EXCLUSIVE: Simone Biles Is the New Face of Hair Care Brand K18..

June 25, 2024

Simone Biles — who, with 30 World Championship medals under her belt is the most decorated gymnast of all time — has joined the K18 camp. She begins a two-year ambassadorship with the Unilever-owned hair care brand with a campaign highlighting the importance of inner strength. “Over the years, my approach to hair health has been quite different,” said Biles, whose styles growing up were often meticulously planned to accommodate not only her training schedule, but the severity of Houston’s heat. “My mom used to braid my hair for competitions, and then I started getting [longer] braids and we were like, ‘OK — that doesn’t really work for competing in gymnastics.’” In turn, Biles adopted her signature in-competition bun and ponytail styles, which are more practical but “can put a lot of stress on my hair, which has kind of gone through all phases of life — thickness, thinness — getting it back to health again and getting into extensions; the whole process,” said Biles, who is set to participate in the 2024 Paris Olympics USA Team Trials beginning Thursday. The seven-time Olympic medalist succeeds past K18 ambassadors Sofia Richie and Alix Earle in her new role, and counts the brand’s biotech-powered Leave-in Molecular Repair Mask, and its oil within the same franchise, among her favorite offerings. “I say my favorite but really it’s our favorite — my hairstylist Jaz [Johnson] and I,” said Biles, whose tresses have been in the hands of Johnson — who is also a K18 ambassador and part of Biles’ partnership with the brand — for the last four years now. “She’s like a sister to me — she knows exactly how I like my hair, and has brought it back to life several times.” For K18 chief executive officer Suveen Sahib, who cofounded the brand in 2020 with Britta Cox, joining forces with Biles is in step with the brand’s mission to rethink hair health from the inside-out. “Simone was a natural fit — not only because she’s the world’s most decorated gymnast — but because she fundamentally showcases how the impossible is possible when you focus on best understanding your biology, and work with your biology,” said Sahib. Integrating Johnson into the partnership, too, was an instinctual move. “That relationship between a stylist and a client is sacred in so many ways; it’s one we’ve respected and incorporated into K18 from Day One,” continued Sahib, who introduced K18’s second patented molecule via a dry shampoo launch in March, fresh off the brand’s acquisition by Unilever earlier this year. “It’s been a very rich six months,” said the CEO of life under new ownership. “As we seek to grow the brand by 5 times over the next five years.…Unilever brings in all the adjacent competencies that will take us to the next level.” The campaign with Biles, which will be unveiled on social media and later this summer make its way to TV, depicts the gymnast’s on- and off-mat routines, encouraging audiences to “feel what’s possible” with K18. “A lot of people think gymnasts don’t do much with beauty — that we don’t wear makeup or change up our hair — but that’s not the case,” said Biles, for whom taking to the mat donning her look of choice is “even more [part of my artistry] than the music, because when I feel beautiful and true and authentic to myself — I perform better.” As she gears up for her third Olympic trials, Biles has been prioritizing her mental and physical well-being in all senses of the word. “Making sure that I’m doing my therapy on Thursdays, making sure I keep in tune mentally and physically, that I’m listening to my body; yeah, I’m excited for trials,” she said.