Can you relate?!
A little story…
Once upon a time, I was ashamed of all the plastic in my bathroom.
When I first started caring about how much plastic I was buying, it was like my eyes were newly opened. Plastic was all I could see, and it was ugly. A normal trip to the supermarket became a surprisingly confronting experience, where all I could see was brightly-coloured excess and bad design. All that wasteful packaging, destined to end up in our oceans and bother the innocent fish! It made me sad.
Every part of a normal, essential shopping experience became fraught with micro-decisions that were difficult and required me to go out of my way to adhere to these new rules and standards I’d set myself.
It should have been easy, but it wasn’t.
On top of the limited plastic-free options, my hair was ‘difficult’.
I’ve tried SO many things over the years, amassing enough plastic bottles of shampoo, conditioner, hair serum, curl cream, mousse, gels & spray to sink a mermaid.
The shampoos I was using were advertised in rainforests, but made with harsh SLS, or drenched in silicones, texture stabilisers, emulsifiers, preservatives and synthetic fragrance… AND they were actually (let’s face it) composed mainly of water. (Have you ever read the first ingredient of your shampoo – which BTW is the biggest percentage of its composition – and wondered why you’re paying so much for mostly H2O?).
…OK, there would also be the tiny amount of the cool-sounding, exotic ‘extract’ which I’d actually bought it for, but I wanted more ‘power for my pound’ than that! And it’s not like I could squeeze out every last drop of product from the plastic bottles anyway, which made them feel even more wasteful! #frugalproblems
(Full disclosure: as well as being fussy, I also can’t be bothered with a fifteen-step hair routine. I like things to be simple!)
Back to my bathroom.
I tried shampoo bars, but every one I tried left a weird greasy/waxy residue in my hair, or just didn’t leave my hair or scalp feeling truly ‘clean’.
This wasn’t quite what I’d signed up for in this life.
I wasn’t going to join the ‘just stop washing your hair’ brigade (though I know it can work for some people) and I winced when I read about people messing with their delicate pH balance by desperately trying to make ‘bicarb & vinegar’ work.
Enough was enough.
I put my inventor’s hat on. This was gonna be interesting…
I wanted something which would be pamper-level GOOD to my hair.
Something which didn’t come in yet another plastic bottle.
It had to work with my hard water and not leave my hair greasy, dry or in any way gross.
There had to be ZERO ‘transition period’.
I wanted it (without question) to be vegan and cruelty-free.
I wanted it to be made entirely of plants, with high-quality, high-performing ingredients (not just 0.005% of extract, thanks!), no preservative or SLS, no synthetic fragrance or colours and no filler.
I wanted something which could (why not?) double up as my body wash while I was in the shower. (God loves a multi-tasker.)
It had to smell amazing (yet not overpowering) – good for all genders and all the family.
It had to be gentle enough for sensitive scalps, not make me itch and not fade colour.
And: I wanted there to be an option for refilling the container afterwards, so I didn’t need a new one each time.
(Let’s just say I have some perfectionism in my personality profile as well as being rebelliously creative.)
…I did a LOT of research. I attended courses. I did a hands-on workshop in Bali, and visited spice plantations in India. I studied herbalism. I learned from traditions where amazing hair was the norm and plants were revered for their natural know-how. I taught myself about the properties/possibilities/proportions of different ingredients and reminded myself, too, of the importance of keeping it simple.
I labelled every version of my recipe in code so I could keep track of every change I made.
I’ve used it every day since, every shower still feels like I’m in a spa and I would not change one single thing about the recipe.
It’s my hair cleanser AND bodywash, and I even use it as shaving lather when I shave my legs.
My bathroom doesn’t have twenty-nine-million plastic bottles in it anymore – the fully recyclable metal bottle looks cool and sleek, and it’s not ending up in landfill.
My hair and skin is healthy, soft and smells amazing.
One customer awarded the formulation 10 stars out of 5.
People say it leaves their hair ‘insanely soft’ and they’re annoyed with themselves for not trying it sooner.
Almost everyone who tries the first bottle goes on to order bulk refills (which we send in a paper bag to their front door).
We plant a tree for every order placed.
I called it ‘Renaissance’ ( = ‘rebirth’), by the way, as it’s not like any shampoo you’ve seen before. I hope you’re open to learning new tricks!
We create in small, fresh batches in the UK and post all over the world.
It’s time for you to join our fast-growing contingent of innocent, clean-haired Earth-lovers.
Join us, and let’s stop weighing down those mermaids.