“For us, clean is 360 degrees,” said Michaeline DeJoria, vice chairman of the professional hair-care company.
Celebrating 40 years in business, John Paul Mitchell Systems was cofounded in 1980 by DeJoria’s father and chairman of the board John Paul DeJoria, alongside the late Paul Mitchell. Headquartered in California and found globally in over 100 countries, it’s the largest privately owned hair-care company in the world.
“It’s what’s inside the bottle,” continued Michaeline DeJoria, defining the term “clean.” “It’s how we make what’s in the bottle. And it’s the impact that it has on the environment once we’re done making the bottle.”
Packaging for Paul Mitchell Clean Beauty is completely recyclable and made with 100 percent clean energy, she added: “It was a really cool opportunity to see different sourcing opportunities, manufacturing opportunities. As always with every product we’ve ever made, it’s cruelty-free…This is all vegan, which is fantastic. [There are] no sulfates, no parabens.”
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To unveil the clean category, the company partnered with a fellow family-owned business, proprietors of a biodynamic farm in Italy.
“Their ethos is very much aligned with ours,” said DeJoria.
It was a challenge balancing both natural and synthetic sources, “clean” and performance-driven ingredients, she said, but working with John Paul Mitchell chemists, while incorporating the farm’s old-world know-how and use of botanicals, created for powerful results: “They’re safe, and the effects are fantastic.”
Paul Mitchell Clean Beauty offers products for four hair types under the categories “everyday, hydrate, smooth and repair.” Shampoos cost $22, while conditioners are sold at $23 and leave-in treatments are available at $25, made with ingredients that include argan oil, almond oil, aloe vera, hyaluronic acid, amaranth extract, pea protein, olive and oat peptide.
From the start, John Paul Mitchell Systems has been selling its products and tools directly to salon distributors and partners. During the pandemic, the company has been supporting the hair industry, offering $4 million worth of free products.
“We owe everything to them,” said DeJoria.
Looking ahead, the focus in development is on sustainability and innovation, she added: “You’ll see different products, different applications and different textures of products…Hair AI and clean beauty are great shooting-off points to that. But coming up, you’ll see a lot of innovation, more focus on color and professional product.”
Using artificial intelligence and featuring a scanner, Hair AI is a tool the company has recently launched. It allows hairstylists to attach the item to their individual iPhones to diagnose their clients’ hair and scalp.
“To have that kind of confidence and confirmation is going to be very empowering for the stylists to have,” said DeJoria. “And we hope that it helps generate more take-home business for them and more repeat treatments in their salons as well, so we can get the industry back up and rolling after this COVID-19 hiccup, for lack of a better word.”
When it comes to sustainability, John Paul Mitchell Systems — which owns a portfolio of hair-care brands — aims to reduce virgin plastic, waste to landfills and its carbon footprint, while focusing on ethical sourcing. The company is transitioning to switch over to 75 percent post-consumer recycled plastic. It also pledges to plant a million trees by 2022, remove single-dose plastic by 2023 and make 10 of the brand’s 12 product lines vegan by 2023.
“The two lines that aren’t fully vegan use beeswax and protein that comes from a sheep’s wool,” said DeJoria. “It’s still all cruelty-free.”