Many global brands are cashing in on the haircare bandwagon without proper expertise, and as sales growth continues to soar aggressively, it’s no surprise that others are also eager to edge into the market. Having said that, London-born haircare brand Percy & Reed is anything but.

If there is anyone you should trust with unpretentious haircare that meets actual consumer demands, your best bet would be Percy & Reed founders – Paul “Percy” Percival and Adam Reed – whom have long been seasoned professional hairdressers before ever delving into haircare.

Once merely a friendly neighbourhood salon, Percy & Reed has since amassed multiple awards, commercial partnerships and global projects with its range of modern, high-performance products, all distinguishable by a coherent, crisp floral fragrance that is reminiscent of founder Paul’s grandmother’s garden.

During their recent visit to Kuala Lumpur ahead of Sephora’s Spring/Summer 2018 Press Day, we were fortunate enough to catch up with Adam Reed for a quick chat about all things hair.

Photo: Instagram via @percyandreed

On Percy & Reed’s latest offerings

“Our Wonder range initially began with the Wonder Balm. It’s probably our most successful product. All our Wonder products are innovative, whether it is in the formula, distribution or performance. And with our new Perfectly Perfecting Wonder Wash Shampoo and Wonder Care Conditioner, the innovation sits within its formula.

Both the products have an intelligent delivery system that is hair type responsive, which means anybody can use them. If your roots are greasy and your ends are dry, they will cleanse the roots and nourish the ends. They deposit beautiful nourishment without weighing down the hair.

The products are colour-saving and also works on chemically treated hair. They close down the cuticles to lock in colour and this also means that they don’t take away the effects of chemical treatments, whether it is rebonding or a Brazilian blow dry. The formula also locks out humidity, reconditions and protects the hair from atmospheric dust, dirt and oil.

The shampoo is SLS-free because we found an alternative cleansing agent that is rich, creamy and foams up really well. All-in-all, the products do not contain waxes that make the hair feel sticky and leave a wonderful finish. They also have that beautiful clean, green fragrance you get with all of our products.”

Photo: Instagram via @percyandreed

Why he insists on the use of SLS

“Paul and I don’t believe SLS is bad. I have used SLS for 35 years and my skin is incredible. It’s never damaged my hair or my skin. Shampoo should cleanse the hair and scalp, and we had never found an SLS-free shampoo that could cleanse as well as those with SLS. SLS is a cleansing agent and that is what it is designed to do.

There is nothing that can replace it, and having tested multiple products without SLS, they just didn’t give us that performance we’re after. That is one of the reasons why our brand will not be SLS-free. And if I ask anybody why certain ingredients are bad, they wouldn’t have a clue. It is just what the internet says and what have you.

Our ingredients are tested to the highest levels and our scientists back us up a 100%. Our products will not and cannot damage anything, including the environment. I use them on myself and my family; I’m not ever going to put anybody at risk. I stand by these products, but we do listen to our consumers and now we have new additions that are SLS-free.”

Photo: Instagram via @percyandreed

His thoughts on natural products for hair

“Your hair is not natural; it is a chemical molecular buildup. There is keratin in your hair and it cannot be replicated by a natural product. Your hair needs certain chemicals that cannot be found naturally. I have never found a natural haircare product that actually delivers performance, conditions, treats and looks after the hair.”

On how often you should really wash your hair

“Shampoo only every three days. If you over-activate the sebaceous glands, you cause your hair to become way more oily quicker and to re-balance the sebaceous glands, it takes three days. If you wash your hair everyday, you’re going to have to do it daily as the scalp is already producing 50% more sebum than it should. It’s a vicious cycle.

I know with the humidity and heat, it’s hard to do here, but use dry shampoo in between on the key points that perspire more – temples, behind the ears and the nape – and you should be able to get at least an extra day. Spray it on, then brush the hair through so it’s lifting all the oil and dirt you need to get rid of.

And when you do shampoo, do it twice. The first time generally cleanses the hair and the second time deposits those nourishing ingredients in. On the first no-wash day, use a dry shampoo, and on the second day, use our Big Bold & Beautiful Dry Instant Volumising Spray. It’s like back-combing in a can.”

Photo: Instagram via @percyandreed

What the future of hair innovations looks like

“I work with brands like L’Oreal Professional and ghd so I get to see incredible innovations. There are things that are really going to change hairdressing and hairstyling, but I cannot reveal anything yet. Haircare organically follows skincare, and whatever ingredient innovation people are bringing into skincare, you can then transition them into haircare.

There will be a huge push for scalp health because people don’t look after their scalps enough, It goes without saying; if you have a healthy scalp, you have healthy hair. I look about four to eight years ahead for Percy & Reed, but for now, we are launching new styling products you should be able to see in the summer.”

Photo: Instagram via @percyandreed

On the biggest hair myth out there

“Hairfall isn’t your hair falling out, it is breakage. If you look at a hairfall product and read the small print, it will say it is about hair snapping. About a 100 to 200 hairs fall out everyday and that’s normal. Asians have way thicker hair, about 0.5 millimetres thicker than Caucasian hair, so you see way more in a plughole and freak out.

Some scientific research are backed up by scientists who are commissioned by companies that produce hairfall products. It’s just clever marketing. You should never be frightened into thinking that your hair is falling out. What happens with chemical treatments is that it just causes the hair to weaken and snap, which is normal.

When people say they are suffering from hairfall, further inspection proves that they are not. It’s not as bad as it is made out to be and in the United Kingdom, we would not even begin to worry about it because it’s never been spoken about. And your hair will grow as quickly as it is falling out.

If your hair is falling out, no shampoo or topical product will help your hair grow. It can only do things to the hair that is there. If anything, supplements are important. Hair is coming out from the scalp and if your hair is falling out, you have got to be doing good from the inside for the next hair to grow strong.”

Photo: Percy & Reed

Ingredients to look out for in haircare

“Oils are always good because they are multi-functional. Aloe vera is also wonderful. Look out for macadamia oil, camellia seed oil, beta keratin and grape seed oil. Also, pro-vitamin B5 because it’s a great strengthener.”

Haircare tips we may or may not have heard of

1. “If you don’t sleep well, it wouldn’t be for five to six days that it would have an effect on the scalp. It’s not an instant thing. That’s a good way of listening to how stressed you are.”

2. “Rinse the hair for a good minute with freezing cold water after you’ve washed and conditioned. It seals the cuticles, offers shine, encourages blood flow to the scalp for healthy hair growth and shuts down the sebaceous glands so it is not as oily.”

Photo: Instagram via @percyandreed

What he recommends doing for healthier hair

“Supplements like biotin, Omega-3,-6 and -9, fish oils and garlic. Your hair comes out dead and hair products are cosmetics that look after the hair, whereas taking supplements means that the hair will grow strong and healthy. Drink loads of water and try detoxing. In fact, your hair and your nails are the last thing your body looks after. ”

Hair products he uses on the daily

“Percy & Reed’s Perfectly Perfecting Wonder Balm, Abundantly Bouncy Volumising Mousse, Surprisingly Strong Extra Hold Hair Spray and the Perfectly Perfecting Wonder Treatment Oil+, as well as the Paddle Brush and platinum® styler, both from ghd®.”

Percy & Reed products are available online on Sephora.my and in Sephora stores throughout Malaysia. For more updates, access Percy & Reed’s official website or social media pages on Facebook and Instagram.

Carmen Chong
YouTube-obsessed and a beauty junkie at heart. Find her on Instagram: @carthemen