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Richmond resident, formulator starts plant-based shampoo business

Richmond resident Zahoor Hassan is the founder of Wythyn Beauty.

A Richmond resident went back to school to become a shampoo formulator after being frustrated at so-called natural products on the market.

Zahoor Hassan started Wythyn Beauty (pronounced as within), an online store, after searching far and wide for a plant-based shampoo that wasn’t toxic and worked with her curly hair while also hoping to promote sustainability.

“A lot of products I had would say they were clean ingredients, but at a closer look one of the ingredients was natural, but everything else added was just toxins,” said Hassan, adding they only made her hair worse.

Hassan went from researching what were considered healthy ingredients and formulas in shampoos to going to school and getting a diploma as a formulator.

Now, she makes plant-based shampoo from scratch three days before mailing them out to customers.

“It was a passion project to start off, but knowing there are people who want clean, natural products that are made locally and sustainably I’ve taken a huge step to start my own business.”

Making products from natural ingredients, however, comes with a hefty price.

The business sells eight-ounce shampoo bottles for $32, a price that has increased in the past year due to inflation.

“Raw ingredients are super expensive to store and that is why a lot of beauty brands aren’t doing 100-per-cent plant-based products,” she said.

“Products that are vitamin and mineral-based and use strictly raw ingredients, without a doubt, are pricier,” she added.

When asked why her company still uses recyclable plastic bottles despite an advocate of sustainability, Hassan explained it is due to the nature of the plant-based shampoo.

“Plastic is obviously not the greatest situation, but it’s harder to make it into a shampoo bar that’s effective when it comes to 100 per cent plant-based products,” she said.

“When you make shampoo bars, and you use natural preservatives, it’s harder to keep bacteria away from the product resulting in a shorter shelf life.”

To tackle this problem, Hassan said Wythyn offers shampoo re-fill stations in some Vancouver stores for customers who have previously purchased their shampoo online.