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TWELVE Shampoo & Conditioner: behind the brand's foray into hair care

Dara: This is an exciting new world for TWELVE! With The Scalp Cure, you extended our TWELVE skincare routine to our scalps, but with the Prebiotic Natural Shine Shampoo and Conditioner, TWELVE is fully moving into haircare. What prompted you to create formulas in this category?

PEDRO: I pride myself on listening to customers, and this is a category where I had loads of requests. Also, you might not remember, but you gave me the final push years ago when you mentioned that there was a big demand for great hair care.

On a personal note, I find the world of surfactants (cleansing agents) fascinating. How they interact with the rest of components of the formulas, how some do the "dirty work" by deep cleansing while others mitigate the harsh effects of the main ones. It might sound a bit too complex, which it is, but this is an aspect of my research into haircare that I enjoyed the most.

 

Dara: How do you think about formulation for haircare vs. skincare?

PEDRO: The approach is completely different, but to me the main difference is the immediate results that we (I include myself here, too) are constantly aiming for.

Think about a vitamin C serum for treating hyperpigmentation. This is a condition where it takes around 3 months to see the results, since you need to wait for a complete skin cycle (12 weeks, approximately). So you might benefit from a sensory point of view — like skin feel, aroma, comfort, etc. — but cannot see the results after the first application.

When it comes to a shampoo or a conditioner, the narrative changes. If, after the first wash, it leaves you with untamed frizz or dryness or an itchy scalp, these are major red flags that it might not be working for you.

For this project, I wanted to create a formula that suits all hair types. With this in mind, I used a healthy dose of natural conditioning agents (great for curly hair), hydrating and soothing molecules (great for dry, sensitive hair & scalp), prebiotics (to regulate excessive sebum), and lightweight oils to provide hydration (for a silky, radiant finish on fine hair).

 

Dara: What are some things that most people don't know about shampoos that you think are important? Or, what are some myths you'd like to bust about shampoos?

PEDRO: From a formulation angle, it is very difficult to create a well-balanced formula.

Also, luckily, people’s attitudes towards indulging or treating themselves to better formulas is on the rise: finally, we are all giving more importance to our hair and see it like the frame for our faces. In the same way, people are definitely investing more on great body care.

I remember vividly in a conference one day, one of the big players in the industry (and heir of one of the most popular brands on earth) was saying that the cosmetic industry is only from the neck upwards and from the hairline downwards. But in our case, our body care is very popular, and these products have become staples for the most discerning customers. Plus, the successful launch of The Scalp Cure prompted us to move forward with the launch of the shampoo and conditioner.

 

Dara: And what about for conditioners? Any misconceptions there?

PEDRO: I love conditioners myself, like the one I’ve formulated (which is rinse-off ) and the ones you leave on. There is a misconception that you do not really need it after shampoo, especially if you use a hair mask; there is also a misconception that natural conditioners do not work. But conditioners to me, are an easy and effective way to finish your cleansing ritual.

 

Dara: What do you think is particularly innovative about these formulas?

PEDRO: Many aspects, from the unique selection of surfactants, to the use of hyaluronic acid combined with rice proteins to create a conditioning effect, and finally the method of preparation (the blend takes 48 hour to be completed). Luckily, the roof of the studio is covered with solar panels and production is always scheduled on sunny days!

 

Dara: I was most pleasantly surprised by the volumizing effect of the shampoo and the beautiful texture of the conditioner. How did you achieve those?

PEDRO: With the shampoo, what makes for better volume in the hair is the hyaluronic acid at a low pH, combined with the rice proteins: it creates an antistatic effect that helps keep hair full while still feeling clean.

The challenge with the conditioner’s texture was to basically make it feel super silky and a pleasure to use, but not too thick so that you could spread it and move it through your hair easily…and at the same time staying in the hair, not melting or dripping all over your face. It was very challenging, but I think the texture is fantastic. It was a labor of love and I couldn’t be happier with the final result.

 

Dara: Tell us about the fragrance.

PEDRO: I use the Iris germanica, distilled, that they prepare exclusively for us in Switzerland. You might be familiar with this aromatic note if you are currently using Jojoba Quench Body Serum or the marvelous hand cream Great Barrier Relief Cream. Expect it to be subtle and delicate.

 

Dara: Any helpful usage tips you can provide us with?

PEDRO: From the feedback I received from our testing panel, they used different techniques, from movements to the use of combs, etc. I always suggest to enjoy their usage and own the moment; create your own ritual that makes you want to come back to it. The ancient Greeks believed that shampoo was important to maintain good health, and once again, I agree with them.

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Shop the TWELVE lineup here, and learn more about Pedro in our Brand Spotlight.

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