When it comes to haircare, Asian women know it's all about the oil...
We’ve all gone through the struggle of tangles, frizz, and product build-up. You may find yourself trying a different serum or mousse for your hair every other week, but still your hair just doesn't look as healthy as you want it to...and salon bills just aren't something you can afford all the time. Step forward your Hair Care saviours, sisters Amandeep and Ramandeep Panglin have concocted the perfect solution to your hair problems and it's all about going back to basics. Everything your mum, grandmother and aunties ever told you about applying oil to your hair, was correct - it's the only way to give your locks the attention they deserve which is why, along with their brother they launched Alchemy Hair Oils. Diya Navlakha chats to Amandeep to find out more.
Why did you start your brand Alchemy Hair Oils?
We started because we noticed that there are a lot of hair issues that people have with oil. People view it as old-fashioned, greasy and what old women use which just isn't the case! A lot of major brands have introduced 'hair oil' to their existing ranges but in reality they have used a serum replacement, - a hybridised product that is full of chemicals. We wanted to create something which was natural, because you don’t need excessive ingredients for an effective oil, you just need the oil itself. So we came about starting a brand to create oil which was just oil. We don’t add any chemicals or parabens or silicones, really, or any added fragrance. Our products smell really good too but that's a by-product of the essential oils we use.
What is it like to work in a family business?
Alchemy Oil's sibling founders
It works really well for us, because we have really different strengths. There’s a good balance and we take charge of different aspects of the business. We all have a say in the products, and the main upside of working with your siblings is you’re really close, so you can be brutally honest with each other. You don’t have to worry about the way you say anything. Good communication is the key for making it work.
How does your heritage play a role in the creation of your products? Has hair always been very important to you?
We’ve grown up using oil, it’s a tradition in the Indian subcontinent. It’s rooted in the culture to use hair oils from a young age, and we always have done so to maintain our hair. We thought we could create something similar, both as a styling product and as a deep conditioner, the way we used it when we were younger. So fusing the Indian heritage with the British styling sensibility would make a multitasking product.
What is special about the ingredients you use?
Each ingredient has its own set of benefits. There is castor oil which is a thickening agent, coconut oil, grapefruit oil, which is a natural cleanser. Each one does something different, and combined, it can only do good for your hair. That’s how our name came about as well. the alchemy of mixing these magical oils together.
Is there a certain type of hair that your products are best suited for?
Because it’s all natural, it’s suited for all hair types. but I would say that amla is best suited for a coarser hair type though you can use it as a styling product as well.
What do you recommend for taking care of your hair over the summer?
I definitely recommend using oils because, especially in the heat, it works as a natural protectant. Our oil doesn't have chemicals or any parabens or alcohol in it - they are nutrient rich and loaded with antioxidants. You know how at the end of the day you have product build-up? With oils you don’t have that. The longer it’s in your hair, the better it is for you. The oils work all year round. For British weather, because it’s unpredictable, the best thing you can do is oils. Other products have chemicals that your hair doesn’t need, which you just end up washing out. When using oil, your hair absorbs the nutrients and that’s all it needs as a protectant.
What’s the best way to use hair oil?
You can use it in dry hair, but I would use it quite sparingly. Personally, I use it as a leave-in treatment. I also like to go to steam rooms or hot classes with the oil in my hair, because the heat helps absorb the oil into your hair, and then I wash it out.
What is your haircare routine?
I use the oil, leave it in overnight, and wash it out the next day. I like to use sulfate-free shampoo, and then I’ll blow-dry it. The oil makes it easier to blow-dry. I tend to keep my hair quite natural.
Which of your products is your favourite?
My favourite is the grapefruit one. I have fine hair, and my sister and brother have thick hair, so they prefer the amla one.
Grapefruit Hair Remedy (£24, for 100ml), Amla Hair Oil, (£27, for 100ml)
Buy online: www.alchemyoils.co.uk
Interview: Diya Navlakha