Slow Beauty in Brazil

Following a five year search for more sustainable and healthy hair care solutions, this month Cris Dios, cosmetologist and co-founder of Laces and Hair, recently launched Brazil’s first range of 100% natural hair colour solutions.

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As well as nourishing hair fibres without fading them, they are also an excellent solution for people who suffer allergic reactions to products containing chemicals. I recently had the chance to speak in depth with Cris about both the importance of these new products, how they are a part of a more systemic solution within a wider ecosystem, and also how her approach to beauty epitomises our concept of Customer Experiences with Soul.

I always had the great desire of being able to apply natural hair dyes, and now I am realising this dream, which is the essence of Laces and Hair.

The origin of the ingredients of natural hair dyes comes from India, while the technical solutions came from the French cosmetic industry. Following her years of study and research, Cris was able to evolve the products further to create the new line Coloração Vegetal LCS.

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Natural hair dyes not only colour, but also nourish the hair, and are important for the preservation and regeneration of damaged hair. Their properties do not change the structure of hair, they preserve the melanin; they respect the keratin of the hair which helps in the strengthening; they have a balanced pH; they do not fade with exposure to sun and washing, and they can be used by pregnant women, nursing mothers and people unable to use products with chemicals.

Laces and Hair is a hair spa with four different units in São Paulo, designed to be “an oasis in the hustle and bustle of the metropolis”. Each one is adorned with natural vegetation, they are constructed with natural wood and brick, and clients are welcomed with a table of organic dishes, fruits and cakes. Using the latest sustainable technologies such as water recycling, solar energy and natural sunlight for lighting, clients are able to relax and feel as if they are at home, rather than a more artificial salon environment.

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It was extremely interesting to hear Cris speak about both her new line of products and also the environmental design of the spas, and especially her philosophy of beauty which starts with the development of inner self-confidence, inner peace and inner health. The hair care philosophy of the spa is based on the idea of “slow beauty” which follows in the footsteps of the slow food movement. The focus is not on creating a momentary hair style for when the client steps out of a beauty salon, but in teaching clients how to care for their hair at home. For Cris, it is the inner beauty which reflects and impacts on our outer beauty, and for this reason the salons run regular meditation sessions with Márcia De Luca, a practitioner of yoga, mediation and Ayurveda with over 30 years of experience. As Cris said “meditation is resetting the mind and starting a sincere dialogue with the soul”.

The ability to offer this level of experience has come not just come from the leadership of Cris, but from her family as well, starting with her grandfather who came to Brazil from Spain in the 1920s. He was a greatly sought-after barber who was visionary for his time, developing his own natural shampoos and creams which were designed to help cure medical issues related to people’s hair and scalps, something which the medical profession at the time was not able to offer.

At Sustainable Brands Bangkok Maria and I presented Laces and Hair and we also presented our definition of sustainability which we define as “the quality of our relationships”. I asked Cris why they chose the name Laces and Hair, and she said that the word ‘lace’ not only is a metaphor for strands of hair, but it is also a metaphor for the laces which unite and tie us together, the strands that are woven as lace, meshing and networks. (The word for ‘laces’ in Portuguese is also found in the Portuguese phrase laços de família which translates as ‘family ties’ in English).

The experience of Laces and Hair is whole, with the soul of the company fully and authentically expressing itself through every part. Their philosophy is lived fully not just by Cris, but by her family, the company’s investors, suppliers and manufacturing partners, and of course every member of the team in each spa. It is a wonderful example of activating purpose, a purpose which the company now is looking to extend to new cities in Brazil in the coming years.

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