Bumble and bumble Founder Says No One Will Use Shampoo in 5 Years

Joanna Douglas
·Senior Editor

Photo: Kenneth Willardt/Trunk Archive

“I honestly think in five years people are going to go, ‘Oh God, remember when we used to wash our hair with shampoo?’” Michael Gordon, Bumble and bumble’s founder told Wired this week. It’s a big statement for a guy who practically invented the idea of fancy shampoo. An industry leader, he launched Bumble in 1977, and their well-loved product line in 1990. While he sold is stake in the haircare brand in 2006, his penchant for innovation has led to new collection of just three products called Purely Perfect. The highlight: Purely Perfect Cleansing Creme ($40), which he thinks will revolutionize hair.

Purely Perfect’s self-proclaimed “anti-shampoo” doesn’t lather, and it’s free of silicones, detergents and sodium laureth sulfate—the ingredient in most shampoos that leaves you feeling scrubbed-clean. In fact, that drying chemical is what makes your hair need conditioners, masks, leave-ins, and heat-prep treatments. Gordon’s idea is that the nourishing, hydrating ingredients in Purely Perfect’s Cleansing Creme—aloe vera, rose flower, peppermint, and evening primrose oil—eliminate the need for all those other products. Just massage it in to wet hair, leave it in for a few minutes, and rinse out. According the Purely Perfect website, it works on all hair types, including color-treated hair, and that you should see dramatic results within one to three uses. 

The time is right for Cleansing Creme. Many women are looking to streamline their routine with time-saving products like dry shampoo, and the “no ‘poo” movement continues to gain steam as people are enlightened on the benefits of washing hair less frequently. Proenza Schouler’s CEO Shirly Cook made waves three years ago when she admitted to giving up shampoo, and this week a woman named Lucy Aitken Read launched a book called Happy Hair: The definitive guide to giving up shampoo. She hasn’t used the stuff in two years. Gordon’s product lacks all the harsh chemicals that are starting to scare consumers, and its biodegradable formula is eco-friendly. You’d save a lot of time, money, and potential landfill space by ditching your arsenal of products. 

Gordon told Wired that hairdressers have long known that detergents are bad for your hair, but that it’s typically marketers and distributors who work with labs and put products on shelves, and professionals like himself, have little input into product formulas. He’s hoping to change the market, and the entire hair-grooming experience with a hands-on approach. His next goal is to go one step further and eliminate waste entirely. How? Who knows. But with innovation like this it might not be such a stretch.