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Courtesy of T.H.O.M

Cyndia Harvey’s new brand T.H.O.M is bringing luxury to texture-rich hair

Launching with a scalp serum, the brand is on a mission to provide the innovative, elevated self-care rituals that have been missing for Black hair

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If you were going to trust anyone with your hair, it would be Cyndia Harvey. The London-based hairstylist’s bold vision and sure hands have seen her become one of the most exciting creatives in the industry today. Combining technical expertise with playfulness and innovative style, her work constantly pushes the boundaries, whether she’s fashioning braided sculptures at Simone Rocha shows or styling the likes of Naomi Campbell and Kendrick Lamar. 

So of course, we were very excited to hear that she is coming out with her own brand. Launching at the end of the month, This Hair of Mine (T.H.O.M) was co-founded with Remi Ajani – who Harvey describes as “one of the most creative people” she knows – and caters for texture-rich hair. Starting off with a single hero product, Scalp Serum, the brand will follow with more products later this year.  

“I felt sick and tired, as a professional, of not having really lovely, gorgeous luxury products for my high profile clients,” Harvey says of the impetus behind the brand. “And as someone who is really passionate about beauty, not having the products personally for myself.” Compared to skincare and make-up, Harvey felt the haircare products available to her were antiquated, not utilising the technological innovations that are happening across the beauty industry right now, and were lacking in quality and performance. “The ritual of caring for your hair [for people with textured hair] is usually filled with disappointment, because the product that’s available just doesn’t perform up to scratch.”

T.H.O.M takes its name from a 2016 film project produced in collaboration with Akinola Davies Jr, which celebrates the African diaspora and asks questions about what beauty means, through the narrative of hair. “That film came from this light bulb moment I had one day of, ‘Oh my portfolio is 90 per cent white people,’” Harvey says. “I thought there’s something not quite right about that, so I really just wanted to celebrate who I am, who all the people in my family are, and put a spotlight on textured hair and the influence that it has on culture.”

T.H.O.M and all the products that will eventually emerge from it represent the evolution of that project. “It’s the same spirit,” she says. “The same sentiment around the film that runs entirely through the brand – celebrating texture-rich hair and heritage in its purest form.”

Paying tribute to this heritage is one of the reasons the brand is launching with the Scalp Serum. Scalp care has long been an important ritual for the Black community, the first thing many people learn about their textured hair, sitting on their mother’s laps having their scalps greased. The Scalp Serum, Harvey says, is that ritual bottled – a more effective evolution of the traditional heavy products.

A healthy scalp is also vital when it comes to good hair. Describing it as the “bedrock for great hair,” Harvey explains healthy hair begins at the roots which is another reason why they turned their focus to the foundations first. “It’s the part of the hair that’s actually alive,” she says. “So if you care for it from the beginning correctly then you are guaranteed really good hair days all the time.” Packed full of skincare actives that are innovating the beauty industry at the moment, the serum is formulated with pea peptides, boreal algae and fruit enzymes – plant-based ingredients that easily dissolve and can be used in-between washes, so as not to disrupt the customer’s hairstyle or hair wash cycle.

It is this kind of innovation that is at the heart of what they are doing, says Harvey, who has been working on the brand since 2019. It was important to her and Ajani to ensure that T.H.O.M would deliver products that their customers could rely on to actually work. “I think there’s a disconnect between a consumer picking up a product and having a really positive experience from the first moment you touch it to the end result,” she says. “That is what we’re trying to cultivate – a real trust in the efficacy of all our products.” 

Big corporation-owned and heritage brands have historically not prioritised Black hair, leading to poor quality products and a distrust of the industry from the textured-hair community. Harvey wanted to ensure that when it came to T.H.O.M, the needs of Black hair would be met, starting with centering texture-rich hair in the formulation process. “I think big corporations simply don’t formulate with that consumer at the heart. We have different needs for everything – different wash cycles, different hair textures. How products react to our hair is completely different to how it reacts to [European hair],” she says.

Because of this, Black women have often turned to mixing up their own products, trialling concoctions in their bathrooms and kitchen in a search for something that works and they can trust. “I like to say that, actually, the textured hair consumers are the real innovators of the hair care industry,” says Harvey. “But that’s kind of specific to natural ingredients. We really wanted to bring the science element of it because there are so many amazing, amazing breakthroughs happening that's not being utilised for this consumer.”

There was also a luxury element missing from the market that Harvey wanted to address. As someone who enjoys indulgence and nice things, she felt there was nothing that connected to her emotionally and spoke to her lifestyle, in the same way that her high-end skincare and make-up products did. “What we’re trying to create, by using our products, is just a moment of indulgence, a moment of caring for yourself,” she says. “I think as the brand evolves, and our products evolve, what we want to do is just elevate the entire healthcare routine for the textured hair person at every touch point with really luxurious rituals.”