Kelly Simpkin-Clarke on motherhood, pregnancy and postpartum haircare, and launching her brand WeTwo...
Kelly Simpkin-Clarke is married to Nicky Clarke and the couple have two children. A trained hairdresser herself, Kelly launched WeTwo, a haircare range that uses naturally effective ingredients and is specifically aimed at supporting women through the pregnancy, postpartum and menopause stages. Absolutely Mama caught up with her to find out more…
What inspired you to create a haircare range that focuses on pregnancy, gynaecological issues and menopause?
During my first pregnancy I realised that there was nothing on the market for haircare for women specifically for pregnancy and postpartum. It was so important to me to look after my hair during this time, using products that I knew were going to enhance the health of my hair, but also be safe for me and my unborn child. I changed my skin care routine for products that were pregnancy friendly, so why wouldn’t I want the same for my hair?
Since launching the pregnancy & postpartum range, I have started to formulate a range specifically for the menopause to support the hair during peri-menopause and beyond.
How did your own motherhood journey play a part in your decision to launch the business?
As a professional hairdresser for over twelve years, hair health has always been a real passion of mine and became even more important to me once I fell pregnant for the first time. I began to experience first hand the changes that women’s hair goes through when pregnant and postpartum and wanted to develop a range of products that would be safe for me and for my baby.
Over the years, I’d see many of my clients suffer postpartum hair loss and they were always quite worried about it. I found it surprising that no-one prepared them for it and many didn’t even realise it would happen. A woman’s body goes through so many changes during pregnancy and this is one change which many women aren’t even aware of. Your hair frames your face and changes the way you look and feel, so if you don’t look like yourself, you won’t feel like yourself. It’s so important to help women feel their best at what can often feel like the most vulnerable time of their lives.
Did you and Nicky work on ideas together and is it useful that hair styling is a family profession?
Nicky ’s always good as a sounding board and he tried my samples and gave me feedback, but the formulations and ideas were all mine. I worked closely with chemists, fragrance houses and doctors to create the products. My passion for hair health led me into this and being a professional hairdresser gave me the knowledge I needed to develop WeTwo.
How did you develop the range and what did you love most about the process?
I loved researching and developing pregnancy safe essential oil fragrances for the products. Smell is very important when it comes to products, but I wanted the fragrances to not only smell nice, but to help the hair and mind too. By using essential oils, I could make sure that the benefits would help at your specific stage – whether it is the scent of geranium, grapefruit and ginger in the Nourish range, which can help ease the feeling of nausea, but also uplift you – or the pine needle oil and rosemary extract in the Rebuild range which can help stimulate new hair growth.
Was it important to you to create products that use natural and eco-friendly ingredients?
The balance of nature and science is important. I like using natural products, but it is essential that the products are effective. Every product in the range undergoes rigorous testing for months to ensure that they perform and that they are safe. We use natural ingredients that are expertly formulated to work at the highest possible level.
How do you juggle running a business with being a busy mama of two?
Working for myself allows me to set my own hours. I still do the school run, which is a highlight of my day and I come home and work in between. Quite often I get into bed at 9pm with my laptop, but I don’t mind as having this brand is a complete passion for me.
What are the best (and worst!) bits about motherhood?
If somebody says it will be hard being a mum, it’s harder that you expect. And if they say it will be good, it’s better! That really is true. It is the hardest, most wonderful thing I have ever done. I do try to just take a step back and look at what I have, appreciate my children as they are right now because time goes so fast and we will never get that time back. I try to be grateful and appreciate every moment with them. Sure, it’s tiring and I’d love to get more sleep, but when they say the things they do or come out of school beaming with a smile for you, it’s worth every sleepless night!
And finally, what’s your absolute favourite, go-to product from the WeTwo range?
I honestly love them all and rotate between the three types of shampoo, but right now I’m really into the Beyond range. Its’ so luxurious and creamy and makes my hair feel amazingly soft.