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Conversations: Briogeo’s Nancy Twine Spills Her Haircare Secrets

In a short few years, natural haircare line Briogeo's popularity has grown exponentially. Who better to divulge haircare wisdom than the woman behind it all?

Life has come a full circle for Nancy Twine, the founder of natural haircare line Briogeo. Growing up, Nancy would observe her grandmother concoct everything from soaps to lotions and haircare products from scratch using farm-grown ingredients. Dispensed from one generation to another, Twine’s mother too adopted these recipes in her own household. Naturally, Nancy followed suit by creating beauty products using blends of ingredients from her own local health food store. Her passion for all things related to the realm of natural beauty, essentially, runs in her blood.

However, creating her own natural brand was not always on the cards for the 34-year-old. After graduating from university, Nancy pursued a career in finance. In 2010, three years into her Wall Street stint, she lost her mother unexpectedly in a tragic accident. It was then that Nancy had an epiphany – life was far too short and unpredictable for her not to pursue the things she was truly passionate about.

It was a no-brainer thereafter. Tapping into her existing knowledge of natural beauty, Nancy perfected her formulas alongside chemists, eventually birthing her natural haircare line. Within a few short years, Briogeo – a portmanteau of “Brio” an Italian word that means “vibrant and full of life,” and “Geo”, a Latin word meaning “of Earth and nature” –  has risen in the ranks as a cult favourite amongst beauty aficionados. Along the way, Nancy has also made personal strides as the youngest African-American female to launch a line at Sephora.

We caught up with Nancy to get the low down on her haircare secrets and the tips and tricks to taming curly, unruly mane.

Take me through your personal journey in learning how to manage your own hair. What were your struggles?

Nancy Twine: My hair is naturally curly, and there weren’t many clean, cruelty-free and texture–focused products to choose from. That was the largest struggle.

What would you say are some of the lessons you have learnt along the way in dealing with curly hair?

Use a co-wash between shampoo washes to remove impurities without stripping the hair of natural oils. Briogeo’s Be Gentle, Be Kind Avocado + Quinoa Co-Wash rids the hair of dirt and build-up, while nourishing and conditioning with nutrient-rich ingredients.

What do you think are some common mistakes women who have a curly mane make in their haircare routine?

Do not overdo it on the heat! As curly hair tends to be drier than other hair types, you want to preserve as much moisture and natural oils in your hair as possible. Try deep conditioning your hair twice a week, especially if you’re heat styling.

You have previously mentioned that you have always been very interested in creating your own concoctions. What steered you in the direction of hair rather than skincare?

Everything that I looked for in a hair care brand, I wasn’t finding on the market. I wanted products that were clean, cruelty-free and catered towards all different hair types. Briogeo has texture-specific products for various hair concerns setting us apart from the rest!

How has your haircare routine changed over the years?

I keep it clean and consistent. I exfoliate my scalp one a week and follow that with a deep conditioning mask. Of course I’m referring to our Scalp Revival Exfoliating Shampoo and Don’t Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask. If my hair isn’t in need of a full washing, I depend on using our Co-Wash to maintain my hair’s natural oils.

As diversity is an increasing consideration in the beauty arena, there is bound to be an influx in haircare brands who also provide for curly hair. What would you say sets Briogeo apart from the other offerings in the market?

There is nothing wrong with a little healthy competition! What really sets Briogeo apart from the rest is our dedication to clean, skin-grade hair care. We believe that the quality of products you use during your skin care routine should be that same quality of products used on your hair.

Dealing with curly hair can take up a fair amount of time in the morning. Do you have a cheatsheet to getting curls to fall into place in a jiffy?

Using a light-weight hair oil or curl creme can help smooth frizz quickly without taking up too much time in the morning. Try adding Briogeo’s Curl Charisma Rice Amino + Avocado Leave-in Defining Creme to your morning routine!

How do you think one can go about experimenting with hair products to figure out what works for their type of curls?

It’s all about trial and error! One product that works for your friend might not work for you. Briogeo has a range of curl products – gel, creme and custard – to help you find the perfect fit for your curls!

If we’re not talking products, are there any habits that you think can help curly hair to hold its shape? 

Always go to bed with your hair in a loose, high-pony. This prevents your curls from becoming flat while you’re sleeping.

What is your philosophy when it comes to haircare?

It’s important to use clean products on your hair – meaning they are free of harsh sulfates, silicones, phthalates, DEA and synthetic colour. Using clean, quality products with natural ingredients will promote healthy hair and reduce damage and breakage.

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