What's in a (brand) name?

I own Mermaid Aloha, the makers of Kiss My Brass shampoo additive. I chose the name after an initial flirtation which had the name of a hairstyle in it. It became clear that the style would be out of fashion one day ("The Original Ombre Company"). I decided to have a more beachy, surf name to indicate the Hawaiian roots from where the company originated - the island of O'ahu. I added "Mermaid" to "Aloha" since I collect seashells and seaglass so that's what friends call me. That's how Mermaid Aloha was born and it still makes me happy, to this day - as it conjures up images of feminity and tropical paradise. It also gave me many choices for logos: hibiscus flowers, palm trees, seahorses, shells, ocean waves...all of the things I love. 


Truer words were never spoken

A house is not a home until I’ve damaged at least one of the bathroom surfaces with red hair dye. - AnnaRose Kern


That's my friend AnnaRose. She's Jac Vanek's bff and a celeb/union hairstylist that works crazy long hours on TV sets in Hollywood. I just love how she wears her hair and I can totally relate to the sentiment. I wish she did regular salon stuff because I totally let her cut and color my hair! Isn't she just the babeliest redhead babe?!

Upcoming Beauty Ingredients for 2018

Marula oil is made from the fruit of the African marula tree. The oil is non-comedogenic and won't clog pores. Marula is full of essential fatty acids that hydrate both the skin AND hair - which is why you'll be seeing everywhere. I love Paul Mitchell Marula line. It's cruelty-free and it smells amazing!

It's a similar story for Kalahari Melon Seed Oil. African, lots of essential fatty acids, non-comedogenic, can be used on both skin and hair. Plus, it's nourishing in antioxidants, similar to Evening Primrose Oil. Finally, it's a super non-greasy option, making it a great choice for oil cleansing, hair masks and for being a carrier oil for those ever-popular essential oils. Kalahari is esoteric now but due to it's ultra-hydrating properties, it won't be for long.

You will be seeing more and more of Castor Seed Oil. Now, I just bought some yesterday and the cashier said, You must have some bad kids! Being childless, I looked around. Then I realized he was referring to the olden days, where parents would make naughty kids drink castor oil as punishment for bad behavior.  But Castor oil, you see, has made a resurgence because - wait for it - it makes hair grow!! At least, anecdotally. Castor oil contains called ricinoleic acid, which stimulates circulation of the hair follicle. Beauty gurus swear by applying a thin layer of castor oil to the brow and lash line. On the scalp, at the very least, castor oil is said to be anti-dandruff. It has very powerful levels of antioxidants, unsaturated fatty acids and anti-inflammatory properties that even Cleopatra swore by. Castor oil of the Jamaican Black Castor Oil variety is especially popular.

Lastly, you will be seeing Orchid extract featured on hair and skin products. Now, as far as flowers go, you've seen way more of Lavender and Rose extracts for their soothing properties. However, Orchid extract is a great skin food because it contains calcium, magnesium and zinc. You will also see orchid extract pop up in color-protecting shampoos such as Nexxus. 


What Creative Hair Color Means to Me

When I was little, I loved the cartoon Jem. Well, Jem had hot-pink and white hair. She had a literal band of foes called the Misfits and I liked their style better for some reason. One had electric blue hair and I envied her. ( I had to  look up the name - it was "Stormer")It just so happened Blueberry Muffin was my favorite of the Strawberry Shortcake Gang and so was Little Boy Blue in Rainbow Bright series.

At the ripe old age of five, I asked my mom to color my hair blue and her reaction, to this day, surprises me. She obliged! Now, I don't know if this because she knew her "method" wasn't going to work, she strategically didn't want to inspire rebellion...In any case, she pulled out the food coloring. Yes, the kind you use for frosting and Easter eggs! She dribbled a couple blue drops on a streak of my hair and actually sounded sad when she announced it didn't work.

If she expected that that would be last foray into brightly-colored hair, she'd be wrong. The setting: it was my first day of HS. I was coming off of a brave hair cut, a lopsided chin-length bob with a rat-tail braid (shameful monkey covering eyes emoji). I wanted to make an entrance and I'd seen the most beautiful electric blue shade done in Sassy magazine a couple months prior. So, on a whim, I got to work with a tub of Manic Panic. Now - HERE'S where I got personally sassy: my color wasn't vibrant or dimensional enough...so I grabbed a pack of magic markers. Eek. I know. more shameful monkey emoji. These were just any markers, btw. They were scented. I think there was three different types of blue. Yes, so I got started drawing streaks in my hair. 

My mom was silent. I don't remember here being mad, exactly. You see, we were a hippie creative family and expression was encouraged. However, first impressions and all. 

I don't remember the day all that well, but other people do. It was soccer practice that very first day. I wasn't what you called "athletic", but since I didn't make the cheer team that year, I was stuck with soccer and brash Coach Dilmore. I wore a ribbed white tank and some soccer shorts....Then, it happened. It started to rain. I looked down at my shirt and it was splattered with marker drippings. My skin was quickly becoming tinted blue, running down my face. I shouted some curse words, which (along with hickies and brightly colored hair, after that day - banned). Coach Dilmore barked, "Drop and give me 20!". So there I was, my first day of school, on my hands and feet in mud, and stained like a Smurf. And so, there it was. My nickname, to this day. All because of a want of blue hair. 

Manic Panic Blue hair   Ocean City NJ 2008

Manic Panic Blue hair   Ocean City NJ 2008

Why Kiss My Brass is so versatile

The Original Ombre Company is, has and will always be cruelty-free and not tested on animals. Personally, I've been abstaining from buying cruelty-free cosmetics, haircare, skincare, house products and soaps for sixteen years. And it's hard. Before smartphones, you had to memorized the lists of companies or carry the around with you. 

As a beauty junkie, there are so many times I want to try something - like a subscription beauty box, or a fancy foundation that getting raves with makeup artists. But I can't, because my morals stand in the way. Because I tell companies where I stand with my wallet. Luckily, the world is listening and changing.

Anyway, I aimed to create a shampoo additive that would compliment any beauty arsenal. If you are like me and only use cruelty-free brands, Kiss My Brass works with you. If can only swing drugstore brands, Kiss My Brass! works with that. If you only will use high-end salon products like Oribe or Kerastase, we've got you covered. Say you are crunchy and go for natural products that have no parabens and are sulfate-free. Or perhaps your purple shampoo just isn't working as intensely as you'd like - we handle that, too! 

Because Kiss My Brass is an additive, we take the products you love and already have in your shower and we make them work harder for you!