We talk to Strictly’s hairstylist David Fletcher (Fletch) about his gem-inspired luxury haircare brand Crystal Earth.
Your brand is a real gem Fletch! Tell us about the range.
David Fletcher: Crystal Earth is a luxury hair product that retains its integrity by protecting the planet whilst raising awareness of the gifts the Earth gives to us. For example, Rose Quartz is a healing mineral, it’s the Mother Crystal and relates to the heart chakra. This is why it was our first product. We wanted to enhance people’s connection to Mother Earth, especially at this time in our evolution. Rose Quartz is balancing and nourishing, giving voluminous but weightless shine. I started with this because my clients shy away from weighty conditioners. Most want a voluminous blow-dry and products that nourish whilst still allowing this volume.
The Amber is calming and soothing, also containing an extract of camomile to soothe irritated scalps. Many hair products can be very astringent, stripping hair, so I wanted to create a product that can correct this.
All of the products are designed to enhance the senses. The packaging is for visual stimulation, the scent of each product is created to enhance a sense of calm, peace, and tranquility. All our products are free of harsh chemicals such as paragons, sulphates, and silicones.
Where does the crystal influence come from? Are you a spiritual person?
David Fletcher: When I lived in Ibiza in 2015 I started using crystals to help my meditation practice and this started to spread out into other areas of my life. I had an ‘aha’ moment one day when I was out meditating near EsVedra. I realised that a lot of haircare brands use rocks and minerals for their physical properties but no one uses them for their energy!
We love the branding. Tell us about the packaging, the design, and what it’s made of?
David Fletcher: Our Creative Director Soo Wilkinson came up with the idea of the crystal-shaped bottle.
It was initially designed to be a transparent bio-degradable material but it failed the drop tests. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise as it led us on a journey to discover that bio-degradable materials aren’t necessarily the best thing for the planet. They can’t be recycled so end up as landfill and unfortunately if bio-degradable materials aren’t disposed of in the right conditions they still omit micro toxins into the earth.
We discovered that using PP is actually the best option for the environment at this moment in time at least. PP can be recycled so it is separated in the recycling process, and then goes on to have a second, third and fourth lifespan. You also have to consider materials that affect the composition of the product.
The plastic itself isn’t bad, it’s what happens after its initial use that’s the issue. At this moment in time choosing a material that can work within a circular economy was the best we could do while we continue to investigate new materials. There’s a lot of greenwashing that goes on around packaging but we are very transparent about our journey.
How long did it take to get the product right? Was it an interesting process?
David Fletcher: It’s been a journey! For example, the bottle design took a while to finalise, but we are thrilled with the end result. The crystal coding creates a luxury product with additional wellbeing properties, something we all need right now. We explored different compositions and I had my professional colleagues in the hair industry test them on their clients. We’re used to the luxury market with demanding clients but we were getting great feedback, so we knew we had something special.
Who is in your team and what are their backgrounds?
David Fletcher: I trained at Tony & Guy in Manchester. I began my career working in the salon of the worldwide luxury cruise liner, Freedom of The Seas, before becoming the Creative Director for Unite, who make hair products for industry professionals. I helped to establish and sell their products into all global territories. From there I went on to become a lead stylist in the prestigious Urban Retreat hair salon in Harrods, before going on to work on the TV shows Strictly Come Dancing, Dancing On Ice, and more recently, Stars In Their Eyes, which will be on our screens in the autumn.
Soo Wilkinson and John Grant of award-winning Igloo Design in Manchester created the bottles. Soo has art directed our branding and marketing, giving Crystal Earth its futurist, 21st Century aesthetic.
Greg Adshead is a Melbourne-based property developer and entrepreneur, who also happens to be my cousin. Lucie Reilly is our Accounts and General Manager, who gets everything done.
What are your plans for the brand?
David Fletcher: So far our Rose Quartz and Amber ranges are available but we plan to bring out more products to complete the seven chakra range. Next up will be the Amethyst. This purple crystal naturally works as a toning shampoo and conditioner this also contains a natural bonding agent. This is perfect for anyone who has lifted their hair and wants to neutralise any yellow tones whilst straightening and smoothing.
We have Green Malachite, which is an 100% organic three-in-one shampoo, body wash, and conditioner with an extra leave-in conditioner. This will be a great all-round mild family product, perfect for holidays when the hair has been exposed to sun and chlorine in swimming pools. Then we have a Blue Sapphire, which is a deep cleansing shampoo to remove toxins from the hair, and a curl cream to enhance natural movement. The Red Haematite is rich in minerals to deeply nourish, smooth, and condition thicker hair that needs more weight. Last but not least we have Black Tourmaline, which is a pure luxury treatment.
Why do you personally care about sustainability? Does it permeate your personal life?
David Fletcher: Sustainability is very important to me. It can feel overwhelming to make the right choices when you really want to make a difference and help save the planet. I watch the documentaries on Netflix etc and sometimes just feel it’s a mammoth task and how can I possibly make a difference? But we can individually, by being conscious consumers.
I think every small step taken by us collectively will make an impact. I do feel that the conversation needs to put less onus on the consumer, through guilt messaging and taxation. Instead, we need to challenge and tax big corporations to actually make the change rather than greenwashing and using sustainability as a marketing tool.
You do the hair on Strictly and other TV shows, which must be intense. What inspires you as a hairdresser, and does working on Strictly allow you to go wild with ideas?
David Fletcher: It’s full-on, but I love it, especially Strictly, as it’s so glamorous. It allows me to be creative and make styles that you wouldn’t get the chance to do in everyday salon hair. It does filter into the salon life though as my clients love to hear all about it!
What do you most enjoy about your work?
David Fletcher: I love making people look and feel fabulous! Oh and fringes, I love cutting a good fringe!
To buy the Crystal Earth range and read about their sustainability journey go to www.crystalearth.co.