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While there’s a greater focus on women’s health as of late, many self-care topics – like incontinence – remain taboo. Serial entrepreneur Aubrey Hubbell is on a mission to change that with Hazel. The brand makes “no-leak chic” disposable underwear that is as well-designed as it is effective.
Lest you think this is just an old age issue, consider these numbers: 33% of 3-month postpartum women and 50% of women aged 50+ experience leaks (in addition to the more expected 75% of women aged 65+). A weakened pelvic floor – because of childbirth, menstruation and menopause – is to blame. The issue is also exasperated by body weight fluctuations and high impact activities.
Despite the number of women suffering, very few feel comfortable talking about it – even with doctors. The shame is perpetuated further by social media: Facebook recently blocked women’s health companies from reaching women, labeling the communications “adult content.”
As a Crossfitter who lives for double under jump roping, I’m enthusiastic sharing my empowering femme care experience with TQE. After all, we are always open for discussion.
Hazel Wants to Get In Your Pants
Hubbell has been talking to women, eager to hear their stories and empower them, since design school. It’s her empathic style that led thousands of women to speak to her about, of all things, incontinence. And while women have craved reliable, leak-proof underwear, they’re unwilling to compromise on aesthetic or lifestyle. Ultra-thin, control-top, seamless and invisible-even-under-leggings all arose as requests.
With her entrepreneurial spirit in tow (previous experience on the Rockets of Awesome launch team and spearheading design expansion at Zola, the wedding company that reimagined the planning and registry experience set her up for success), Hubbell collaborated with a former Johnson & Johnson material scientist as well as fashion designers to meet the demand. Enter the High & Dry Brief.
High & Dry Briefs ($30 for 15; $45 for 30; $72 for 60) feel like underwear – not a diaper; Existing brands use baby diapers as the foundation when manufacturing women’s incontinence garments. Hazel’s use of natural fibers (which feel like a stiff cotton blend with great stretch) allows the underwear to be both breathable and odor-resistant, ideal as they can hold a full bladder of liquid. I love the snug fit and can attest that the thin design lends itself to no bunching during a very active workout.
Luxe “Down There” Femme Care
Underwear is just the beginning for Hazel as Hubbell strives to resolve the many issues women encounter as they age. “We are not an incontinence brand,” Hubbell noted. Two immediate necessities – The Anti-Stick Stick ($12) and Clean Slate Wipes ($10 for 15) – have launched alongside the disposable briefs.
The Anti-Stick Stick is a mess-free balm to prevent chafing, often caused by leaks and sweat, as well as soothe rashes and skin irritation anywhere on the body. Made from natural ingredients, including coconut oil, sunflower seed oil, shea butter and cocoa seed butter, it’s incredibly moisturizing, and the faint ginger scent (thanks to ginger root extract) is stimulating.
Clean Slate Wipes, the flushable, biodegradable wipes are scent-free and the ideal on-to-go refresh. The wipes, while substantial so they don’t rip with use, are soothing thanks to healing aloe. Plant-based and free of toxins, they boast the Oeko Tex certification.
As the temperatures rise, I look forward to having The All Set ($45, contains 15 disposable briefs, 15 Clean Slate wipes and The Anti-Stick Stick) in my gym bag to feel fresh at all times.
Changing More Than Underwear
For Hubell, Hazel is “so much more than an opportunity to create a product. It is an opportunity to change the conversation around aging – and what it means to be a woman at this stage of life.”
While personal care items women sought for incontinence are “hidden, often behind cleaning supplies” – given the shame of the category and the humiliating branding – Hazel’s vibrant, modern designs are as stylish as the women who need them. Since launching in January, Hazel has heard from women speaking out about the transformation in their lives: freedom to workout with intensity, wearing fitted clothes rather than larger garments to camouflage and no longer fearfully fidgeting in meetings.
Whether you need Hazel for a short time postpartum, on special occasions or daily, TQE celebrates this spectacular brand that’s not just “trying to get in your pants,” but seeks to revolutionize aging.
Five More Reason To Love Hazel:
1. A trial kit (containing a pair of High & Dry Briefs) is free – just pay shipping.
2. While the High & Dry Brief is solely available in onyx (per initial customer requests), additional colors are in development.
3. Flexible subscription options are available because women, like leak frequency, are ever evolving.
4. Hazel listens to what women want – 97% said they’d prefer disposable underwear (vs. reusable) as they can hold more liquid, and it feels more hygienic.
5. Women all over the country are jumping for joy – and on trampolines – again, thanks to Hazel.