Let me first introduce you to my hair. It’s curly, mid-shoulder length when it’s straightened out and of course frizzy. It’s not super curly like Imaan Hammam’s (the ultimate goal)—it’s more like Helena Bonham Carter’s on a good day with a little bit more volume.
Being somewhat of a newbie to the curly hair team, I have started to embrace it for a while now but I’ve only recently begun to adopt a natural haircare routine.
After getting a dry haircut to re-establish common ground with my hair, I tried a couple of popular curly hair products spawned by the Instagram beauty community and several curly hair bloggers. Yet they always seemed to work for them and not me. It might have been my method of application or perhaps the way I diffuse my hair—it always seemed like the texture it gave my hair was twiggy and dead.
I eventually came across Braes and fell in love with the photography, and the product reviews were all very positive, so I decided to take the leap and ordered some of their products. My package arrived, in a millennial pink branded reusable carton bag with black ribbon handles. Each product is packaged in the same minimalist pink attire, and has its own unique name in French and translated into English, such as “On fait quoi ce soir?” (What are we doing tonight?) shampoo or “Je suis de retour!” (I’m back!) conditioner.
I got the “Shower Pack” which contains a 500 ml shampoo enriched with Argan oil, jojoba oil, sesame oil, macadamia, cold-pressed coconut oil and natural essential oils. In addition to argan oil and macadamia, the 500 ml conditioner also contains sweet almond oil, rose oil and natural essential oils. Both retail at LE 100. The shampoo seemed to be a little bit watery but that is expected when it’s sulfate, paraben and sodium chloride free. It still worked perfectly, leaving me with hair that was softer than usual.
Currently the products available are for oily and all hair types, you can always have a brief consultation with the Bræs team before making your order, to ensure you’re making the right purchase.
The deep conditioning hair mask is infused with heavenly lavender essential oils that managed to keep my hair feeling and smelling fresh long after my styling process. To make styling easier, you should add two drops of their anti-frizz hair serum and you’re good to go. The serum retails at LE 150 and contains natural oils such as macadamia, sweet almond, coconut, sesame, argan, geranium essential oil, bitter orange leaf oil, shea butter and natural essential oils.
The final touch:
to freshen up, before going out spray on a little of their all-natural Hydrating Hair Mist (LE 135), which is infused with rosewater, lavender, Kashmir essential oil and palma rosa. It gives your hair that first-day freshness and the small bottle fits perfectly in your bag.
Meeting the Bræs Team:
Always staying on brand, Bræs impress not only with their products but through their social media channels, visuals and overall execution. It’s hard to find an Egyptian beauty brand that can compete neck to neck with other indie brands popping up daily in the online beauty community, which is why I wanted to catch up with the founders Amira ElZayat and Yara Saleh. The duo have always been interested in hair, skincare and cosmetics, especially that they, like everybody else, experienced the pain of straighteners, heat and hair dyes. They then eventually found themselves bouncing back to natural remedies. “Ever since I was a kid, my grandma made me love the natural oils and masks made from fruits; she always believed that anything you could eat, you could also feed to your skin and hair,” says ElZayat. Saleh was all for it: I’ve always believed in self-care in all its forms and it just somehow translated to me in terms of beauty products and cosmetics, and this is where Amira and I decided to merge forces.
The pair stared exploring and experimenting at home, watching videos, reading books and studying natural methods in general, but mainly delving into the details of natural oils, which are reflected in their ingredients. After some trial and error, they came up with the perfect formula for hair transformation: products that are safe, clean, vegan-friendly, sulfate, paraben, silicon and cruelty free, and that suit all natural haircare routines. I chat with the girls about their success story.
What encouraged you to start Braes?
We wanted to empower women to stay natural and love themselves, and to be the best version of themselves and know that self-care is not selfish! We wanted to promote self-care as a lifestyle and not just a luxury during one’s free time.
What inspired your current product line?
Hair transformation products for every hair type. We wanted to be user-specific and come up with the perfect formula for all hair types, no matter how many products we will introduce to the market.
What are your favorite ingredients to use in products?
Pure, cosmetic cold-pressed argan oil. We also love experimenting with essential oils for the best aromatic scents.
Can you walk us through the manufacturing process?
All our oils and raw materials are imported, we work on the recipes until they are perfected then approve them with our professional consultant and start the production process with certified factories in compliance with international standards.
Tell us about your latest products.
This season, we launched our summer edition beach hair products including travel-sized packages and our new beach curls magic formula. We are definitely looking to delve into the cosmetics and skincare sector for the winter season as well.
Recently we’re seeing a lot of Egyptian beauty brands on the market. Whether it’s cosmetics, skin or haircare.
Where do you think the Egyptian beauty industry stands today?
Well, it has its ups and downs honestly, as not all natural ingredients are good for different skin and hair types and not all chemicals are harmful. However, we’ve witnessed booming in the past few years in this industry and an even larger rate of awareness of the importance of natural products amongst women.
In fact, we believe that our brand has an authentic identity that sets it apart from everyone else. While there are pretty good products on shelves, we think that our products are the answer to most women’s complaints.
What are your favorite and local/international products to use?
We love Anese brand, Milk makeup and Lush as well! We think they offer a wide range of cruelty-free and natural products, lovely and powerful brand concepts as well as interesting choices of products.
What’s in the future for Braes?
Our goals are to inspire women around the world to reach their goals without letting go of their self-worth. We’re looking forward to branching out into the fields of skincare, cosmetics, and aromatherapy. [We’re looking to] export our products in the Middle East region in the near future, and later on to be sold and shipped across the world. [Ideally, we want] to build a platform including not only products, but also beauty tips, success stories of female icons and eventually make a difference in the industry.
Follow Bræs on Facebook @BraesHair&Skincare and Instagram @Braes.co