I have spent countless hours researching and trying out new products that I use in my skincare regimen, styling my hair and sitting in colorists and hair stylists chairs, and thinking about my diet and exercise. How much time have I dedicated to really considering my haircare regimen–as in washing, using masks and conditioners? Close to zero. I am guessing I am not alone. As we age, our hair does too and if you talk with Barcelona-born hair (and skin) guru, Miriam Quevedo, she will tell you that how you treat your hair now, and more specifically your scalp, will have consequences years down the road.
Miriam grew up learning about hair and skincare so it made sense she would eventually concentrate her career on creating products that solve health and beauty issues. Her line of products have gained popularity far beyond Europe and are now available everywhere from Nordstrom‘s to Space NK to Mandarin Oriental Hotel spas. Here, she shares her background, what anti-aging has to do with hair, and some tips on how to get the healthy locks.
I am very basic beauty person and the thing I ignore the most is my hair so I’m very interested to talk to you about why your products are important. What was your path to creating this line?
My mom has an apothecary, she had five in Barcelona, and since I was a young child I spent all my summers there helping her make blends, learning about natural ingredients and how we could use them to help people who would come to us with issues. Also, because I liked working there and wanted to feel prepared and know what I was talking about I got a degree as an aesthetician and in massage. Then I also wanted to know the business and got my degree in economics at the University of Barcelona. One year after I got my degree I realized I did not like being behind a desk, I wanted to be in contact with people. I decided to come back and work with my mom. My husband, who I had known since high school, his family had a laboratory for cosmetics in Barcelona with a tradition of developing skincare. So when we decided to come back to the apothecary, grow the business and create our own line.
We started with skincare first in 2002 along with a lot of body treatments you could have at the spa inside the apothecary. The hair care was launched in 2007 and I decided to use the same anti-aging ingredients we used in the skincare because they would translate.
What does anti-aging have to do with hair care?
There is a natural aging process that ages the scalp and hair. As we age the scalp is more dull, has less circulation and the hair cuticle is more porous. This is a process that happens to everyone and we cannot stop it, but we can take better care. Also we work with the color aging process. All the color treatments and the color elements on the scalp can irritate, create redness and produce inflammation. So we can also take care of the inflammation. Also too much cold, sun and wind and now too much pollution help the aging process. Also there is mechanical aging—hard brushing, heat. We use active ingredients to help fight these four causes of the aging process.
What are some of the ingredients and what is most important to do for your scalp?
We work with combinations of nutrients, vitamins and mineral complexes that treat the hair follicle and work to reduce inflammation at the cellular level in the scalp. We like to calm the sebaceous glands using trace elements that are essential for healthy grow. And we use a lot of elements to hydrate such as Swiss Glacial encapsulated water for deep hydration.
What do you think women get wrong when they take care of their hair?
Nowadays there are so many aging elements including lifestyle and stress. That’s why we recommend a scrub with exfoliators and alpha hydroxy acids in order to remove impurities. So women not only should use shampoo and a mask but they need to specific care with very good exfoliator, a good shampoo treatment and mask that are meant to work for 10 years later, not just the ‘beautiful now’ in five seconds.
So you really need to be really consistent about your hair care?
Exactly. If you want to have beautiful hair in 10 years it’s better to start now with a good hair care regimen. Exfoliate your scalp with a scrub once a week before you shampoo.
With the sun and going to the beach, should women treat their hair differently in the summer?
Yes, you need products that offset the chlorine in pools which is aggressive for the scalp and hair color that fades in the sun. Our leave-in conditioner that keeps the hair shaft moist with lipids and nutrients and also fights photo-aging is filled with proteins, peptides and amino acids to protect from UV rays.