Founder's Series: Interview with Clarissa Founder of The Hair Routine
High-performing products that don't compromise on quality nor on the health of our planet - this is what The Hair Routine is all about. The Hair Routine set out to create natural hair care - shampoo, conditioner, and three rich and beautiful hair masks - that have quickly become some of our best-sellers and personal favourites at the shop.
Intrigued by her story, we chatted with Clarissa, founder of Montreal-based The Hair Routine about the inspiration behind her products, how her Brazilian background has greatly influenced her path and her journey with The Hair Routine.
Read more below, and find out about an amazing Hair Routine Bundle giveaway here!
At HH, finding great natural hair care for our customers has been one of our biggest challenges. Tell us about your experience with natural hair care and what inspired you to create your line.
I can totally relate to that challenge. When I moved from Brazil to Canada I was faced with the same challenge. I realized that not only is it hard to find clean products that perform but also there is a big lack of education about hair care in North America. It seemed to me that big brands fool consumers by promising one-use miracles that “make up” the hair through chemicals rather than actually giving it the nutrients to care for it.
You talk about your products being inspired by your personal background and your Brazilian roots, tell us a little more about what that means to you.
Haircare in Brazil is something very cultural. I remember playing under my grandmother’s mango tree in Rio de Janeiro while I left a homemade treatment in my hair to be absorbed. Brazilians are taught how to care for their hair since a young age, it is common knowledge among most women.
What important steps went into the development of your line?
The main vision was filling the market gap, where anyone can find the products and knowledge about their hair in one place. So the goal with the products was to create something clean of any chemicals with high performance. The goal for each product is to perform with a specific purpose. Then we started looking for the best ingredients to give the results and tested with over 50 different formulas. Once we picked the best formula, we start looking into the best mix of essential oils to give each product a purpose beyond functionality. Lastly, we look at the packaging and how we can reduce our environmental footprint while still being affordable.
We love how you offer a quiz for people to take to receive a personalized hair routine, complete with a 12 step guide. Share with us what makes this so valuable?
Our hair is a dead cell. Therefore it doesn’t repair itself and needs external ingredients to keep it healthy. Each strand is made from 3 ingredients - water, oil and protein - and each person requires different amounts of each in different frequencies.
The 12-step Hair Routine makes you understand what your unique hair needs and guides you to follow your treatments within a schedule made for you in order to retain the water, oil and proteins in your hair.
In your opinion, what's the best part of the beauty industry? Worst part?
The best part of the beauty industry is that it creates the possibilities of experimenting with different looks and feelings. The worst part is when we take this to an extreme where it becomes a mandatory task creating unrealistic and unachievable expectations.
Now that we're all staying home, what small things bring you great pleasure during your day.
I love the fact that I am able to work from home so I have the time to wash my hair and let it dry naturally at home, have my cat around, make my own espresso and cook a fresh lunch meal.
What's something that makes you unique?
Everybody is unique and what makes us unique is our experiences. My most challenging experience was coming to Canada as a 26-year-old without speaking the language and no connections whatsoever. This made me more determined to achieve something that would make me and my family proud.
You live in and work in Montreal, which is known for its culinary scene. What local businesses are you still able to support and are looking forward to re-visiting in the future?
I have a sweet tooth and I love to go for a cannoli and espresso at Alati Caserta - an Italian dessert spot run by grandmothers - in Little Italy. Just down the street is Gemma Pizzeria, my favourite pizza in town if not ever.
What's the best advice you've received that you'd like to pass along to aspiring business owners?
Take any advice humbly but always be true to your vision because you’re the only one who can see it.
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