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Les Dreamers: A Hairstory – Michael Gordon

Hair legend Michael Gordon has created Hairstory,not just a new product line that will revolutionise the way we take care of our hair, but a movement in a sense, to free yourself of the abundance of things we think we need in order to make ourselves, look good.

One product in particular that does the job of two. No chemicals, no damage, no garish packaging, no advertising. Coming from the man who single-handedly created Bumble and bumble himself, the seminal brand that has graced the shelves of almost every salon, beauty supply store and bathroom shelf for the last 2 decades to this day seems almost ironic.

LES DREAMERS: Do you cringe when you see how mass marketed Bumble and bumble became?

MICHAEL GORDON: I cringe and then I try to not fantasise about fixing it. Sometimes I think, did I do that?

LES DREAMERS: I’m very quick to give up on products that do not deliver. I have to say I was quite skeptical about using an all-in-one cleansing and conditioning product on my hair. My hair is so wild. It’s big, it’s curly, it’s frizzy, it’s a major production. I have to basically batter it into submission. Hairdressers love it cause you can make it do anything you want, but for day to day maintenance I would call it anything but low. When I tried the New Wash I was amazed how you actually feel it go from a creamy mildly cleansing product to a silk-like conditioning texture while your working it into your hair.

GORDON: It’s miraculous.

LES DREAMERS: So…what’s in it?

GORDON: It’s really odd people keep asking what’s in it, it’s not actually what’s in it, but what’s not in it. It’s essentially quite simple. Detergent fucks up your hair, your skin, your body, and your clothes, yet it’s a huge staple in the chemistry of making product. Last week Wall Street Journal ran an article on Jessica Alba’s Honest Company that claims they use no sodium laurel sulfate in their products. The two independent chemist labs they hired to investigate that claim both said conclusively that there was. That there was as much SLS (sodium laurel sulfate) as there is in Tide. There you go! You’ve got this fabulous company with this beautiful woman everyone believes cause she’s ‘honest’ and yet she’s unintentionally making the same crap as everyone else. So, I’m not angry about it, I’m just inspired by the idea of stopping everyone using this stuff on their hair. I’m repenting for my sins.

LES DREAMERS: I love the idea of less-is-more.

GORDON: There’s been a massive con job done on every woman in the world, it’s fictitious and incorrect, and it’s a perpetuation of launching more things, making claims almost always created by marketing people, while these products are all the cause of the problem. If you have detergent of any kind, you’re attacking the scalp and your hair, then you need to fix the problem you’ve just caused, it sounds ludicrous but it’s basically exactly what I believe. Shampoo basically sucks.

LES DREAMERS: If I could have one product that took care of everything, I would totally buy it. You see, I’m perpetuating the problem, but this works! One of the first differences though I immediately notice is when I let my hair dry naturally after using New Wash is the texture has a softness to it, like a child’s hair, that virgin-like quality my hair is so far from.

GORDON: That’s one of the exact things that was part of my inspiration. When you look at children’s hair, I just get mesmerised cause it has these amazing curls and waves to it and it’s full of life! So by the time their 10, 11, 12 and it starts changing, to restore the youth to hair without lying to people saying that there’s this micro enzymatic enhancing whatever in it, you really just have to take out the really really bad stuff which is essentially just detergent that ravages the hair. I’ve said before and I’ll repeat it, in 5-10 years from now people will say, “God, do you remember when we used to use shampoo?!”

LES DREAMERS: So shampoo is basically bad for you. Your body intrinsically knows how to repair itself on it’s own, yet no one wants to walk around with dirty, oily hair even though it’s proven that washing it less actually is better for it.

GORDON: Yes, your body naturally replaces what it’s lost. If you over wash your face, it becomes oilier etc. This is just a whole different experience, and yet it’s a battle to get people to accept it. Part of our success finally is coming from having this place, the Hairstory studio, and having beauty editors come by and then you wash their hair and dry it and it and they say, “Oh my god, I can’t believe it!” It scares big companies like L’Oréal, cause L’Oréal’s motto in the hair business is selling people shampoos, conditioners and masks.

LES DREAMERS: So all the bad things that were going to stop putting in our hair by using this, people are still  always going to want to keep colouring their hair right? You can’t really expect them to stop doing that, can you?

GORDON: …..no. Our studio’s colourist is amazing and extraordinary but she bleaches the crap out of hair, but she says absolutely, adamantly and ferociously, that without the New Wash her clients couldn’t have the hair they have. It makes the colour last longer and your hair less dry because it’s not stripping the colour out.

LES DREAMERS: Would you like to see Hairstory carried in as many places as Bumble and bumble is one day?

GORDON: I don’t really care. We have this semi-radical product and then we have three others, as opposed to 400. We don’t want to cheapen the product by being able to get it anywhere, so we decided to exclusively offer our products through our own website. We want to cultivate a demand instead of flooding the market. I want people to discover it through having that genuine sense of an ah-ha moment like you did. At my age, if you’re lucky enough to have a chance you want to do something sustainable and something important.

LES DREAMERS: I’m in.

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Wallpaper*: Hairstory's Less-Is-More Philosophy Is Creating a Revolution