Hairs to You, Helen!
Although Mark is LUSH’s hair expert (he is a trained trichologist after all!) and very skilled at making wonderful hair care products, he often shares his ideas with Helen. Lucky then that Helen’s such a whizz in the labs that she can take those seeds of an idea and turn them into fabulous, genuinely effective, hair-softening liquid conditioners!
Q: Hello Helen! So tell us a bit about Veganese – what’s so good about it?
A: Well, Mark had the idea that he wanted a vegan conditioner, as we would normally use lanolin to soften the hair. The name was the easy part - but creating it was slightly more of a challenge! I started with getting some beautiful agar agar. It’s a lovely seaweed that’s incredibly popular in Japan and makes the most wonderful soft jelly when it’s ‘dissolved’ in hot water. It’s also the perfect substitute for lanolin, as it has the same conditioning qualities and makes the hair soft and easy to comb.
Q: Which is the conditioner you’re most proud of inventing?
A: Retread. Without a doubt. Why? Because it’s bloody difficult to get loads of melon and yoghurt into a conditioner without it starting to grow in the pot! Jo Evans (LUSH’s first ever employee) bought us a book called ‘Atomic Cocktails’, full of wonderfully obscure cocktail recipes. I was particularly taken with one called ‘Hoolie Coolie Cantaloupe Cure’; a cocktail full of fruit and yoghurt – so I made it into a conditioner!
Q: Which is your favorite conditioner to use?
A: Retread again. We call it a triple strength conditioner, which might put people off as it sounds so heavy. But if you wash your hair with Rehab first, then take a generous scoop of Retread, your hair will be lovely and soft, full of volume and most importantly, really strong and healthy. Plus the perfume that Mark made for it is just lovely.
Q: How often should you shampoo and condition your hair?
A: That really depends in how you like your hair. Some people prefer their hair the day after it’s been washed, when it’s less fluffy and frizzy – others like to wash their hair twice a day. I suppose what we try to do at LUSH is create products to help get your hair to do what you want it to do. There’s no hard and fast rules – wash your hair as often as you like, it’ll do no harm.