Inspired by her grandmother and mother who concocted their own natural personal-care products, Nancy Twine started duplicating the recipes in her electric mixing bowl in her kitchen.
Following encouragement from friends who used her home-made formulas, Twine left a high-paying job at Goldman Sachs in 2012 to launch Briogeo, a range of natural hair-care products focused on addressing specific texture needs. Twine said she spent hours at laboratories perfecting the formulas and ensuring proper shelf life, which can be tricky when dealing with natural products.
“There really weren’t many natural choices for different texture hair,” said Twine. She put her products through rigorous focus groups and testing before launching the final products that she hopes will fill a gap in the market. “I was shocked at how many consumers were not satisfied with what is available.”
In particular, she zeroed in on the needs of women with curly or frizzy hair — including African-American women like herself who are always looking for products best suited to their hair.
The lineup features plant and fruit extracts, vitamins and even a volumizing conditioner with maltodextrin, a sugarlike, starch-derived food additive. A product called Don’t Despair, Repair! deep conditioning mask is said to result in 81 percent less hair breakage after three uses than with traditional conditioning. There’s also a cleansing shampoo and a curl defining conditioner. Twine has plans for line extensions under the Briogeo banner, including a volumizing spray. Prices range from $19 for the 8.5-oz. shampoo to $26 for the 5.25-oz. mask.
Packaging was important to Twine, especially because existing natural choices didn’t have the sophisticated look she desired. The sustainable packaging design features white bottles with dashes of bright colors coordinated to each stockkeeping unit.
Briogeo is currently carried at Fred Segal Beauty and The Cosmetic Market as well as online at Hairenvy.com, urbanoutfitters.com, CurlMart.com, OpenSky.com and AskDerm.com.