Bleach: Beauty With Substance

Bleach Co-Founder Alex Brownsell tells us about her love of Soho and what actions they’re taking to make their beauty brand friendly for both your hair and the environment.


How did Bleach come to be?
Bleach started as a one-chair pop-up in WAH Nails on Kingsland Road in Dalston nine years ago, after my home kitchen salon Sylvester Salon became too popular and I got sick of cleaning hair dye out of bowls.

What's the best thing about having a salon in the heart of Soho?
Soho is the beating heart of London. There’s so much history and personal memories for everyone that works there. We love the bustle of Berwick Street and the diversity of the neighbourhood. It’s nice to have seen it progress from a popular nightlife area to a place
for young, independent brands whilst still maintaining its personality.

What do you do to ensure Bleach is a sustainable eco-friendly business?
We work really hard to make sure we’re as eco-friendly as we can be. We manufacture in the UK and Europe and try to avoid importing things from far away to help reduce our carbon footprint. All our products are vegan and we use recycled cardboard and plastic in our packaging. We’re also now offering product refills in our salons as part of our pact to reduce plastic. We’ve also removed brushes and bowls from our bleaching kits and are releasing a reusable coconut alternative to plastic.

Why is sustainability so important to your business ethos?
We have a duty as a young brand to show our customers that you can make the decision to be as sustainable and responsible as possible. Hopefully smaller companies leading the charge might encourage bigger brands and corporations to try harder (or at all). We only have one planet and one chance to try and fix it.

Tell us more about your refill stations.
Customers can fill up our reusable glass bottles with their favourite Bleach London shampoo and conditioner at the salon when they run out. Prices start from £18 for the original purchase then £10 pounds per refill, so it works out as cheaper as well as being better for the environment.

What’s your favourite Bleach product?
They’re all my babies! At the moment I’m in love with the glass refill bottles and the beer range, which uses beer extract and is packed full of nutrients to restore damaged hair.

You're well known for creating exciting and experimental hair looks and colours. What’s your favourite colour or colour combo?
I love orange and red hair. We’ve also been seeing loads of patterns on shaved heads, which is big on social media too. It’s fun that hair colour is still continuing to be experimental and bold after all these years.

Your branding and salon style are so individual and identifiable. How would you describe the Bleach boy and girl?
We believe that dyeing your hair should be fun and an extension of your personal style. We put our own personalities into the names and colours and hope that everyone else likes them too. Sometimes they’re old in- jokes that take on a life of their own, like Awkward Peach or Blullini. I believe that if you enjoy and put love into making or doing something, then it’ll be more likely to resonate with a wider audience. As long as it keeps being fun and we aren’t comparing ourselves to other brands or trying to fit into a box, I think we’ll continue to be original.

Find Bleach at 2 Berwick Street

Interview taken from The Sustainability Issue of the Carnaby Magazine. Read more here.

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