“Try this,” read the note attached to my Amazon package. I would have been more baffled had this not become a routine. Tess, the QUILL Editor-in-Chief (and my best friend), is known to send random care packages… and beauty products for reviews to share with QUILL readers. I’m not complaining though — she knows exactly what I need when I need it. This is why I was thrilled to unbox Amika’s Soulfood, Flash, and The Kure hair masks, which would (hopefully) help my very sad strands.
Living on a sailboat can take a toll on your hair, from wind tangling it to the sun bleaching it. I love my life afloat, but my hair definitely needed a little extra love to keep it looking fab.
This ultra-luxurious hair mask is rich and creamy, yet doesn’t weigh hair down. It is packed with vitamins and nutrients to condition the hair making it soft, silky, and smoother than ever (thus its Soulfood name!) According to Amika’s website, Soulfood is “perfect for all hair types, especially those in need of deep hydration,” aka: me. Oh, and not only does it feel good but it smells good too! Keeping your locks smelling lovely all day long. Big win.
In addition to the Soulfood mask, Tess sent me the Flash Instant Shine Mask, which gives brilliant shine, softens, and hydrates hair in just 60 seconds… or so it says.
Honestly, I was more impressed with the Superfood, which definitely deeply hydrated my hair. The Flash mask was more liquid-like, and it worked better as a leave in product rather than a mask. I personally did not notice any extra “shine,” but I did appreciate another nice smelling product, especially when the wind ruffled my hair.
As mentioned, my hair dwells in a rough environment which unfortunately leads to a lot of dryness and breakage. I was really excited to give The Kure a shot, especially with Amika’s clinically proven promise to strengthen hair, reduce breakage, and prevent future damage. Made for people like me that have damaged hair due to everyday heat, environmental stressors, and chemical treatments, I was all about it!
On top of its clinically-proven benefits, it swears to be relatively fast acting. This rinse-out treatment doubles as a leave-in to strengthen your strands and repair damage in a mere 60 seconds. Multi-tasking has never been so easy, and I definitely recommend The Kure.
My review’s bottom line: I was impressed with this product line and look forward to keeping Amika in my hair care routine, no matter where in the world I sail!
We hope my review of Amika’s hair masks with convince you to save your strands! Have you tried these masks? Did they help your hair? Sound off in the comments!
If you had told me six weeks ago that I would love my hair without conditioner, leave-in, or any form of hydrator, I would have laughed. Same goes with the suds – the feeling of fluffy, clean strands was my favorite hair day… which is exactly why Hairstory’s New Wash scared the sh*t out of me.
So much so, in fact, that I almost gave up and wrote a review that simply said “I couldn’t do it.”
How’d I even end up here? It’s a simple story.
I had done plenty of research on Hairstory before I reached out to the company. I loved that the brand was inclusive – hair is hair, here! I also adored the idea of using an affiliate link to connect hairdressers with clients in a COVID-19 world.
When I pitched an idea of writing a story on the brand, their lovely contact, Hannah, came back with a question: how would I feel about speaking to Wes Sharpton, one of their hairstylists?
Unsure of what the profile would be like, but thrilled nevertheless, I prepared for my interview. The morning of, I ran to my mailbox, and there was a box filled with the Hairstory goods: their New Wash, Powder (dry shampoo), and Hair Balm (to add texture when air drying).
I proudly showed the box off to Hannah and Wes on the call, both of whom smiled in reaction to the joy radiating from my side of the screen. I couldn’t wait to try it!
And then, for three weeks, I couldn’t wait to be done trying it. But trust me – the story changes quickly.
A “Cream Cleanser”
People are sick of the chemicals stripping their hair of natural oils (the feeling my oily scalped loved) and are becoming aware of what’s lurking in those plastic bottles. So, many methods, like no poo and co-washing, are growing exponentially in popularity.
Popular alternatives to chemical-filled shampoo include apple cider vinegar, mixes with olive oil and/or coconut milk, lemon juice, tea tree oil, clay, and water on its own.
Another alternative: Hairstory’s New Wash. Though they claim it isn’t exactly a no poo, it ticks all of the requirements to be one. So, the cream cleansing New Wash revolution is blowing up.
Hairstory’s New Wash – The Full Story
Hairstory has a cult following thanks to their New Wash; in fact, it’s what truly put Hairstory on the map.
New Wash cleans and conditions with essential oils and naturally-derived ingredients. Some of the essential oils include ylang-ylang and rose, while natural ingredients include aloe, lavender and matricaria flower extracts, and peppermint and jojoba seed oils. The combination results in a cleanser that doesn’t strip your locks or scalp of good oils, and it doesn’t deteriorate your scalp’s protective barrier. And we all know that a happy scalp = a healthy scalp!
The most enticing part of New Wash to me: Hairstory’s claim that you don’t need to condition afterward. My hair is beyond damaged from years of at-home bleaching and dyeing (sorry @ all hairstylists reading this), so I need the most intense conditioner for at least three minutes in every. single. shower session. It’s the only thing that keeps my hair from looking like I fed the ends through a woodchipper.
So, skipping the step that took up the most time? I was excited. And good-for-you ingredients that wouldn’t strip or break? I was sold immediately.
Sustainability-wise, one 8-oz. pouch – not plastic bottle, but pouch – covers both your shampoo and conditioner, and you can go longer between washes. In total, New Wash reduces your plastic use by an astounding 91%. It’s also biodegradable and safe to use in open water sources. Just keep in mind that the use of keratin – aka a protein derived from sheep’s wool – means it is not vegan.
After my interview with Wes, which also happened to be day three without washing, I skipped to the shower and prepared to enter the cleanser cream lifestyle.
It was not what I expected.
My First Experience With Hairstory
First, Hairstory also includes a little scalp massager, so you can really work through the formula and then rinse it out thoroughly. I didn’t get it at first, until I opened up my bag and the cream came out thick. It wasn’t gel-like, like a mask or a face cream or shaving cream – it was hefty. But I’m as curious as a cat with a death wish (or nine), so I dutifully followed the instructions and worked it through my hair with the massager.
No suds. Not even slight foaming. I probably wouldn’t have been able to tell that I had shampoo in my hair had I not put it in myself, because it rubbed into my strands so gloriously. When I was sure I’d scrubbed my scalp enough, I rinsed out with the massager, letting every drop of the shampoo wash out. I went to rub my scalp, expecting to feel your standard stripped hair.
Nope. None of that. My hair felt nice and… okay, kind of oily still.
I was baffled. Hadn’t I just washed it, and intensely at that? I knew there weren’t chemicals to strip the hair, but it was only then that I realized just how badly foaming shampoo strips your strands.
The best part, though? My hair was SOFT. It was MANAGEABLE. I didn’t have to use conditioner for my brush to go through my hair!!!! It was a goddamn miracle.
After drying out my hair to a damp level, I flipped my hair over, applied Hairstory’s Hair Balm for some texture, tousled my hair, and went about my day. I was feeling pretty good… until I caught a glimpse of my hair. It was oily, it was greasy, it was messy, it was not cute. I felt mortified, as my friend was mere minutes away.
I quickly located Hairstory’s Powder. Instead of a spray, it came out as a puff of white powder. I massaged it into my roots… and it made it worse. I looked like a hot mess. (Thankfully, my friend knows and respects that I’m a beauty editor, so he did not find it off-putting when I answered the door and said “my hair is greasy as fuck” with a very greasy head.)
I assumed this was a fluke, and, if not, it probably would sort itself out in the next wash or two.
I reported this to Tara, QUILL’s Content Writer. She texted back a link to an article and a follow-up text: “it takes six weeks.”
Oh dear god. What did I get myself into?
Wes Taught Me To Be Honest, So…
I will spare you the details, but the first three weeks were miserable. And it was my own curiosity that landed me here.
As someone who sudsed up her entire life, switching to chemical-free shampoo was terrible. My hair constantly felt dirty, it never sat the right way, and the Powder just didn’t help. I cut out the Hair Balm, and though I lost texture, my hair at least felt a little less greasy – I guess it’s just my roots that get super oily, and if I don’t brush, I don’t have to worry about hydrating it as much.
Still, despite my discomfort, I liked my routine. The massage into and off of my head was nice, and I adored not having to take five minutes to stand around while my conditioner worked its magic. When was the last time I had used a shampoo that allowed me to skip conditioner? Not ever, that’s when.
It was week four when I appeared on Zoom with the QUILL team, yelling “look at my hair!” and shoving my roots into the camera for all to see. And what did they see?
A normal, non-oily, healthy scalp and roots.
It was a frickin’ miracle.
I had outlasted the pain and was entering the other side of the anti-chemical lifestyle: the lifestyle in which you give up stripping your hair for that sense of cleanliness, and fall in love with keeping it healthy and hydrated with its natural oils instead.
My Final Thoughts On Hairstory’s Products
So, here’s my Hairstory review: New Wash is the only shampoo I’ll be buying from now on, and I think I’ll be skipping the Hair Balm unless I desperately need texture. And the Powder? It’s great in a pinch, but it just didn’t help the build-up that accumulated on my head so quickly. This isn’t Hairstory’s fault, or a weakness in their product – it’s my own hair being finicky and adapting to a major change.
I have no doubt that my hair will continue to adapt as I enter the famous week six (Tara, I did it! I really did it!). I’m only halfway through my first 8-oz. bag, so while the price is somewhat steep for those used to drugstore prices, it’ll last you just as long – if not longer! – than your daily salon shampoo bottle. Aka, if you’re looking for cream cleanser that won’t kill your hair, Hairstory’s New Wash is about to become your long-term relationship.
I want to take a quick paragraph to thank a VIP, too: Hannah, thank you for gifting me these lovely products. I am so honored, and I hope you like the article on Wes! Please know: you made that happen. You made a cream cleanser gal out of me, and you helped me to produce one of my favorite articles. You’re a miracle worker.
While it’s tempting to use my regular shampoo just to compare after all this time away, I know I never want to go through those first three weeks again. So, to Hairstory’s New Wash I will stick, and never stray. Hold me to that.
Did you like this review of Hairstory’s New Wash? Have you tried it before? Tell us below!
Hairstory’s Wes Sharpton doesn’t give me a chance to ask a question after I open with “Who are you?”
Instead, Sharpton launches into his full story. Who he is, how he got to Hairstory, the history of Hairstory, and where they are now.
It’s like he’s practiced telling this tale, the way it flows so naturally. I follow along easily, lost in his descriptors.
But I don’t laugh. No, I tear up multiple times instead throughout the hour-long journey.
When he gets to the end, he mumbles that he’s sorry for “blabbing” on. I tell him it’s fine; I only have two questions now, anyway.
“Sure,” Sharpton says, nodding. I don’t know what he expects me to ask; maybe something about Hairstory, or a detail he left out. But it’s clearly not these two questions.
Have I piqued your curiosity? Good. Here’s Wes Sharpton’s story, from humble beginnings to Hairstory.
“My friends and I would always joke: I’m the original country queer. And that’s where my story started.” It’s a succinct intro, but Wes Sharpton makes it seem like the easy way to start the story.
Sharpton grew up in Oklahoma in the ‘90s, before he had the resources that we do now for the LGBTQ+ community – and when the state was extremely conservative regarding gay rights. “It was feeling like there weren’t enough of us in people’s homes yet to really like that I could feel…” He searches for the right word, eventually landing on: “safe.”
I quietly listen to him describe his strategies in school: taking different paths throughout hallways to get through class, never following the same one, because there was a lack of safety in familiarity. “I thought ‘if I am in this space and I keep doing the same thing every day, someone’s gonna notice my path to get to class and that’s gonna make me vulnerable to being beat up, or something like that.’” He shrugs. “It’s what you had to do to survive.”
There was more strategy; making friends with those who could indirectly, unknowingly protect you. It helped Sharpton develop his “people smarts,” something he takes pride in.
“I think many people in my position had to get smart and quick! And we had to move in a way for survival, right? We had to be a little strategic for our own safety, like, ‘who do I need to align with to be protected?’” I didn’t come out until 24; the thought of dodging and befriending solely for strategic reasons makes my stomach churn.
But Sharpton says it so casually, no shock factor attached to the words. As he says, “it sounds awful, but it was just the way that we had to navigate the world in that place, at that time.”
But through the media, Sharpton knew there was more out there for him, more than what conservative Oklahoma had to offer him. There was space for him. Space where he didn’t have to be strategic.
“I just had an inkling in my mind: ‘there’s gotta be a place. There’s gotta be a place where not everything is like Oklahoma. I’m not gonna always have to change paths. I’m not always gonna have to switch gears. I can have a routine one day without fear.’”
A routine is something most youths take for granted through their adolescent lives. They wake up, quickly scarf down breakfast, go through the motions in school, and continue on to extracurriculars, or to do homework, or to visit friends, or to simply rest at home. And it happens every day. Rinse, wash, repeat. There is no strategy involved.
Sharpton did not have this luxury. But he did have those dreams of a better place.
“Growing up gay, poor, having learning disabilities… These are all challenges, but there is a gift in these obstacles: imagination,” he says, smiling. “The idea of seeing and training your mind to imagine something that isn’t quite there yet in reality is such a valuable gift.
“I could have a bigger vision of myself than others could, because I could imagine things that had not existed in the world yet, as we know them.”
He eventually made it out of Oklahoma. Here’s how.
After escaping school and its lack of consistency, Wes Sharpton gravitated toward fashion.
This is where I tear up for the first time.
“Can I be honest with you? Really honest,” he asks me. I say yes, of course, please.
“For me, my otherness was in the fashion world, which I believe I gravitated to because it wasn’t a place I belonged…” Sharpton pauses and looks at me.
“I never felt beautiful. I never felt pretty in my own skin. And I thought, if I can’t really have it myself, at least I can be a part of it. At least I could have a piece of something beautiful.”
My heart lurches to my throat. I swallow down the lump. Be professional, I tell myself.
Sharpton continues on after telling me his secret about his experience at a “cheap” cosmetology school, where he learned the details of makeup and hair care. He had assumed he was going to be a makeup artist, but after being invited to a hair show – “which is really where people stand on a platform and cut hair” – he was drawn to the hair world.
“I thought, ‘dang, these people are cool…. Maybe there’s a space where I could do this.’ And then I started to cut hair. I ended up in New York, where I trained and worked at Bumble and bumble. for many years.” Goodbye, Oklahoma; hello, Big City.
However, the fashion world wasn’t what Sharpton expected. He was glad to have escaped his hometown and found his niche in cutting hair, but “a fashion set is not as amazing as people assume it is, there’s a lot of standing and waiting and then ‘go.’ There’s a lot of pressure.”
So, Sharpton leaned into hair cutting. He worked at salons for many years, perfecting his craft, therefore putting Sharpton on the map. But it was when his work made it into Vogue that he faced a major realization.
“I thought, when I got into VOGUE, that I would be whole. And that would mean that I had made it and showed everybody and did the thing,” he says.
That’s understandable. Those who have felt othered, felt the doubt from those surrounding them… “making it” means you proved them wrong, that you are where you belong. But it was the opposite for Sharpton.
“I realized then that I needed to do some internal work, and that I’d need to align myself with things that I really loved and really believed in,” he tells me. “The press is interesting, right? It happens quick and it happens fast. I remember taking that moment and going, ‘okay, cool. This is great that this is going on in your life, but it won’t fix you.’”
He recalls doing an interview on what hair is best for your face shape; he felt “icky” after doing it, and he decided then and there that he would never tell someone how to be beautiful again.
Instead, “I thought, ‘what if we stopped having these conversations about face shape? Why don’t you just come in and you tell me what you really love about yourself? Then I’m gonna focus on how I can bring attention to that.’”
So, when someone sits in his chair and complains about their face, he resets the conversation. He has the client tell him what their favorite feature is, and he highlights that instead. “You are not designed to hide. And I, as a hairdresser, am not designed to help you hide,” he says. “I’m not OK with the culture of criticism and having a ‘solution.’ I say, let’s blow that out of the water because this is a bunch of bullsh*t, and we don’t need to be participants in that.”
He was thrilled to make this change, taking a stand to never speak about face shape again and then bringing it into his personal practice. But, he tells me, he was tired. As his career grew exponentially, he was also growing tired.
He dreamt of simplifying his life, ending his story and “opening a juice bar on the beach.” Something that didn’t exhaust him so much.
“I was really leaning into a little bit of that fantasy of thinking, ‘it’s time to wrap this show up. Maybe it’s time to do something different,’” he recalls. “And then Hairstory came into my life, a brand that is fully supportive of the hairdressing community.”
Ah, there it is. Enter: Hairstory.
The hair world was facing a crisis: what was once so exclusive had become accessible. People were able to buy hair products online, if not for cheaper on Amazon. The hairdressing community took a hit financially as e-Commerce capabilities grew – those who relied on product sales and in-person sales were losing out to a fast-growing and fast-moving Internet.
“As e-commerce grew, we were almost abandoned by haircare companies who had previously said they were ‘pro the hairdresser,’” Sharpton says. ‘Hairstory did something different that appealed to me because it supported hairdressers in a way no other brand had done.’
The idea came from Hairstory’s CEO, Eli Halliwell: providing hairdressers with affiliate links, therefore rebirthing exclusivity – just online, this time.
How Hairstory’s affiliate links work, in Sharpton’s words: “Hairdressers are rewarded for their client relationships – so much so that, after one affiliate sale, the customer remains connected to their Hairstory hairdresser for eternity, with the hairdresser rewarded ongoingly.
“Eli told me; ‘Your clients are always connected to you, and we will always pay you and we’re always gonna do that every time that they return. We will always honor sharing your education about these products with your clients.’”
Sharpton was drawn to the concept, because “the one thing that energized me the most was a big idea.” On top of this, he felt that Halliwell was supporting the hairdressing community, which had been so brutally abandoned by others.
Part of the reason behind the abandonment: the misconception by so-called “pro-hairdresser” companies that claimed that hairdressers were poor at selling their products, or simply didn’t know “how to retail.” But Sharpton strongly disagrees.
“This isn’t true!” he emphasizes. “It’s that our entire business is built on trust. We’re intuitive at our job and we have a personal connection with our clients that doesn’t align with pushing for retail sales.”
So Sharpton’s response to Haillwell’s big idea? “I thought, ‘here is someone who’s bringing something new and fresh that also allows [hairdressers] to participate, respects our work, and allows us to be considered,’” Sharpton says of Halliwell. “And it was really [hairdressers] being considered, which was bigger to me than the idea of the link.
“I was also drawn to [Hairstory’s New Wash] in a space that’s historically always been the same, shampoo, conditioner, detangler… What reinvention could happen from there?” Sharpton tells me. The unique New Wash – which helped to blow up affiliate links and what Hairstory is best known for – is “an all-in-one hair cleanser that rivals shampoo.” (Note: I’ve been using it for the past six weeks, and my review comes out tomorrow.)
So, Sharpton didn’t give up his hair cutting and start a juice bar. His excitement kept him around. He’s still with Hairstory to this day – the exact reason we’re on Zoom right now, my mic muted.
… Until it’s my turn to ask the follow-up questions.
I only have two.
The questions aren’t easy, and I’m aware of it. They’re direct, thought of as he closes his story, his vulnerable journey from “original country queer” to world-renowned hairdresser. But I don’t feel like asking Wes Sharpton easy questions after this story – this “Hair”story, if you will.
“What is your definition of beautiful?” I ask point-blank.
“I think that is such a hard question,” he says. But he doesn’t shy away from the question; he thinks hard about it.
“I don’t know that I’ll ever be whole, right? I don’t know that I’ll ever have that ability to be able to maybe be like, this is beautiful because I don’t know that I’ve dismantled all of the messages that say what isn’t beautiful yet. So my job is to try and dismantle a little piece of that in hopes that other people down the road either have to do less dismantling or hopefully one day have to do zero dismantling.”
Zero dismantling sounds impossible right now, but Sharpton is determined to do the work.
“I just wonder what the world would look like if people thought they were enough already as you came in,” he says. “I would hope that in the future, that we could have the idea that there could be a space for all of us.”
I reflect on how I’ve struggled to feel beautiful all my life, and how the internal struggle pops up every single day. Sharpton drops another piece of wisdom.
“I would love to give you a clean, pretty PR answer, but I don’t know that it would be, I don’t know that it would be the truth. I thought about this today and I thought, you know what? You always have a choice to be as honest as you want. And sometimes your honesty means that you have to be vulnerable about the way that you view yourself in the world and why maybe you’re motivated to change that for others.”
Then he apologizes. I tell him not to – QUILL doesn’t look for clean answers. We look for the raw, real, brilliant, honest, vulnerable truth. And that’s what he’s given me here.
It changes my next question, but it’s just as pointed, and I’m almost scared to ask it: “Do you think you’ll ever be enough?” It’s a personal question for myself as well, and I’m hoping Sharpton hasn’t run out of wisdom, because I desperately need it.
I could summarize what he says, but I’m going to give his full quote, because I teared up and nearly cried as he dove into it. I hope you enjoy it, too. I think it’s an appropriate close to the interview. Please take this to heart.
“I think it depends, right? I think, at the end of the day, I think that what we really want is just to be seen, because I think the idea of being seen means that you have value, and if you have value, then maybe someone could value you. And that is because when it comes down to it, you’d like to imagine for yourself that if you could be seen, that you could also be loved.
“We want the baseline. Like, you’re good, right? Like, you’re here, you exist. You deserve to exist. You can be recognized. We want that as a baseline and everything else, and as far as enoughness goes, maybe it’s just doing the work to unravel why we have tricked ourselves into believing that we’re not enough.
“Sometimes challenging yourself to be like, ‘what if I did this incrementally better?’ There’s never an end to mastery, right? There’s only just the journeys along the way. That’s the joy of the whole thing. And so in some spaces, I want to be enough, but I also want a healthy challenge to still be better.
“I think for me, enough will never be there because there’s always growth. As a community, we are sometimes a little harsh on ourselves, and I think we’ve got to remember to let people learn and grow. And we’ve got generations of experiences that are new, and queer people are learning. I didn’t have access to some of the things that are around today, so I didn’t have a language around some things. It’s cool that we can grow together.
“And I would say, just be gentle. Remember people are largely on your side. I think sometimes we get a little bickering amongst ourselves and we get overwhelmed by things outside of our group that we’re not addressing and that are not moving us forward. So I think that can be something that we have to be considerate of; to be kind to ourselves and let people learn.
If living on a sailboat has taught me anything, it is how our everyday choices affect the world around us. If you read our eco-friendly soap article, you know that there are some incredible options for your consideration… but did you know that there is also a plethora of eco-friendly hair care products?
Since moving aboard in 2018, my partner and I have actively looked for products that have low-to-no impact on the environment. We find ourselves so closely connected to the planet, which has resulted in this list of our favorite eco-friendly hair products.
“Shampoo that doesn’t squeeze but nourishes, baby!” is what Ethique’s website says, and let me tell you, it’s true! The New-Zealand-based company has exploded in international popularity with a mission to have a bar in every bath and shower. With their wide variety of shampoo and conditioner bars, they are making a positive impact in the cosmetic industry. One Ethique bar is the equivalent of THREE bottles of liquid shampoo!
This UK-based company offers compact and long-lasting shampoo bars that use castor oil. The result: a creamy and deeply-conditioning lather that cleans and cares for your hair and scalp! Their relaxing scents add to the experience, leaving you smelling and feeling cleaner than ever.
PARADOXX is a beauty brand that has environmental and social responsibility woven into the fabric of its business. They have a vast inventory of products that revolve around clean and conscious beauty, but their haircare products may be the most notable. Although their packaging is not 100% eco-friendly (it has a plastic pump) they offer detailed how-to recycle notes in the item descriptions.
This brand has had my attention from the start with its plastic-free packaging and budget-friendly offerings for high-quality haircare. Their bars don’t look like your average bar of soap either; the founders allowed nature to be their muse. HiBar’s signature shape reflects the rocks of Lake Superior (where HiBar was founded): “Smooth, connected to water, and when you pick up that perfect rock, it just feels right.”
The Earthling Co. was built on the belief that we as humans have the power to create a more sustainable and harmonious world. Although the company is more known for their home goods, they also have a line of eco-friendly haircare products. Instead of plastics, they are made with plant-based ingredients! Their shampoo and conditioner bars are made of concentrated ingredients wrapped in 100%-compostable packaging. Make your transition to plastic-free a breeze!
With so many eco-friendly brands existing in the world (and more popping up each day), we know it can be overwhelming to find the right fit for you – especially with hair products. We are confident that one of the brands above will have exactly what you are looking for – just trust us.
Which eco-friendly products should we highlight next? Share with us in the comments!
Shampoo and conditioner bars are changing the haircare world. They’re eco-friendly, work well, and there are so many options. And for this brand spotlight, we’re choosing to higlight HiBar and their shampoo and conditioner bars specifically.
We found HiBar when we reached out to our Resident Mermaid, Marissa, who is all about being sustainable and keeping toxic ingredients out of the environment. She recommended the brand, one we’d mentioned in previous articles.
After reading up on the brand and their mission, as well as their sustainability and eco-friendly practices, they were undoubtedly necessary to spotlight. So, without further ado: the innovative, earth-saving shampoo and conditioner bar brand, HiBar!
As we all know, shampoo and conditioner bottles are kinda sorta destroying the planet. Single-use plastic is filling up landfills and the ocean – did you know that 552 million shampoo bottles could be ending up in landfills every year? Or that the number of shampoo bottles could fill 1,164 football fields? Our need for clean hair is understandable; our use of plastic is embarrassing.
The brand was started by four friends who were sick of single-use plastic – especially those in the bathroom. So, they founded a company dedicated to fighting those bottles by creating shampoo and conditioner bars that work… and have plastic-free packaging.
None of that huge-bottle-BS you throw away after two weeks because you double-wash. One shampoo bar lasts as long as one 16-oz. bottle of liquid shampoo in a huge plastic container. The thing is, there’s no plastic involved in your purchase of a HiBar shampoo or conditioner bar.
HiBar’s shipping packages are also 100% plastic-free, with every bit of the package on your doorstep being compostable, easily recyclable, or both. There isn’t even a piece of plastic tape.
What will you find in these bars? No soap or silicones, no parabens or phthalates. The ingredients are good for your hair and good for the environment (it’s entirely biodegradable thanks to the natural ingredients).
The bars are gluten-free and, with the exception of honey used in their Maintain bars and Soothe bars, completely vegan. On top of this, they’re cruelty-free with a Leaping Bunny certification.
HiBar is a company with a mission, something QUILL admires. We included them in our article regarding best-smelling shampoos, but we just had to spotlight them as well. Here are the sets they offer, which we recommend scooping up for your dream hair.
Use the Maintain set every day (or however often you wash your hair) – they’ll get rid of that oil without drying your hair out entirely. Honeyquat and shea butter add shine and soften, giving you hair that lasts until your next wash.
Dry hair is no match for this shampoo-conditioner set. Moisturizing is also fantastic for thick hair, because you won’t miss a single strand. Coconut oil and rice protein are the driving, nourishing forces, and they smell like citrus – a nice, fresh, pick-me-up scent.
Looking for a little oomph to flat hair? Preparing for a big event and want a base for your blowout? Go with the Volumize set. African dates and B5 fight frizz, so even if you go big, it won’t look like lightning hit you. It’s also perfect for waves and curls that need a little lift.
Soothe has a lower pH (about a 3) than the others, making it perfect for scalps that need a little TLC. Get rid of itching and flakes with white willow bark and kukui nut oil to soothe irritated scalps and stop the shedding.
We mentioned them in our fragrance-free conditioner article because there’s no scent. None. You will not smell like a single thing. This is thanks to coconut oil and rice protein to nourish, and 0 essential oils or natural fragrances. It’s currently sold out, but sign up for the waitlist and keep checking the site — they’re ridiculously quick at restocking.
Here at QUILL, we believe in gender inclusive beauty. It’s not just for women – it’s for everyone.
But so often, there are beauty brands who do not include this necessary mission in their company. They may believe in gender inclusivity – they may donate to LGBTQ+ causes, or support during Pride Month, too – but nowhere do they mention that their products are gender-neutral.
I wanna see a big shake-up in the beauty industry!! Throw out the old Eurocentric beauty standards, embrace and encourage all kinds of beauty. Encourage people of all genders to experiment with makeup and hair. Be more inclusive with skin tones and facial features. I wanna see it
Natch Essentials is dedicated to clean, sustainable beauty – none of those gross, toxic chemicals that we accidentally put on our bodies every day. But they also state in their about that they are “completely genderless.” You’ll notice it right off the bat. There are no pinks or blues, no obvious signs of “for her” and “for him.” Instead, the products are in minimalistic green and/or white bottles, and each description emphasizes that the product is genderless.
We Are Fluide is run by six team members, all of whom firmly believe in the brand’s mission: making accessible, clean beauty available for everyone, regardless of your gender identity. They believe makeup is fun, and that no one should feel excluded because of who they are. Founder Laura Kraber (she/her) founded We Are Fluide to celebrate gender inclusive beauty and encourage and support younger generations’ self-expression. No matter your pronouns, We Are Fluide has a place for you.
Jessica is all about safe spaces, creating a studio where she could teach trans women how to experiment with their makeup. Her studio was a place for private lessons, helping trans women feel confident in themselves and how they presented. Following the founding of her studio, she voluntarily provided lessons to trans prisoners in Parc Prison in Wales, a category B prison… that was all-male. Eventually, Jessica took her knowledge and created Jecca Blac, and the rest is history.
If you’re looking for a brand that’s here to fight stereotypes, and fight them HARD, Morphe is the brand for you. They describe themselves as a “ride-or-die fam,” and this beauty fam and its community are totally gender inclusive. Created for creators, there’s something for everyone at Morphe, and the possibilities to create your own looks? Endless. You want color? You wear the damn color, because stereotypes are BS, and you deserve to look fabulous in whatever Morphe makeup you choose.
As of June 2021, 50 employees reported their ethnicity and gender identities. The findings: 2% identified as genderfluid (2% chose not to disclose). Every June and December, Milk shares their accountability progress, rather than hiding their diversity from the world. Since June 2020, they’ve donated $50,000 to The Center, and 1% of all sales go to The Center as well. They also brought on a team member who had completed an internal leadership and team climate and culture assessment and provided Bias and Allyship training for Milk’s team.
Founder Gloria had a mid-life crisis, so she went to Thailand to recenter. After a month, she finally felt ready to pursue her dream: owning her own beauty line. She went home to California and started the line in her kitchen, making cosmetics for the people that weren’t shown in the media. NOTO’s mission is all about representation and inclusivity, no matter your gender, age, size, or race. NOTO encourages you to own your individuality and live authentically, no matter what that means to you.
We love (MALIN+GOETZ) for their dedication to clean, natural, luxury skincare, specifically made for all genders. Its packaging is also neutral, with white bottles and a variety of colored fonts that aren’t directed at specific genders. The fragrances are also unisex, so no smell will be completely avoided by one gender. The products can be worked into any skincare routine and the fragrances feature no alcohol, so your skin will thank you.
“TooD” is short for Attitude. Shari Siadat was teased for her unibrow growing up and attempted to hide it for years. But when she became a mother, she was dedicated to changing her attitude and showing her daughters that EVERYONE is beautiful. Shari believes it’s time for the world to welcome you for who you are. As Shari puts it: “No longer should anyone have to cover up who they are. Isn’t it about time we live in a world where we are fully embraced? As is?” She’s right.
What is your favorite gender inclusive brand? Did we miss any? Tell us in the comments!