Heat-related hair woes? We find out the best way to deal from Briogeo’s founder, Nancy Twine
Hair today, gone tomorrow
In this age of drastic hair transformations, constant heat styling, and adverse weather conditions (see: Singapore at 32 degree Celsius), our hair is often subject to various tortures. Whether your crime leans more towards negligence — i.e. forgetting to condition for the third time this week — or outright murder — bleaching your hair for the fifth time in a month — it's hard to deny that some of us aren't taking care of our hair as we should.
Help comes in the form of hair care brands such as Briogeo, which focuses on high-performance, naturally-based products that deliver visible results.
"We should treat our hair the same way we treat our skin; by nurturing it with ingredients that detoxify, hydrate, and protect," says founder Nancy Twine. Her philosophy is evident in Briogeo's lineup: a comprehensive range of hair, scalp and lash products. Curious to know what goes on in the mind of a consummate hair care professional? We got the chance to sit down with Twine to talk about all things hair and beauty — including the craziest thing she's ever done in the name of beauty (spoiler alert: it involves household bleach).
So, tell me about the name Briogeo. How did that come about?
The word Briogeo is split into two different parts. The first part is 'Brio', an Italian word which means vibrant, colourful, and full of life. This is reflected in our packaging and branding, and that's the feeling it's going to evoke. The word 'geo' is a Latin word that means 'of earth and of nature', which speaks to the natural ingredients used in our formulations.
That's lovely. I got to say, I love the packaging for Briogeo products.
[Laughs] Thanks! That, in part, is credited to the 'Brio' of Briogeo — hair care can be a little too serious and dramatic, at times, so we try to put the fun back into it with the packaging. Take the Briogeo Be Gentle, Be Kind Collection, for one.
So, a thing you should know about me is that I love making my own smoothies. When I'm back in New York, I make a smoothie with kale, apples, berries every morning. It's great, you know? Then, one day, I started doing some research on these ingredients, and I noticed that a lot of them have good benefits for your hair — which, hence, inspired me to create the collection and package them in bottles that resemble actual smoothies.
Interesting! Would you say that it is your favourite product of the lot, then?
Nah, that would have to be the Don't Despair, Repair Conditioner. It is a deep conditioning mask, which, actually, is one of the first four products I launched 2013. A very rich conditioning treatment, it is perfect for anyone with dry, damaged or brittle hair. I highly recommend it.
Speaking of recommendations, I trust you've been in Singapore long enough to notice the blistering heat. Any products you think would be ideal for our climate?
Hmm, that will have to be our Farewell Frizz collection. It is great for humid climates, especially our Farewell Frizz Blow Drying Cream. So, how it works is that you have to apply it to damp hair before blow-drying and styling it, as you usually do. But what it does help seal the hair cuticle, hence locking out all the humidity that causes frizz.
I also think you guys should use products that are rich in antioxidants. The sun shines pretty brightly here, so just like how you wear sunscreen to protect your skin, you should use hair products rich in antioxidants to protect your hair and scalp against free radical damage. Briogeo products contain good levels of antioxidants.
Wow, I didn't know that. How about new releases, then? Are there any from Briogeo that you think Singaporeans will really enjoy?
Yes, this one here is our latest hair and body shimmer mist. It is really cool when you shake it up, and it is sustainable, too. It imparts this really beautiful shimmer on your hair and body — great for parties and festivals, right?
Definitely. Alright, let's talk trends. Have there been any hair-related ones you've really liked in 2019?
I feel that it's been a lot more focused on wellness, lately — so really not just treating your hair well, but your scalp, too, and it's true because our scalp is an extension of our face. I mean, we take care of our skin, we exfoliate and moisturise, but... we don't often do the same for our scalp. So I'm really glad that this movement is picking up traction, lately.
Nice. Any products you think would be perfect for someone new to the scalp care movement?
Try our Scalp Revival Micro-Exfoliating Shampoo. It has charcoal in it, which will help detoxify the scalp. There are also micro-exfoliators that help to get rid of all accumulated build-up. Think of it as a facial for your scalp.
It smells amazing. Would you recommend this to someone with an oilier scalp? It seems to be pretty common amongst Singaporeans.
Absolutely. You should know that sometimes, oily scalp happens because your scalp is dry, though. Your scalp will then, in turn, overcompensate and it start producing all this oil because it thinks it is dry and needs it. It's really similar to the skin.
Wait, but what if someone had dry hair and an oily scalp, would you be able to use a product developed for oilier scalps, and a separate one for dry locks...?
Yup! You can mix and match the different collections, no problem.
Alright, since we covered your favourite hair trend of 2019, what do you think is the worst?
Well, I think that one of the things I've seen is people who have very dark hair — even black — go from it to platinum blonde and that can be so, so destructive to your hair. Like going to a brown, light blonde is totally fine but if you go too many levels, like... [makes a face] I know that it is a very trendy colour, but it can be so damaging.
Ah, the things we do for beauty.
Right? I remember when I was back in high school, I wanted blonde hair — and I knew to get blonde hair, you needed to use bleach. But I didn't know the difference between hair bleach and the normal kind! So I put household bleach on my hair and it wasn't turning blonde and I kept putting bleach and it absolutely destroyed my hair. That was really bad. I had to cut it all off.