Exclusive: Talking hair trends and mane care with the founders of IGK
If you haven't heard of IGK before, you're about to discover the hype as the haircare brand comes to our shores. IGK was created by four celebrity hairstylists – Franck Izquierdo, Leo Izquierdo, Aaron Grenia and Chase Kusero – and the brand is named after the first letter of the founders' last names.
The four have been in the hair styling business since young and each currently manages a number of salons, working with an exclusive clientele. The stylists are known for setting trends and creating the perfect looks that have been seen down the runways and red carpets. It was through their daily interactions with their clients that the four realised what kind of products and styling that they were looking for.
IGK was born out of the desire to give these clients the looks they want with minimal effort. Each product is inspired by the cities they work in, art, music, fashion and their keen eye for unique trend and innovative products. We talk to the guys all about hair trend and mane care.
Which is one iconic hairstyle that you loved from then till now?
Aaron: I've always loved the bob. I'm especially into the traditional look – chin length where the hair is able to naturally curl around the face. It's a more iconic feeling than the super graphic, hard-edge bobs we're seeing today. Bobs overall though just transcend time, they're always evolving and can be made to look super modern or traditional. A good example is Dua Lipa's new look or Taylow Swift's bob.
You guys have worked with a really diverse set of people and so many different hair types – what are some of your best tips concerning hair care? Any dos and don'ts?
1. Your hair care starts in the shower – make sure you're using a good shampoo and conditioner that helps with the final look you want to achieve. If you want volume, start with a volumising shampoo. If you want hydration, start with a hydrating shampoo. And always condition your hair. It's also a good idea to do a hair mask, even just on the ends, 1-2 times a week.
2. Take care of your scalp. If you scalp is healthy, your hair will grow healthier and better. I tell my clients to use 'Low Key Cleansing Walnut Scalp Scrub' 1-2 times a week to get rid of product buildup, dirt and oil.
3. Look out for ingredients that aren't helping your hair – our whole line is vegan, cruelty-free, gluten-free, and free from sulfates, parabens, petrolatum and mineral oil. And all our products have UV protection. Those ingredients aren't helping your hair, and can damage it or affect your colour or chemical treatments.
4. Don't cut your own hair. It's too risky.
What are some of the best IGK products we can use to keep our hair looking fresh in the humid weather?
Chase: Start by protecting from frizz with 'IGK Thirsty Girl Coconut Milk Leave-In Conditioner'. It has a patented hyaluronic acid technology that forms a weightless barrier over the hair for hydration and 24-hour frizz protection. Coconut Milk nourishes and strengthens to prevent split ends and breakage.
Keep your style looking fresh with dry shampoo. We just launched a collection of dry shampoos in a light, medium and deep cleanse level – so you can choose the dry shampoo that works best for your hair, scalp and lifestyle. 'Jet Lag Invisible Dry Shampoo' is the lightest cleanse and is great for a quick refresh, or for fine hair. 'Direct Flight Multi-tasking Dry Shampoo' gives a medium cleanse and adds volume and texture. 'First Class Charcoal Detox Dry Shampoo' is our deepest cleanse and is great for oily scalps, thick hair or post workout – it absorbs heavy oil and even eliminates odor.
IGK launched a scalp scrub – do you foresee a trend in scalp care? Why is this important?
Leo: Scalp care is so important – it's the foundation for healthy hair. Our 'Low Key Cleansing Walnut Scalp Scrub' is great to use once or twice a week in place of your normal shampoo to remove product buildup, dirt and oil, and to rebalance and clarify the scalp. It uses sugar instead of salt and is gentle so it's great for sensitive scalps and is colour- and keratin-safe. It's important to use a scalp scrub regularly because product buildup can clog the hair follicles and cause thinning hair or hair loss – a scrub should be part of your normal routine.
What is the hottest hair trend at the moment? Most asked hair cut this year?
Franck: The hottest hair trend at the moment is the bang. It's sexy and fun to style. There's a French vibe that women want to adopt, I feel – it's a long fringe and undone textured layers. It looks effortless. The haircut I'm asked for most in the salon is the long bob. Women want a change. I think it goes with what's happening in our politics and pop culture – women are claiming their rights and are powerful. And so it goes with their hair! They're willing to be more daring and do a dramatic change to their hair. So, I'm cutting a lot of long hair into long bobs, which I love.
IGK have been part of the most celebrated fashion shows and celebrity hairstyles — can you share what's the best way to make a "hair" statement?
Franck: Go for an extreme look. Whether it's straight or wavy, do it 100% extra. Or extra long volume, or extra short! Or even wear your hair up and add some bling – like the barrettes we're seeing at Versace.
You guys are known to be trendsetters in the industry. What are some exciting products we can expect from you guys next?
Aaron: We get our inspiration from everywhere, but a lot of it comes from our salons and our teams of stylists. We're with clients every day and we listen to what they're saying about their hair, their products, even trends outside of the beauty industry (like hearing that coconut milk or turmeric are the next big ingredients). We consider what our clients are saying and what we and our stylists think is missing and we create a product to meet that need. For example, our dry shampoos – we knew that people love their dry shampoo but no one knows why. Talking to our clients and our retailers, we found out that it's because everyone will prefer a different dry shampoo based on their hair and scalp type. So we created a line of dry shampoos that lets you choose a cleanse level that's best for you.
Chase: We also take inspiration from trends in makeup, fashion, music – we saw a lot of holographic looks in makeup and fashion and know our client likes to play with trends. We wanted to bring that look to hair, so we created 'Foamo Holographic Hair Foam'. It's a temporary glitter-packed shade-shifting foam that our clients and customers have loved as a cool trend product.
Franck: We're launching our whole line in Sephora Southeast Asia in late April, and will have a new round of innovation coming to the market in July. One thing I can share is that we'll be launching a high speed air dry spray – it cuts air dry time by 46%, so hair dries better and faster with less bending, frizz and breakage. We've been trying it in our salons and getting amazing results.
IGK is now available at Sephora and also online.