Make-up artist, hairdresser, founder of the Air In The Hair brand
HOW AND WHEN DID YOU CREATE A BRAND?
I’m a makeup artist and hairstylist with an unabashedly broad experience under my belt. I watched colleagues create their own brands and launch different products, from brushes to cosmetics. And I decided: I want too! What exactly to produce, the question was not: in the internal struggle between the stylist and the make-up artist, the former won in me. Therefore, combs. The natural desire was to find a unique product that no one else had, that I personally liked, that I could make changes to, that reflected me, and at the same time had an acceptable cost. I contacted manufacturers in China, Korea, Turkey. Painfully waiting for the samples, then painfully doubted the correctness of the chosen course. I didn’t understand the intricacies of production, feedback was difficult, I didn’t dare back the seriousness of my intentions with money, and I didn’t want to choose simply because of what I’m given. As a result, I decided on the most “simple” way – to do everything myself. The pandemic has begun, time has been released. And so the brand with production in Russia was born.
WHY EXACTLY THIS DESIGN? WHERE IS THE LOVE FOR ASIAN AESTHETICS?
In fact, when faced with this question, I did not find in myself a special love for Asian aesthetics. And now I’m flipping through Pinterest and I understand that all this is very close to me. I needed aesthetics, the spirit of manual work, the chromatic contrast, the individuality. Perhaps, in the age of mass European minimalist character, this is seen as something Asian. But the appearance of the product is the result of dozens of successful and not so successful experiments. There was no final vision, but there was a chasm between what you want and what you can do today. I told the team: “I want it like this.” I was told this wouldn’t work, but here’s what you can do. Then it remained to decide whether to stop or experiment more. Now I can see a very beautiful chair leg on the set and think about how to make something similar in color and structure. There is a lot of inspiration around, in ordinary things.
WHAT IS THE CHARACTERISTIC OF THE COMBS?
The main feature of our combs is that we try not to focus on just one thing. Design, cushion, pins, ergonomics, coverings: work is being done on all fronts. If everything is clear in terms of design, then it is not so obvious in other matters. We make pillows completely ourselves – this is how the rubber structure disappeared, but the pillow received better sliding properties, less debris retention of hair, now you can select the necessary elasticity for more comfortable styling. On a stiffer pillow, we control the placement of the pile, so that in addition to shine, there is also volume. We exclusively use horse hair, it is softer and denser than pig hair.
WHICH COMB IS BEST FOR WHICH HAIR?
For general brushing and blow-drying, Phoenix 1 and Phoenix 5 are very soft, lint-free, and are classified as “massage combs.” The difference is only in size.
For extra softness and shine of hair (both when drying and when styling the final hairstyle) – Phoenix 2 and Phoenix 6. They differ in size and amount of hair: in the second it is more, which means more effect and it is more convenient to work on long hair. Small is more suitable for short hair.
Finally, the comb is designed for curly hair to comb it wet, separating and shaping the curls. Or for any other hair, suitable if you want to do a parted style and draw a texture.
WHICH COMB CAN YOU START WITH? IS THERE A UNIVERSAL OPTION?
I always advise you to start with the classics – Phoenix 1. In my opinion, this is the most versatile hairbrush.
WHAT WOOD ARE THE COMBS MADE OF AND WHY EXACTLY IT?
Almost all products are currently made from Siberian larch. We needed wood with hardness and a pronounced structure. There are harder rocks, but they suffer from uniformity, and their structure is “boring”. There are more elegant breeds, but not with the necessary availability, they are difficult to obtain on a regular basis, they are also more expensive, and this will affect the final cost of the comb. So the choice was clear. Although in our “museum” there are many early samples of pine, oak, elm. Maybe we’ll get in touch with them.
WHAT ARE YOU ESPECIALLY PROUD OF IN THE HISTORY OF THE BRAND?
I feel special pride only because of the appearance of people who are not indifferent to my company. Starting out alone, I never thought there would be so many people who not only fulfill their duties, but also enthusiastically participate in sailing our creative ship at the cost of their time. I am proud to have them.
WHY DO YOU LOVE YOUR COMBS?
Because they are just insanely beautiful! Most of all, perhaps, I adore the attention of clients, models, students. And we received many admiring and touching comments. I am especially excited when the children or husbands of our clients want to take the combs.
WHAT ARE YOUR BOLDEST AND AMBITIOUS PLANS?
The boldest plan for 2023 would be to not slow down production. It’s no joke, the ambitions are great: to expand the product to everything necessary for both the average user and professionals. And also quality improvement, cost containment, entry into the European market. Nothing fantastic, it just takes a pinch of perseverance, luck, and a lot of time.