Rubbing wax through hair is a little like taking drugs. Not because of that euphoric feeling you get when your locks sit just right, but because of the way it’s absorbed.
Paul Joyce is a pharmaceutical engineer at the University of South Australia. Along with friend and school teacher Steve Crocker he’s developed a new line of organic, locally sourced hair products under the name Captain Red. “Being a chemist and reading the back of a product tin, I saw ingredients we would use in the lab that required safety checks to work with, and people are putting that in their hair,” says Joyce.
Armed with knowledge and a lot of organic beeswax, Joyce and Crocker have set up a space in Crocker’s back shed, which they call “The Redquarters”. They’ve spent the past year developing chemical-free products and produce everything in the shed.
The range includes organic beard oil and soft-, medium- and firm-hold hair wax. The beeswax and oils are from organic producers in SA and NSW respectively.
The creation process takes its cues from Joyce’s Ph.D. on drug absorption. “When a person takes a drug alone, it often isn’t absorbed properly, because the drug doesn’t dissolve in water well. But when you take a drug with food it’s dissolved by the fat that’s in the food, which increases its absorption,” he says.
“My job was to create solid particles that contained finely structured fat particles, to incorporate into a pill. So, when the pill is taken, the fat helps the body break it down.
“What we’re doing with Captain Red products is structuring the fat droplets to make them finer and allow them to stick better to the hair. The beeswax gives the hold and the oils make the product pliable and smoother in the hair.”
Captain Red products are available for order online and will be on sale at this year’s Ebenezer Night Markets.
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