We caught up with Briogeo's creator, Nancy Twine, about her inspirations, rituals and new *exclusive* scalp mask...

{Cult Beauty} Hi Nancy, thanks so much for talking to us. We’re massive Briogeo addicts – would you mind telling Cult Beauty fans about how you got started? What’s the Briogeo story?

{Nancy Twine} I’m so glad to hear you are fans! My love and passion for clean beauty actually goes all the way back to my childhood. I struggled with my hair growing up because the products on the market were just not right for my hair texture; instead, my mom and I would make homemade beauty products with natural oils, extracts, salts, and sugars, which was something she learned from her own mom. That’s when I discovered it was possible to use clean, plant-based ingredients to transform and nourish your hair, skin, and body.

Fast-forward a few years, I began my professional career working at a large financial firm in New York City. Almost half way through my finance career, my world suddenly changed after I experienced a profound personal loss. This inspired me to fill my life with work that fostered passion and positivity. I did some soul-searching and ultimately, I kept revisiting my childhood memories of innovating clean beauty treatments alongside my mother—it was then I realised I had a desire to make a larger impact on the natural beauty world.

I began doing my own beauty industry research and discovered that beauty consumers were seeking out clean products that actually work, yet there was a huge gap in that market. From there, my idea for {Briogeo} came to life: a line of carefully crafted, clean hair care that offers effective solutions for every hair type, hair texture, hair need, ethnicity, background, and person.

{CB} For a looong time you’ve offered essentials for curly-haired girls (and guys) – how do meet the unique needs of curls, kinks and coils, and what’s your top tip for enabling curly and afro hair types to achieve their potential?

{NT} The structure of curly hair is unique and very different from straight hair. Curly hair is more susceptible to breakage; when curls become damaged, the hair cuticle lifts and makes the hair dry and brittle. When choosing products to care for curls, it’s important to look for clean ingredients that seal down those lifted hair cuticles, increase hydration, and enhance your hair’s natural curl pattern.

For gorgeous, natural texture, never comb dry curls—this can lead to unwanted frizziness and breakage. Instead comb your curls in the shower while you have a conditioner or a mask in—this allows for the wet comb to glide smoothly through the hair.

{CB} The natural hair movement is rapidly gaining momentum (about time!). With more men and women embracing their hair and discovering products to suit their hair’s texture, what are some key ingredients to look out for (and what should be avoided at all costs)?

{NT} I’m thrilled that more people of all ethnicities are embracing their curls with confidence—your natural curl pattern is a big part of what makes you uniquely, you!

Our {Curl Charisma} collection is powered by tomato fruit ferment, rice extract, shea butter, avocado oil, amino acids, and chia seed oil which work to seal the hair cuticle, lock in vital moisture, lock out humidity that can disrupt the curl pattern, and nourish hair for healthy curls.

{CB} Briogeo’s proud to use nature-based ingredients, and has staunchly rejected unnecessary additives. Can you talk us through your ‘6-free Clean Methodology’ – what does ‘clean’ mean to you, and why’s it so important?

{NT} We have a saying at Briogeo: “when in doubt, leave it out”—meaning, if an ingredient seems suspect or potentially harmful, we consciously avoid using it in our products. Our “6-free” methodology is our promise to the {Briogeo} community that we will always say “no” to sulphates, silicones, parabens, phthalates, DEA and synthetic dyes. When I created Briogeo, I knew I didn’t want to compromise great results with harsh or potentially harmful ingredients, and instead, chose to utilise natural and effective ingredients that support hair health.

{CB} The beauty world is ob-sessed with your {Don’t Despair, Repair!} range. For those who’re uninitiated, can you talk through its benefits? Who’s it for, what’s inside it, what does it do… why do our customers need it?

{NT} Our award-winning and bestselling {Don't Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask} was one of the first products I formulated when I created {Briogeo}. It’s a deeply nourishing hair mask treatment that’s clinically proven to reduce breakage after only two uses without the use of harsh synthetics. Instead, this hair mask is formulated with plant-based ingredients like rosehip oil, algae extract, and B-vitamins, delivering strengthening protein and nourishing moisture to enhance elasticity in your strands and maintain that ideal healthy hair balance. Plus, it’s great for all hair types and textures!

{CB} We’re also impressed by the number of people who’re starting to show hair the care they’d reserved for their faces – ‘skin care for hair’ is a thing and we’ve seen a huge spike in the sale of scalp-targeted treatments. How should we care for our scalp – and why does it need ‘kid glove’ handling?

{NT} A healthy scalp care routine is similar to a great skin care routine because ultimately, your scalp is a continuation of your skin. There’s a “skinification of hair” movement going on, which makes a great connection between the ingredients, treatments, and benefits of our skin care routine and how they also relate to hair care. Your scalp, like your face, needs exfoliation to rid it of impurities and keep its hydration levels in balance. Healthy hair is rooted in scalp care, because a well-balanced scalp creates the optimal environment for long-term healthy hair growth.

{CB} The new Scalp Revival Scalp Mask has more than piqued our curiosity. Can you talk us through why it deserves a lead role in our self-(c)hair routine?

{NT} Our new {Scalp Revival™ Charcoal + Tea Tree Cooling Hydration Scalp Mask} soothes, nourishes, and detoxifies a dry, irritated scalp while restoring vital scalp hydration post-exfoliation. The magic is in the ingredients: Binchotan Charcoal, which clarifies hair follicles by removing excess oil + buildup; tea tree, peppermint and spearmint oils, which reduce irritation, itchiness and flakes with an instant cooling effect; plus, hyaluronic acid and aloe vera, which balance scalp hydration and prevent future dryness.

If your scalp is inflamed and covered in build-up, it directly affects the health of your hair. Clogged, irritated hair follicles can’t properly absorb nutrients or grow healthy hair, which can eventually lead to hair thinning and/or loss. Thus, scalp exfoliation with our {Scalp Revival™ Charcoal + Coconut Oil Micro-Exfoliating Shampoo}, followed by hydration with the scalp mask, are key for creating the optimal environment for healthy hair growth.

{CB} Stress has a lot to answer for when it comes to hair health – and given the weird, scary times we’re now living in, many of us are especially anxious, and hair health is paying the price. What are some great ways to counter the negative impact stress has on our hair?

{NT} When you feel out of control during stressful times, it’s important to take time out of every day to concentrate on self-care—for me, that’s doing yoga, fitness, and meditation, but every individual should find out what works for them. Stress negatively impacts your body, as well as your hair, so incorporating supplements into your healthy hair routine is key—our nutritionist-approved B. Well Vegan Omega 3, 6, 9 + Biotin Supplements combine a naturally powerful algae-derived omega-3 complex with biotin to support a healthy hair growth cycle and minimise hair loss.

{CB} When it comes to your personal hair care routine, can you share what it looks like? How often should people be washing – and can you really train your hair to wash itself?

{NT} My hair care routine differs, depending on whether it’s a wash day. On wash day, I start by shampooing with our {Don't Despair, Repair!™ Super Moisture Shampoo}, then masking with either {Don't Despair, Repair!™ Deep Conditioning Mask} (if my hair needs a dose of protein) or our {Avocado + Kiwi Mega Moisture Superfood Mask} (if my strands crave extra moisture). Then, I style my hair with our {Curl Charisma™ Leave-In Defining Creme} and {Frizz Control Gel}. If it’s a non-wash day, I refresh my hair with our {Scalp Revival Dry Shampoo} and smooth flyaways with our {Don't Despair, Repair!™ Strengthening Treatment Oil}.

There is no set standard for how often you should wash your hair—it depends on many factors, including your scalp’s oil production, plus your hair’s length, texture, and thickness. You cannot train your hair to wash itself, so at the very least, make sure you wash your hair once a week to keep dirt, oil, and bacteria at bay.

{CB} You’ve also branched out into body care. The banana and coconut range is scent-sational! Where do your superfood recipes come from (and which is your favourite)?

{NT} I make my own smoothies every day and when I research ingredients to use in my food, I find that many of them also have healthy hair benefits. The Superfoods collection is packed with smoothie-inspired ingredients, vitamins, antioxidants, and nutrients that nourish dull strands and support healthy hair. Our {Banana + Coconut Nourishing Shampoo} and {Conditioner} is supercharged by banana, coconut, acai, mango, and pineapple to deeply nourish dry, thirsty hair. Our luxurious {Banana + Coconut Nourishing Body Cream} is enriched with banana peel extract, coconut fruit extract, and acai fruit extract to nurture, moisturise, and smooth skin.

{CB} Looking back over the last year with all its upheaval, have your hair (and self-care!) habits changed? And, is there ever such a thing as too much masking?

{NT} In the midst of these stressful, unprecedented times, I’ve been mindful about carving out more “me time” and treating myself to regular mask and scalp treatments. If you’re using a mask with protein, make sure you don’t use it more than once a week—protein overload is real and can make your hair brittle. To maintain a healthy balance of protein and moisture, incorporate a non-protein mask into your routine as well for a hydrating boost.

{CB} And finally, what’s next for Briogeo? Are there any 2021 developments you can allude to…?

{NT} We’re excited about the recent launch of our new {Scalp Revival™ Charcoal + Tea Tree Cooling Hydration Scalp Mask}—scalp health is becoming a hot topic in the beauty world (as it should!) and I look forward to seeing more people incorporate scalp care into their routines.

The Briogeo team is always seeking ways to thoughtfully expand our collections—not just adding products for the sake of adding, but innovating new formulas that round out your healthy hair routine. Stay tuned! 

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