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Our Founder - The Independent Spirit

Get to know the story of EVOLVh straight from the source!

In honor of Independence Day, we're celebrating the most independent thinker we know - our founder and fearless leader, Boris Oak. Our team relies on him as a limitless source of hair knowledge and the demonstrations he does at stores and events are known to convert even the most avid of non-believers into committed EVOLVhers. The road to the EVOLVh that you now know and love was paved with passion and persistence and the future is looking brighter than ever, making this the perfect time to learn the story behind the brand straight from the source. Scroll on for our chat with Boris to get to know him and score some insider insights into what makes our products so unique. The added bonus? You'll be able to casually drop some science the next time you get complimented on your EVOLVh-styled 'do!

Let's start at the did you first get into haircare?
My mom is a hairstylist and opened a salon when I was 12, so I pretty much grew up in a hair salon. It was a true family business so I was there all the time. Some 20 years later, her business grew to over 40 stylists and a staff of more than 50. She needed help so I quit my tech sales and marketing job and jumped into salon entrepreneurship. I quickly realized how important hair products were to our salon clients' success with their hair at home and before long our retail business exploded and I became a self-described guru for salon retailing.

A few short years later, I met an amazing cosmetic chemist named Gary. Gary turned out to be a genius, an expert in hair care formulation, and had transitioned to only working with organics and naturals. He pitched me the idea of using my salon expertise to create a high-performance green brand - being a clean lifestyle enthusiast, this idea resonated with me right away and before long the concept for EVOLVh was born. 

Upon inception, what gap was EVOLVh intended to fill in the market?  

EVOLVh was meant to fulfill the need for truly green haircare that also really works, while offering a luxurious experience - the best of all worlds!

This was a pretty groundbreaking direction at the time - what was the initial response like?
The initial response was mostly disbelief. People said they'd tried “natural” hair products and were always disappointed by less than stellar results. 

You often talk about EVOLVh being like "skincare for your hair" - can you please elaborate on that concept and talk us through how the "3 step routine" came about…

Yes! With the introduction of silicones and panthenol, hair care formulation went very cosmetic over the past 25 years, allowing products to simply coat hair, hide imperfections, and create the illusion of healthy hair. We see it differently.
We want to improve the health and appearance of hair through bio-compatible ingredients that can penetrate deeply into every strand and improve the actual hair fiber from the inside. Good skin care works beyond the surface of the skin and we've discovered that we can do the same with hair. Rather that drowning hair in dimethicone and panthenol, we use special amino and fatty acid blends, plus powerful botanicals to improve hair at the molecular level. You can see and feel the difference immediately and the results are progressive (just as with skin care) so regular use leads to better and better results. A life-long love affair between your hair and our products is what we are always aiming for!

For those that aren't familiar with them, why do we ALL need to use a leave-in conditioner? And what makes EVOLVh's leave-ins so unique?
Yes we all need to use one, but only if it is "Smart" - meaning one of ours, and here is why: low pH + raw lecithin are a magical combination that is a must for all hair after every wash. Shower water is alkaline (alkalinity is good inside our bodies, but terrible for hair), but the low pH of our "Smart" leave-ins balances the hair’s pH which seals the cuticle (outer layer of hair). This is the most important thing you can do to prevent splitting, breakage, and other environmental factors that can damage hair.
The next most important thing is nourishing the hair with the very unique fatty acids found in raw lecithin - they are weightless and nothing adds softness, reduces frizz, and strengthens better. The "Smart" spays are at the heart of any healthy hair regimen - I can’t over emphasize how vital and transformative they are.

Let's get nerdy and talk formulation! How do EVOLVh's products meet the molecular needs of every strand from deep inside the core of each fiber?

It’s really quite simple: hair is primarily protein and the building blocks of protein are amino acids. The internal lubricant of every strand are fatty acids. If we take very specific amino and fatty acids and allow them to enter the hair, the resulting benefits are profound and the reason that people cant’t stop touching their hair after using our products. You can feel the change in texture and it’s amazing!

Tell us about the "inside out" approach that allows EVOLVh to actually "transform" hair over time rather than just coating and temporarily hiding imperfections like most brands/products?
If you see dimethicone and panthenol in the ingredients list of your products, you can be sure that the product isn’t doing much below the surface of your hair - these are coating agents and they greatly reduce the opportunity to deliver nutrients inside the fiber. This is like applying makeup, which only masks, versus skincare. To us “transforming” means improving the actual fiber, which requires treating the hair internally and not just coating the surface as most products primarily do. 

Was this what you had originally set out to do - hence the name EVOLVh?
Yes, EVOLVh means the evolution of haircare - the ability to deliver transformative performance using clean, natural, and organic ingredients. This is what this evolution is all about for us, and it’s why it’s so fulfilling  and exciting to be a part of.

We recently went through an exciting rebrand and launched brand new packaging! As the founder, why was this an important step and why now?
Firstly, our name and brand mission basically requires us to keep evolving. Beyond that, I personally wanted our packaging to evoke a greater sense of elevated wellbeing and connection to each product.
To me, each product is a member of our family. This may sound slightly odd, to think of a product as a person, but we put so much thought, care, and love into every single product that we wanted each one to have its own distinct identity that reflects its personality and mission.
We also wanted the packaging to be sleek and to better demonstrate the luxurious product performance we are known for. And I feel like we really got it right. It’s one of those rare times when even our own very high expectations have been exceeded. 

What has surprised you most along this journey so far? What's been the biggest challenge? The biggest reward?

The biggest surprise is how much you end up caring about every little detail of the work, every product, every relationship, every customer, every possible last detail.
The biggest challenge is of course patience - everything you dream of takes longer to accomplish than you ever imagined.
The biggest reward is that it’s truly a labor of love - to be able to work and create something you really love, as well as to fall in love with the people you are privileged to work with along the way, and to know that what we are doing brings people so much happiness... all of this together is the greatest reward, by far.