The anti-shampoo movement may have only recently hit the mainstream, but for Michael Gordon, the hair master who founded Bumble & Bumble and counted Vidal Sassoon as a mentor, eschewing traditional shampoo has been the end-goal for developing Hairstory.
Consisting of just four products, Hairstory distils some of Gordon’s greatest hits in their purest form. ‘Undressed’, a texturising hair spray, evokes the undone, everyday elegance of French women by producing a matte, perfectly mussed finish. ‘Dressed Up’ – a lightweight crème – protects hair from heat styling while providing non-greasy hold and separation. ‘Hair Balm’ is a frizz-controlling moisturiser that adds a natural definition to curly hair. The true hero however, is ‘New Wash’, a creamy hair wash infused with lavender, nettle and calendula to soothe the scalp and repair dry hair. Formulated without any sulfates and detergents (the culprits that create a need for conditioners, treatments and all the other haircare products that flood the market), it’s so nourishing that nothing else is needed after.
‘The most important question for me was: could we develop a new way to wash hair, and what would that look like?’ Gordon recalls. ‘I was amazed at how many different shampoos, conditioners, masks and treatments companies had, and had finally woken up to the fact that it was mad. I was convinced a less-is-more approach was needed.’
He adds, ‘I honestly think in five years people are going to go, "Oh God, remember when we used to wash our hair with shampoo?’’’
Hairstory (which was initially known as Purely Perfect when it first launched in 2013) today consists of a product line, creative studio and content portal for hairstylists and hair enthusiasts alike. In addition to the products, Gordon runs an invitation-only hair studio from his home in downtown Manhattan, where his team creates real (and enviable) hair on real people to debunk the airbrushed myths of conventional beauty. Focused on individuality, colour and a liberating, non-conventional approach to hair, the results are artful and inspiring, accompanied by an imperfect standard of beauty that we can get behind.