Lather and Soul's hair masque

Formulating is a process.

My favorite part of creating a new product, whether for sale or for personal use, is the process of formulating and tweaking. Sometimes the inspiration for a new product is for completely selfish reasons, on occasion it can be by request, or a new ingredient I learned about piqued my interest, and other times I've seen or used a product and want to see if I can forge my own or make the product better.

Simplistic efficacy is at the core of everything I design. It comes down to choosing the most effective and researched ingredients for every product. This always requires a massive amount of reading and education before I can even begin to make any trial batches. A well made product does not nor should it have an ingredients list a mile long, as I truly believe skincare should have a less is more approach. Formulating a product is not combining a bunch of actives and ingredients into a cauldron; often more ingredients can create an issue of skin sensitivity. Certain elements and chemicals do not play nice with others, as they can alter the pH, cause instability, or become inert when combined.

Once the painstaking process of handpicking which primary ingredients have made the cut, the fun begins. Playing with ratios. Assessing texture and slip. Adding any special actives, conditioning agents, fatty alcohols, emollients, oh my! Many test batches end up in the trash, however copious notes are taken throughout this process. As Maya Angelou wisely spoke, "you may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated." Each failed batch brings me closer to the final desired product, and when it's right, I am absolutely elated.

After several weeks of researching and then additional weeks of testing (thankful for friends and family who happily volunteered their locks), I was able to launch my new hair masques, available in two scents, and brimming with nourishing oils, rich conditioners, and goodies to leave hair feeling its best, such as vegan keratin, panthenol, glycerin, and honeyquat.

Luxurious organic argan oil is packed with antioxidants, fatty acids, and vitamin E, which help hair against damage from free radicals. Fair trade and organic coconut oil adds shine and protection, and is one of the very few oils that can penetrate the hair shaft well. Vegan keratin increases hair strength, enhances elasticity, helps protect hair from harsh salon processes, makes hair look more healthy and shiny, and improves the comb-ability of hair. Honeyquat, derived from honey and a wonderful humectant, penetrates hair to provide its moisturizing benefits over time while providing shine and luster. Panthenol, also known as vitamin B5, adds moisture, shine, and reduces split ends.

The feedback has been unanimously and overwhelmingly positive, and I have to admit, I find myself playing with my hair more frequently these days.

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