It's safe to say that BYRD hair products are flocking awesome. I discovered the brand while staying at Hotel Erwin in Venice Beach. Crafted sustainably in Newport, California, the brand draws inspiration from 50's and 60's surf culture. Founder, Chase Wilson AKA "Big Bird" (nickname a la his old Newport surf team), says that "sun, surf, and salt are the three key ingredients for healthy hair and skin." While that might sound like great marketing, there's actually a lot of truth to this statement. As someone with a chronic scalp condition (seborrheic dermatitis), science and I can attest that exposure to sun or, particularly, UVB rays is an effective and safe treatment for seborrheic dermatitis. As for salt, the mineral is widely known for its natural antiseptic and anti inflammatory healing properties. It's also an excellent exfoliator and scrub that restores skin and scalp by aiding in skin cell turnover.
I am impressed with BYRD's commitment to sustainability, natural (peptide and sulfate free) products, the brand's ability to be rather gender neutral, and the overall quality of the products.
MY EXPERIENCE USING BYRD PRODUCTS
Usually when I think of charcoal, I think dry and dark, but charcoal is actually another compound with incredible abilities like soaking up excess oil and deep cleansing. This particular charcoal bar is infused shea butter, Vitamin E, and jojoba beads. The jojoba beads give the bar a grainy or sandy exfoliative power while the rest of the natural ingredients work to soothe and moisturize your skin. I also used it with my trusty loofa which created a nice lather and filled the shower with a sweet smokey sea salt aroma.
Forget everything a hair or skincare guru ever told you about 3 in 1s. I can imagine they said something along the lines of, "There's no way a single product can cover all the bases." This is totally bogus. While the One-n-Done Hair and Body Wash may attract a particular consumer (practical or just straight up lazy (me, I'm the lazy one)), I've found it to be a light, restorative and purifying wash. It also smells incredible. Do I want to smell like a "Salty Coconut"? Yes. Forever. Personally, it's a great gentle shampoo to use before or after I use my medicated shampoo. It is comprised of sea kelp and green tea to monitor moisture and protect against the sun, quinoa protein that softly penetrates the hair to increase moisture retention and prevent damage, and aloe vera and sea salt which remove dirt and grossness without stripping you of your natural oils.
Interview with Founder Chase Wilson
1. Madeline: How important do you think personalization is for hair care companies now? I love your quiz!
Chase: Hair is definitely a part of someones personal style. Giving options and tailoring to different hair types helps take the guesswork out. Our quiz and product descriptions help you narrow down which products are best for your hair, limiting trial and error which is always frustrating!
2. Madeline: I read on your site: "all produced in a solar powered facility right here in California."
Do you have advice for other brands who want to have more green initiatives?
Chase: It’s best to lead by example. If we put our values into everything we do, then we’ll inspire others to do the same. My advice is to never compromise what’s important for the greater good, especially if it's to cut costs. If there’s a will, there’s a way!
3. Madeline: BYRD strikes me as a male focused but somewhat gender neutral product, which I'm a fan of. Do you think we are going to see a movement of brands that head in that direction and create more gender-fluid/gender neutral products? Follow up: is this important to you? Why?
Chase: From what I’ve seen, there’s already a movement of brands heading towards all inclusive products and experiences. We didn’t want BYRD to be specifically for guys which is why our scents aren’t overly masculine. Our pomades are for sure popular with men, though women love a nice slick back look as well! All our products can be used by anyone and everyone. Our Texturizing Surf Spray is a great example of one of our most popular products made for and used by everyone.
4. Madeline: I once heard the quote: "Invest in your hair. It is the crown you never take off." From your perspective, how important is hair care and grooming?
Chase: Sounds about right! BYRD is inspired by the 1950’s and 60’s when daily grooming was essential. I believe when we take care of our appearance it motivates and inspires us to be the best version of ourselves. Not only physical but definitely mental too. Investing in yourself improves quality of life. Taking action towards YOU, will do wonders.
5. Madeline: Can you disclose some of your favorite ingredients and natural extracts that are used in BYRD products?
Chase: Salty coconut is my favorite scent; it really transports you to a beach day in the summer. I also love sea kelp, which is one of our ingredients that has an amazing moisturizing effect. We really wanted to create that “fresh out of the ocean” feel which comes from our natural ingredients derived from land and sea.
6. Madeline: Do you have a personal favorite product- or a product that everyone seems to love?
Chase: Our Texturizing Surf Spray is our most loved product. My personal favorite is the Clay Pomade. Clay does an epic job controlling your hair with its strong hold. It has an ultra matte finish which gives it a natural look.
7. Madeline: It sounds like you're always brainstorming to launch new products? Can you share any upcoming releases you might have?
Chase: I love coming up with new products, it’s one of my favorite things! We are really looking forward to focusing on lifestyle. We also want to expand our hair care and grooming assortment while exploring other categories such as sun, Womens, and even baby BYRD care.
8. Madeline: I love how your grandpa owned a barbershop. I see that BYRD has one too, The Byrd's Nest. Barbershops typically attract male clientele. Do you have any women customers? If not, have you ever thought about trying to change the connotation of the barbershop or rebranding somehow to expand your clientele?
Chase: We do get a small percentage of women clientele. Our barbershop is great because it’s really a unique interaction with the product and the brand. Our staff isn’t strictly barbers, we also have female hair stylists at Byrd as well. We hope to expand by adding a Women's hair salon in the future. The Byrd barber shop isn’t too masculine, anyone can come!
9. Madeline: What do you think are the biggest concerns/areas men need help with their hair care and maintenance?
Chase: One of the biggest areas to focus on is education on how to use products. It doesn’t need to be super complicated. Another area of importance is using products that are made up of clean ingredients. Balding and thinning are a huge problem for men, and this goes back to education where we need to know what ingredients are in the products we use.
10. Madeline: Love the hairdo guide. I don't see that on many hair product websites and they are missing out. What gave you the idea to do that? I also think it's great that so many different ethnicities and ages are represented.
Chase: We want to inspire our flock and offer a visual representation of our products in real guys/customers hair, not just models. We believe guys are very visual when it comes to seeing what they want their hair to do so we wanted to make sure to add that factor in. Being inclusive of every hair type, whether it's thin, thick, curly, or straight is super important since our products were made with everyone in mind.
11. Madeline: Are there any barbers currently staffed who you'd like to shout out? Would love to know what they specialize in or any hairstyling or grooming tips they have.
12. Madeline: What do you love most about BYRD and why should people use BYRD products?
Chase: I love working with our amazing team every day. It’s also great to see how the products have inspired confidence in our customers. BYRD products speak for themselves! Our Flock is our family.
13. Madeline: Why were you called "Big Bird?"
Chase: It was my nickname in high school given to me by my surf buddies and just stuck. I liked the way it was spelled with a Y to make it a bit more unique.
14. Madeline: Does it give you a sense of pride to help people with their appearance? Why and how?
Chase: Heck ya. I started BYRD Hairdo Products to cater to my own lifestyle being a surfer, but once I realized others could benefit too, I went all in. It’s not only about the ingredients or scent that goes into each product, it's also about the confidence that it can bring to the customer. Knowing I could create something that can help people look and feel their best is awesome! Whether it's a date or a job interview, we want our customers to know we’ve got their hair in the best shape possible.