I began this year with only one firm resolution: to help my once lustrous locks recover from from their own sort of PTSD. As an early adopter of chemical straightening and a woman who found her first grey strands the morning after graduating from university, my long colour-treated hair was frankly fried.
Luckily for me, I could call upon a friendly beauty guru – my former neighbour in Bali, Michael Gordon, the London-born founder of Bumble and Bumble turned author and filmmaker. He has recently, however, returned to his roots, launching Purely Perfect by Hairstory, a three-product line encompassing the detergent-free Cleansing Crème ($40 for 236ml), Foundation Crème ($40 for 133ml) for wet styling and Smooth Finish ($34 for 118ml), designed to be used before blow drying. All were developed with several of his key Bumble and Bumble collaborators, but, he told me, “this time around, my idea is to vastly simplify things. I want to avoid product confusion,” he added with passionate conviction.
His new line eschews multisyllable chemical compounds and foaming detergents such as sodium lauryl sulphate. “Suds and foam give you just a false confidence that your hair is being washed,” he explained patiently as I got my head around his alternative, cream-based non-foaming approach. “These are actually what’s causing your hair’s dryness and frizz.”
Gordon in turn made me promise to “kick the keratin” too. He insisted that switching to his products will make the considerable expense of chemically straightening my hair obsolete. Having trusted him to pull me out of a muddy ditch during the Indonesian monsoon, I willingly submitted.
A loyalist in the extreme, I have washed – excuse me – cleansed my hair with nothing else throughout 2015.
As we approach mid-year, the frankly astonishing results impress even my eagle-eyed mother, who has taken to petting my now shiny, considerably more manageable shoulder-length bob at every opportunity. Best of all, I can go twice as long between washes – and using considerably less water means my top-down transformation is good for the whole planet.