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Meet The 23 Year-Old CEO of Scruples – Bahira Shami

What’s it like being the 23 year-old CEO of of a global haircare company? Bahira Shami shares just that with us today.

Bahira is a third-generation leader from a legacy family deeply rooted in beauty, renowned by her grandfather Farouk Shami for founding CHI Haircare and Biosilk Hair Care. She is currently pursing her degree from Harvard as she heads up Scruples to be leader in innovation, education, and to create high-quality haircare products that deliver exceptional results.

Photo Credit: German Alexander Photography

1. Can you share your journey to becoming the CEO of Scruples Haircare at such a young age?

My journey to becoming the CEO of Scruples Haircare at a young age has been one of passion, perseverance, and continuous learning. It all began with my deep love for the beauty industry and my desire to make a meaningful impact within it.

2. How do you approach leadership and decision-making as a young CEO in the beauty industry?

I approach leadership and decision-making by consistently researching and understanding the market and our team. Stepping into an idea or project requires a vision that the company as a whole grasps is the first step, and then diligent planning and execution comes after.

3. What inspired you to take on a leadership role in the haircare industry, and what motivates you to succeed?

My motivation comes directly from my passion to help those in need. Charity is a big part of my life and to be able to make an impactful difference in others’ lives is my life’s mission.

4. How do you balance innovation and tradition in the development and future development of Scruples Haircare products?

Staying on top of trends while simultaneously being conscious of what continues to work in our beauty industry is key. We strive to meet any market demands, and do so by respecting tradition, but also embracing innovation.

Photo Credit: German Alexander Photography

5. What challenges have you faced as a young CEO, and how have you overcome them?

As a new face in the industry and stepping into a role that is new to me, building credibility and maintaining a work-life balance seemed like overwhelming challenges at first. However, I found that through delegating responsibilities and organizing my priorities, those challenges dwindled.

6. Can you discuss any unique strategies or approaches you’ve implemented to drive growth and success for Scruples Haircare?

As an employer I am always looking to make our company as efficient as possible. Personal relationships have always been important to me as an employer, so my monthly calls with customers have done wonders for our partnership. Setting quotas for our sales and customer service team has also proved successful.

7. How do you prioritize sustainability and ethical practices in your role as CEO?

I start by establishing clear sustainability and ethical standards for the company, aligning them with our overall mission and values. I work to embed sustainability into every aspect of our operations, from product design and manufacturing to packaging and distribution.

8. What advice do you have for other young entrepreneurs looking to make an impact in the beauty industry?

Because this is question #8, I will give 8 tips from me!

  1. Identifying your niche is step one because our industry has grown and continues to evolve every day. Claiming something as yours and being able to market and identify that it is different will set you up for a very successful journey!
  2. Understanding our audience will make all the difference, especially as a startup. Gathering insights on your social media platforms to determine what your market needs has proven to be successful.
  3. Prioritizing quality and innovation are imperative when meeting market demands.
  4. Building strong brand identity with a clear story, aesthetic and voice is crucial for standing out in the beauty industry.
  5. Embracing Sustainability and Ethical practices is important to be able to speak to the consumer awareness and demand for sustainability and ethical practices, integrating these values into your business model can be make you very competitive and give you an upper hand.
  6. Be quick, when a trend is emerging, hop on it and waste no time.
  7. Seek mentorship! The greatest leaders in our industry follow in the footsteps of the greats that came before them.
  8. YOUR PASSION IS YOUR KEY. Building a successful beauty business takes time, dedication, and resilience. Stay passionate about your vision and stay committed to your goals, even in the face of challenges and setbacks. Believe in yourself and your ability to make a positive impact in the beauty industry, and don’t be afraid to take risks and pursue your dreams.

9. How do you stay connected with your target audience and understand their needs and preferences?

Deep diving into insights and statistics through our SM pages and website has really helped me understand what my audience wants. Posting polls on our social media platforms and asking the people themselves is always a huge help as well!

photo courtesy of Scruples Haircare

10. Can you share any future plans or goals you have for Scruples Haircare under your leadership?

A highlighted focus on education is here now and will remain in all of our future plans for Scruples under my leadership!

11. How do you envision the future of Scruples Haircare evolving, and what role do you see yourself playing in that evolution?

Scruples will continue to innovate in product development, leverage new technologies, ingredients, and formulations to create high-quality haircare products that deliver exceptional results. I see myself being a helping hand to all our customers along the way!

12. How do you foster a culture of creativity and innovation within the Scruples Haircare team?

I plan to lead and foster this culture by leading by example. I strive to demonstrate a willingness to embrace change, try new things, and think outside the box.

13. Can you discuss any mentorship or support you’ve received along your journey as CEO?

Learning from my family and fellow colleagues in the industry is what I am most grateful for. Having the support from leaders and learning from similar situations they have been in has prompted new and efficient ways for me to run my company.

14. In what ways do you hope to inspire other young people to pursue their passions and entrepreneurial dreams?

I hope to inspire others to lead with purpose. My goal is to inspire other young people to pursue ventures that not only generate profit but also create positive change in the world.

15. Finally, what message would you like to share with the customers and fans of Scruples Haircare?

Scruples Haircare is here to help YOU. Whether it is to boost your business or boost volume in your hair, all the support you need is always available to, and for you. New and exciting programs, products and more are coming to you soon! See you there.

A massive thank you to Bahira Shami for sharing her insights and experiences with us.