Maya Kar talks to Jayne Rutland of Hairy Jayne about goats’ bottoms, allergies and the challenge of working in three dimensions
1. Tell us a bit about Hairy Jayne – what do you make?
I’ve been a professional hairdresser for 12 years now. I cut hair and make natural hair products, fragranced with essential oils. There are two shampoos and two conditioners for different hair types, plus hair perfumes for freshening up between washes. Every product comes in three fragrances: neroli (musk), geranium (floral), and grapefruit (citrus). I also sell vouchers for haircuts.
2. What makes your products special?
I hand-make them myself, and as an experienced hairdresser I have a real understanding of what hair needs. Most of all, they smell good! My emphasis is on natural products, since I myself developed an allergy to PPD, a ingredient in hair dye, especially black dye.
3. What inspired you to get started?
Two things. Becoming allergic gave me an interest in creating my own products, and when I discovered the great one-day courses at Plush Folly in making your own toiletries, I twigged that I could really create the products myself. Finally I did one of their courses explaining the legal requirements of this type of business and got started. I started looking into hair oils. I did a trip to Morocco which really inspired me. I started experimenting, creating conditioners with natural plant oils but designed not to be too heavy.
4. Did you go to Morocco for argan oil?
I did try using argan oil, but made the mistake of buying the unrefined version, which smelt like a goat’s bottom! Apparently the oil is obtained by feeding the argan seeds to a goat, and processing what comes out the other end. It’s good but very expensive, and there are other excellent plant oils which I prefer.
5. The name and logo suggest you have a humorous side – how did you come up with them?
I was after a 1960s vintage style, and Hairy Jane rhymes with Mary Jane (shoes). It amuses people, so it’s memorable. I occasionally do a market stall and I always notice that people laugh when they see it. I used to be a graphic designer so I designed the logo myself. It’s strange how hard I found it when I first started hairdressing to deal with three dimensional heads after working so long in two dimensions!
6. What attracted you to get involved with Makerhood?
I was using sites like Etsy, and I really liked the idea of having a local version, and being able to check out what other creative locals are up to. I did the Makerhood pitching workshops last year and found them really helpful.
7. What do you like about living and working in Brixton?
It’s always changing, and so busy! I was brought up in Western Australia and I first heard of Brixton out there and wanted to live here ever since. I’ve been here since 1999, and I feel very at home here. I suspect a connection with past lives, perhaps ancestors, or something more spiritual – my surname is Rutland, and I found that name etched onto an old wall in Effra Road. I hope it keeps its character. I don’t think there are any other Brixtons in the world! It has its own individual style of energy, so many different cultures side by side, letting each other get on with it.
8. What’s your hot tip for a hidden pleasure or treasure in Brixton?
My favourite shop is the stationers hidden away above the Kingshield Pharmacy – I can spend hours in there!
Hairy Jayne’s handmade hair products are available at http://brixton.makerhood.com/hairy-jayne