Have you ever wondered just how we go about making new products?
Yes? Well today’s your lucky day.
You’re about to get a peek under the covers of Happy Skincare and get some insider goss about the creation of our new haircare range.
We’ve been getting so many requests from your lovely selves for a LOOOOONG time to create a range of natural shampoo and conditioner that do for your hair what Happy Skincare does for your skin - makes it HAPPY.
How could we say no!?
Our cosmetic chemist Aaron may be very lacking in the hair department, but what he lacks in actual hair he makes up for in spades with haircare knowledge.
You could be forgiven for thinking that our next task is to empty Aaron’s brain into a shampoo bottle and sell it to you, but that’s not what we do here in Happy land. Instead, we reached out to you, our Happy family, to hear all of your haircare wishes and to find a team of excited product testers.
[If you haven’t signed up to be a tester but you’re keen to be involved, you can still sign up here - please note we’ll be choosing our first 50 testers at random very soon!]
Once we know what you want (i.e. not what we think you want), then it’s time to start designing our products.
We spent hours and hours pouring over the haircare concerns and dreams of over 3500 amazing people who volunteered to be testers and we learned so much. You’re such an incredible bunch. Thank you!
And here’s what it boiled down to….
We learned that the perfect shampoo would be colour safe and cleanses without over-cleansing and stripping your hair of its natural oils. It’s low-poo - gentle, non-irritating and fabulous for curly girls. Your shampoo is lightweight and doesn’t weigh your hair down or build up over time. It supports your scalp health with essential oils and prebiotics and gives you smooth, shiny locks with minimal boof and frizz!
Sounds great, right?? Once we know what we’re trying to make, we then need to use our haircare-know-how to work out the formula that’s going to tick all those boxes.
We thought long and hard about creating a shampoo bar (i.e. a solid shampoo), but we simply couldn’t get the performance we needed out of a solid shampoo and we opted for a liquid shampoo instead. BUT… there just may be a solid shampoo coming too ;)
The shampoo we’ve created doesn’t have any cheap fillers and uses premium, salon-grade surfactants (that’s the bit that foams). By using a higher quality surfactant we’re able to get a creamier, richer, gentle cleanse without irritating your scalp. It’s 100% naturally derived and scented with essential oils (no artificial fragrances). And of course - just like any Happy Skincare product - it’s vegan, cruelty free, free from hair-coating silicones, and free from questionable ingredients like parabens and SLS/SLES.
Of course our shampoo needed a partner in crime. Enter our new conditioner.
We needed to create a conditioner that’s light-weight, controls frizz, and gives you super shine and softness. It works beautifully for wavy hair, giving you smooth volume, and just as well for curly girls by smoothing and defining curls. Straight hair is smoothed not - weighed down by silicones or other ingredients that can build up over time. It helps with colour retention, hydration, and boosts your hair and scalp health without irritation.
Once we know all of this, then Aaron retreats to his lab to start creating…. He spends a LOT of time researching ingredients before diving into formula design.
There’s a lot of trial and error when it comes to new product creations, and at the moment we’re testing our 7th shampoo formula and our 5th conditioner.
Each version takes up to a few weeks to get right and has to meet certain criteria before it’s allowed out into the world - it needs to be stable, well preserved, smell good, not too thick and not too runny, not too expensive, the list goes on! Sometimes it’s a bit like working with goldilocks!
If a formula is good enough it progresses to the next stage of internal testing. This is when we get to start testing it on ourselves (this is the fun bit!).
We’re lucky that we now have 7 women working at the Happy Shed all with completely different hair types and concerns and they make up our human test team. Because you know we’d never test on animals.
(Random side note: We do have 2 men at the Happy Shed, but they're both hairless!)
Each lady gets her bottle of hair goodness to take home and evaluate and it’s our job to keep quiet about our experience until everyone has tried it, then we gather all of our feedback and together we come up with recommendations for the next formula version (if we need one!). OR…. (and it’s a good day when this happens).... Everyone says “I LOVE IT” and we get ready for the next step.
When a formula has been approved internally the next step involves a whole lot of waiting around (which is quite a pain when you’re excited to launch a new product!).
We need to do all the “boring”, red-tape stuff now like stability testing and preservative efficacy testing. Because as much as we love a formula, if it’s preservative system isn’t robust enough or if it doesn’t last long enough on your shelf then it’s going to be a no-go.
If everything goes well with all of our preservative and stability testing, we now get to send our samples out to our amazing external testing team which is randomly selected from our fabulous customers who want to get involved. WOOHOOOOOOOOOOOO! (And for anyone who missed out on becoming a part of the external test team we often pop samples up on the website for purchase as well.)
We’re *always* nervous while we wait for your feedback. After months of creating and testing in-house, there’s a chance that it could all come undone if you don’t love what we’ve created.
With the help of our amazing testers we’ll tweak our formulas and make sure they’re absolutely perfect :)
If our external testing team has given us the thumbs up then we lock in the formula and order our packaging quick-sticks. We start planning photoshoots and product launches, usually with a sensational special offer!
This is where it all becomes real, and we start counting down to launch day. The excitement is palpable.
We’ll buy all of our ingredients in bulk so that when our packaging arrives we’re ready to GO GO GO and share our latest creations with you.
You can look forward to meeting our new shampoo and conditioner very soon! Our external testing team will be seleted in the next week so even though the full sized versions won’t be launching until September 2020 (as you can see, there’s a lot to do before then!), we’re going to do our best to get samples ready for you much sooner than that.
Stay tuned :) :)