A strong haircare brand must be built on a fab story, and new SheWolf is a great example! Launched in late 2020 by hairdresser and salon owner Mariano Ruiz, SheWolf is something of a ‘family’ concern; being birthed by a close-knit collective of haircare professionals and taking three years to develop. Together they’d taken their time on trials, feedback and improvements to create a high-end range of seven high-performance products. Natural, simple formulations – no animal testing, no parabens, no sulphates, no artificial colouring – which are easy to use. Fun and functional is the heart of SheWolf. This is a triumph for a British label, independent and brought to market by hairdressers.
At Tribu-te, we’re intrigued by the joyful packaging and strong identity imbued in this relative newbie. It perfectly reflects today’s consumer preoccupation with personality, individuality, and social conscience. There is relatable imagery used in the marketing (all models are friends and family), charming graphics to smile at, and chatty press releases. Oh and scooping up a runner-up award from Marie-Claire UK (best hydrating shampoo 2021) before you’re even 12 months old is quite an accolade. We’re impressed!
The SheWolf has arrived
Let’s get to it and say hello to:
The full range is proud to be without artificial colours, sulphates, or parabens and the adorable graphics ensure this is one helluva friendly-to-use proposition. The marketing material is light and relatable – it’s a great story to share with clients.
From science lab to salon, these are beautiful products which, according to Mariano, have been “expertly created, obsessively tested”! There were some 93 shampoo and conditioner formulas in the run up to deciding the final ones, oh and don’t forget 30 fragrance combinations to test. The result is a neat, seductive line-up (and we confess to making the Tsbubaki Smoothing Hair Oil our personal hero already – so lush).
What’s in a name?
Spanish-born Mariano founded his Flow&Co salon in 2013, based in Whitstable in Kent. His career til then included working on stage, doing wigs and make-up for creative shows, time in salons and educating with brands including Aveda UK, plus working on skills needed to devise new concepts and packaging. A gathering of wide-ranging experiences, for sure.
But where to start when creating a brand, and why SheWolf? Mariano tells the story best: “I often say that my brand was born in the kitchen, as it’s the heart of the home. In my family ,the stories and energy start in the kitchen with the women of the family. Here there is laughing, cooking, dancing, crying, planning and generally enjoying all that life has to offer going on in there. The vibrancy and energy of those occasions bring out the extraordinary inner and outer beauty of the women in my life.
“I saw those same qualities embodied in the animals and birds I’ve always loved as well…. how they carry their natural beauty with them everywhere. Life flows from them and around them, each one different but connected to the world. While I had a strong sense that the she-wolf could be the embodiment of my range, I wasn’t sure. The designers I was working with had drawn me a fabulous looking SheWolf. I could see how it could work. Then in playing around with doodles and words, I found what I was looking for: FLOW [the salon name] backwards is WOLF. The light bulb was on. The SheWolf belonged to us; she’d been with us all along. ”
On the subject of claims, Mariano and his posse have a strong view. “There are lots of products out there that say they are 99.999999% natural. And then you read the ingredient list, and it doesn’t really sound like a wander through a meadow picking flowers. Here’s our view. Everything is a chemical. Water is a chemical. Oxygen is a chemical. They are pretty darned important. Equally, Deadly Nightshade is natural, and we’re not mad keen on the effects of that!”
The SheWolf ingredients are selected on performance, plus wisdom from nature – the research into what makes hair look great. The products then have to pass the Mariano test, ie do they combine to create a product that does what it says it will? And are they natural? Again Mariano is clear: “We’re generally not crushing seeds by hand into the machines to directly extract their oil into our products, for example. Things have to be processed somehow. For some people, that stops them being considered as natural.
“For SheWolf, we believe in combining the best of nature and science. We believe in considering the world around us, and doing our bit. And we believe that the wisdom of women around the world has found ways of harnessing the power of the natural world to get great looking hair for centuries. We just take some of the hard work out of it for the SheWolf of today.”
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