“After looking to remove all unnecessary plastic packaging from my house, I came across this brand and have fallen in love with their soap bars and haircare - my hair has never felt healthier.” - Me, Anna Ross
Hello! It’s me, Anna, your friendly neighborhood founder. This month, I caught up with fellow founder, visual artist and complementary health practitioner Ali Johnson, to learn more about her brand (my new obsession), Sphaera.
Ali: It’s an old spelling of the word ‘sphere’ pronounced ‘sphere - a’. It is a reference to the earth as a ‘globe of the heavens’. We wanted an encompassing name for the brand, something that allowed it to evolve and grow into the future while referencing our precious natural world. It’s also the shape of a soap bubble, which seemed fitting.
Ali: Cold-process is a method of small-batch soap making which results in a beautiful balanced soap that is far more gentle on the skin than a mass-produced soap bar, retaining all the beneficial properties of the natural ingredients. Natural glycerine is created alongside the soap molecule and combines with the natural plant oils, butters, milks and custom blends of essential oils we use to create gentle cleansing bars that are protective and moisturising for the skin. Once we’ve blended, poured, set and cut the soap bars, they’re cured for 6-8 weeks and then individually trimmed and packed by hand.
Ali: To be honest, I wanted to use a solid hair care range for my own hair and could not find one that I really loved! I wanted a solution that didn’t compromise on formulation, results or eco-credentials. Customers had been reaching out and asking us for solid state shampoo and conditioner bars as well, so I felt there was room to do something new with these types of products. Although they look similar, these bars are very, very different from soap and so it was a great new adventure.
Ali: It has taken nearly four years to develop these products to the standard I originally dreamt of and we are thrilled with the final result. I wanted to simply make the best shampoo and conditioner out there, and then work out how to translate that formulation into a bar form. I needed to train further in a new field of cosmetic formulation, specific to hair care, and source the latest innovative ingredients from around the world. This involved extensive research into many areas, including the latest in green chemistry innovations, the needs of the hair and scalp microbiome, and how best to care for and support healthy hair growth and condition. Removing plastic packaging can be difficult for a lot of products, but for cleansing products it’s achievable. There seems to be a huge demand for a bar shampoo and conditioner that’s the equivalent of a premium, clean, professional range - where the performance and results come first, presented in an ecologically sound form. We’ve crafted them without compromise as a modern, sustainable choice for your hair.
Ali: I like to think of each product as a whole, perhaps having its own personality, look and function and imagine from there what I would expect it to smell like. I then take a palette of essential oils matching the function of the product and use traditional perfumery techniques to refine them into a balanced scent blend with a therapeutic purpose. Each bar's scent profile further supports its intended use, aligning the therapeutic properties of the oils used with the bar's overall beneficial ingredients and purpose.
Ali: At the moment, I would say my favourite is the Balance + Volume shampoo bar. I love the rich lather and fresh citrus scent with a little peppermint hit. I need to wash my hair a lot less often when I use this bar which is great for a busy life. I have allowed my hair to go to its natural silver over the last two years which has been quite a journey, good shampoo has helped with the awkward stages!
Ali: We’ve had a lot of international interest in the products at the moment. So, it will be exciting to expand further afield. Currently we still make all our products by hand in-house, meeting demand will keep us very busy as we slowly grow while staying true to our company values.
Ali: We get a lot of questions about which shampoo and conditioner customers should choose. It helps to think of your hair as having two parts, and then choosing the right product for each. Choose your shampoo to suit your scalp and new hair growth and to support this area, caring for the scalp microbiome and hair follicles. Conditioner is for the longer hair from about your earlobes down, choose the one that best supports your hair goals e.g shine, curl definition etc. We encourage customers to mix and match from our range to create the right combination of bars for each particular hair type.
Crafted without compromise, Sphaera’s premium shampoo and conditioner bars represent a first in clean haircare (plus, they look great in your bathroom). They’re vegan, biodegradable, and free from soap, palm, sulphates, silicones, phthalates and parabens. There’s a bar combination for every hair type and with advanced pH balanced formulations, enriched with botanical actives, they serve professional results while being totally colour safe. Great news if you haven’t seen a hairdresser in months.
Check out the brand that blends the best of nature, guided by science and design over here, and enter the code LOVE KB for a tidy 10% off your order. You’re so welcome.
Offer finishes 31 December 2021.