Rose created a range of incredible, plant-powered hair care products which she appropriately named Flora & Curl. It seems to represent the culmination of her natural hair care journey, as she sought to embody a nature-centric, ingredient-conscious, and streamlined hair care ethos. We were so pleased to sit down with her recently and learn more about her road to acceptance of her hair, to discuss the power of botanical ingredients, and to gush about the amazing packaging of her line!
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF?
My name is Rose and I am the founder and formulator of Flora & Curl Haircare. Flora & Curl is a haircare range that offers botanically active haircare solutions for women with naturally dry, textured hair.
In April 2017, I launched Flora & Curl to help women on a mission to transition into healthier and natural lifestyles.
As a British brand, we source our bottles, labels and ingredients from British suppliers because we want to be close to the making process. This helps the environment and reduces the carbon miles of our products before they hit the shelves.
WHAT WAS IT LIKE GROWING UP IN THE NETHERLANDS AND HOW DID THAT SHAPE YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR HAIR?
Growing up in Netherlands before 2007, the natural hair movement had not quite reached here yet. I was relaxing my hair, and normally wore corn rows and braids to school. I had an experience on the first day that I wore a wig to school and people were calling it ‘neppe haar’ which means fake hair. I remember running home after school and telling my mum, and wondering why they were saying this. I thought I desired straight hair. Looking back it opened my eyes to seeing that even as kids we are quite impressionable and we can tell differences.
Embracing my natural hair today means that I can inspire the future generation of girls with naturally textured hair to rock their hair and embrace its versatility. I love seeing young girls with gorgeous natural hair styles! The natural hair movement is having an amazing impact globally, including right now in the Netherlands.
WHY DID YOU CREATE FLORA & CURL?
In 2011, I made the decision to return natural after years of using chemical and iron straighteners. My scalp was suffering as a result of overprocessed relaxer treatments that removed the kinks from my hair. I’d keep relaxer treatments in my hair for over an hour (I know!). I am still amazed at how my scalp could restore itself naturally. Embracing my textured hair was the best decision for the health of my scalp. Choosing high quality natural ingredients was the best decision for the health of my hair.
When I decided to return natural, I also decided that my hair would receive the best of what nature had to offer my scalp. I discovered that our scalp absorbs more than the skin, moreso at a faster rate. Studies continue to show today that the textured haircare market contains more hazardous and harmful ingredients compared to its counterpart (EWG & Silent Spring Institute).
This encouraged me to begin experimenting with healthier, hair-loving alternatives for taking care of my hair starting with the ingredients I could find in my kitchen. I have always been inspired by the potent power of nature. I began researching how I could harness the power of botanicals to meet the basic needs of my naturally dry hair, which was moisture and hydration.
WHAT MAKES IT SO SPECIAL?
Flora & Curl was born to cater to dry hair and to disrupt a textured haircare industry that is ruled by low-potency products and low-quality ingredients. Manufacturers are finding new ways to produce cheaply by using ultra refined and processed 'natural' ingredients in low quantities.
Compared to many conventional products, Flora & Curl is 100% free from synthetic fragrancing and is powered by high performance, botanically active ingredients (plant, seeds, fruit and flower derived oils and butters). I wanted to create truly natural, pure hair food that provides my customers with results they can see, feel, smell and experience.
The result is a haircare range that encourages women with textured hair to enjoy their selfcare and haircare routine, all at once. Haircare should be enjoyable and shouldn’t add stress to people's busy schedules. We are transforming our customer’s hair routine into a sensorial and therapeutic hair ritual.
COULD YOU PLEASE TELL US ABOUT THE INGREDIENTS YOU CHOSE FOR THE FLORA & CURL RANGE?
Flora & Curl haircare is an ingredient conscious haircare line made with uncompromised purity: 0% petrochemicals, parabens, phthalates, silicones, sulphates, synthetic fragrances and synthetic colouring. I wanted to create haircare products that were not watered down by harmful substances or fillers, but were powered by ingredients found in nature.
Botanical ingredients originate from herbs, flowers, leaves, fruits, seeds etc. Their active ingredient can only be delicately extracted through cold-pressing, steam distillation, time-honoured infusions and compression.
As an example, a plant ingredient rich in antioxidants and colour such as cold pressed Papaya oil, can provide ultraviolet protection for the hair preventing damage from free radicals. Other plants such as Jasmine can act as natural antimicrobial ingredients fighting against bacteria to improve scalp conditions.
WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO USE THE RANGE?
While developing Flora & Curl, I knew I didn’t want to create a line that was overly-complicated, or required a complex number of products and steps. The functionality of our products, ‘Hydrate Me’, ‘Nourish Me’, ‘Cleanse Me’ makes it super easy for our customers to understand the purpose of our products, and helps them respond to the basic needs of their textured hair, on a daily basis. The Flora & Curl collection helps to optimise and streamline every woman's hair routine. Simple haircare means combining effective, truly natural ingredients to work together synergistically in such a way that less ultimately means more.
WHO IS FLORA & CURL FOR?
Flora & Curl is created for women who want healthier natural hair and are looking for natural and truly effective haircare. They struggle with dryness, brittleness, breakage, heat damage and are looking for a simple routine with high quality ingredients that can restore the health of their scalp and hair. Our products are also designed for women who are transitioning from heat styling or relaxing their hair.
FLORA & CURL RECENTLY WON A SLEW OF AWARDS, ONE OF WHICH INCLUDING ‘BEST PACKAGING’. WHAT WAS THE INSPIRATION BEHIND THE LOOK AND FEEL??
I am so honoured! I wanted my labels to express and communicate Flora & Curl's essence and values - the ultimate vision of haircare rituals that are inspired by the beauty of the earth and of our nature. (My) nature is beautiful. I envisioned a floral, natural, earthy design, but yet professional and elegant. Having the visuals to hand made it easy for me to place my words and descriptions for each product on the label.
WHAT'S YOUR TOP TIP FOR HEALTHY HAIR?
Develop a routine and be consistent. Moisturise, cleanse, condition and feed your hair on a regular basis so that the ends stay healthy and you can retain length if that is your goal. Listen to your hair because it will tell you what it needs. Avoid drying ingredients such as silicones, sulphates that strip the scalp of its harmony. Feed your hair with high quality true oils such as Almond, Jojoba and Baobab and avoid low quality or crude oil derived oils such as mineral oil, lanolin oil and petroleum jelly which also coat the hair shaft. Similar to the skin, the scalp absorbs much of what we put into it.
FINALLY, WHAT PIECE OF ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE A YOUNGER ‘ROSE’ ON THE TOPIC OF HAIR AND SELF ACCEPTANCE?
Love yourself, unapologetically, freely and passionately. You are your own first love. Never be afraid to be yourself and let your personality shine into the world. Give yourself the freedom to be, without any terms and conditions. Throw the rule book out.
My favourite quote on letting yourself be is ‘’Normality is a paved road, it is comfortable to walk on, but no flowers grow.’’ - Vincent van Gogh