What inspired you to align with celebrity stylist, Chris Appleton? What are your key values and considerations when choosing potential brand ambassadors?

GF: First and foremost, the quality of their work. When I saw Chris’s portfolio – it was flawless and cool. Our aesthetics totally aligned, which for me is key. When we face-timed, I was sold! Not just because he has a larger-than-life personality (that never hurts!), also because he is very articulate. His insights were totally fresh – which is exciting for me as I’ve been around so long… I thought I had heard it all!

We couldn’t agree more.

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