the salty hair journey
Hey, I'm Mike Petrosoniak- ocean enthusiast, chemical engineer, and founder of Salty Hair.
Salty Hair began as a pipe dream, back in the summer of 2010.
A friend and I moved from cottage-country Ontario to teach sailing in the Bahamas. We were avid water enthusiasts, having grown up sailing and windsurfing in Ontario, but had limited ocean experience. Spending everyday in the ocean that summer, we quickly realized the amazing effect it was having on our hair! We both went significant periods without washing our hair just to keep that feeling alive! It became our new token hairstyle, and we embraced that Salty feeling!
In 2011, I moved to Halifax for school. Once in Halifax, I began experimenting with various Salty recipes using real seawater as my base. As a kid, I had always had an interest in building things and making new products. Starting this Salty project offered me the perfect opportunity to combine my passions as an avid ocean enthusiast and a chemical engineer to play around with recipes and develop a product that I felt best replicated the effect of the ocean!
In 2013, I partnered with another friend who I knew from the sailing world, and we continued to develop the recipe. However, both of us had full-time jobs and busy lives, and pursuing this venture proved to be more difficult and time-consuming than we could manage at the time. Nevertheless, in 2017, with a bit of time freed up, I decided to pick it up again, and continued to toy around with recipes. Initially thinking that this product would be for males, I produced about 50 bottles of my latest recipe and shipped them out to male friends across the country to get their feedback. With most of my friends using pastes and gels, Salty didn’t give them the hold they were used to. At around the same time, I gave bottles to two female friends with long hair who started using the product regularly and noted that they loved the increased volume, waviness, and thickness of their hair! They even tested it against other established salt sprays, and concluded that Salty left them with a better texture overall. With a renewed focus, I decided to expand my target market to include both males and females who loved that Salty feeling, and decided to give it a shot for real!
I finalized my first recipe, built the equipment needed for consistent small-scale production, and am now looking to get my product out to those who want Salty Hair. As in the beginning, I remain committed to replicating the effect of the ocean as best as possible by using real ocean water from the North Atlantic, a list of naturally derived ingredients, and a small-batch brewing method done right here in Nova Scotia.
We can’t beat nature, but we can come pretty close!
Keep it real. Keep it salty.