She's so Cult

She’s So Cult: Nancy Twine of Briogeo

Last Updated: 14/03/2022

To mark the launch of the {Female Founders Edit: USA Edition}, our carefully curated edit celebrating some of our very favourite female-founded American brands, we caught up with {Briogeo’s} creator, Nancy Twine. Here, she chats brand inspirations, beauty rituals and the struggles she’s faced as a female entrepreneur…

Nancy Twine - Briogeo founder_1647270312

{Cult Beauty} Hi Nancy, thanks so much for talking to us. We’re massive Briogeo fans — 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 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 natural, 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 natural 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} Did you ever feel like you weren’t being taken seriously as a woman in business when you first started out?

{NT} When I first started going to investor meetings to raise money for Briogeo, I found it tricky to make a compelling brand pitch to these tech investors who were mostly older men. The people in the room weren’t consumers of what I was offering, so they didn’t really care about or understand why I was so passionate about it!

But I never let those disappointments get in the way of chasing my goals. The success I’ve achieved over the years is an excellent reminder that the sky’s the limit and that any dream is possible with hard work, discipline, and the right mindset.

{CB} What’s your advice for any women looking to break into the beauty industry and start their own business?

{NT} Be proactive and open-minded about seeking mentorship and building a diverse network, both of which are crucial to opening up more doors and getting resources and opportunities to help you strengthen your strategy. 

At the end of the day, no one gets to success alone — you’ll go so much further if you have a strong internal team and external support system. Research the network organisations in your industry. In beauty, for instance, there is Cosmetic Executive Women (CEW), which has been paramount for me in meeting people and opening up opportunities along the way. I am proud to now sit on their board! 

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{CB} Briogeo offers essentials for curly-haired beauties. What’s your top tip for encouraging 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} 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.

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{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, and 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 love to get insider knowledge from the experts, so go on, spill… What does your hair care routine look like?

{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}.

{CB} Before we let you go, tell us — what’s one hair trend our customers should be keeping their eyes peeled for?

{Nancy} Scalp health is a hot topic in the beauty world right now — something I love to see because healthy hair is rooted in scalp care! The “skin-ification” of hair movement is definitely here to stay, and lots of scalp and hair care treatments are brimming with ingredients similar to your favourite skin care products. We exfoliate our face to remove excess dry skin and debris, allowing our skin to better reap the benefits of other products — so why wouldn’t we do this for our scalps too? 

We just launched our much-anticipated {MegaStrength Dandruff Control Shampoo}, which uses AHAs and BHAs to reduce the uncomfortable symptoms associated with dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis, or psoriasis, while still being gentle enough for everyday use. Many of the mass dandruff shampoos on the market can leave your hair feeling dry and stripped, but ours is a clean, premium alternative that nourishes and replenishes your scalp and hair with vital moisture and nutrients.

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Verity Douglas

Verity Douglas

Content Editor

Verity is our Content Editor and a Cult Beauty veteran. Currently on maternity leave, raising Cult Beauty’s honorary ‘word nerd’, Tabitha, she speaks fluent ‘beauty’ and loves nothing more than the marriage of language and lip balm (and cleanser and candles… ad infinitum). Nothing can stop her from quoting Nancy Mitford, treating herself to yet another Bella Freud candle for her desk or buying that pilgrim-esque collared or heavily fringed outfit she’s been eyeing. You can trust her to debunk widespread beauty myths and dispense invaluable advice with ease…