Two friends living just outside Toronto, Canada, decided they would change the hair industry forever in 1995. One was a chemist; the other a specialist in business management. Their shared passion and beliefs led to the development of Soma haircare products in a makeshift lab. The samples they gave to trusted family and friends came back with enthusiastic praise. With positive feedback and ample confidence in their creation, Soma launched that year with only five products: Three shampoos and two conditioners with names like Wind, Rain, and Cascade.
Heading into an extremely competitive market at its peak, Soma noticed the quality of products were losing ground in favor of expensive marketing campaigns. As smaller companies were gobbled up by “the big guys,” professional products shifted from stylist-centric to mass retail. At the same time, a booming economy overshadowed environmental awareness.
Soma had then – as today – a distinct advantage: In-house formulation with a keen commitment to quality and Environmental Impact.
Now, Soma uses completely healthy ingredients in each of our 20 Shampoos, Conditioners, Styling, and Finishing products. Distribution continues to grow across all of North America with partners sharing our vision and core values.
In our opinion, a product line must follow three criteria for it to be deemed “Professional” quality (outside of being environmentally responsible). Remember:
Hair care does not need to be complicated!
In this day and age of fancy new ads and ambiguous label claims promising to extend colour life and fix hair with chemicals using elaborate names and patented protein complexes, it’s hard to understand what’s really going on. Let’s start with some actual truths.
1st Criteria: Give Your Hair More of What it’s Made of.
Your hair is Keratin Protein. The best way to repair and protect your hair is to put Keratin Protein back into it. This is called permanent conditioning. At Soma, we use an Organic-derived chain of quaternized Keratin Protein.
For the Techies: The best way to treat damaged hair is by using what your hair produces on its own. Keratin Protein holds moisture in the hair. When hair is damaged, Keratin is lacking. The only way to fix it is by replacing the Keratin with another Keratin protein. During any “chemical” treatment, such as colouring, perming, or relaxing, cysteine bonds will break and/or reform, causing hair to become brittle. To replace moisture, chemically treated hair needs permanent conditioning. Soma products covalently bind Keratin protein and amino acids to form the unreacted sulfhydryl (SH) groups and disulfide bonds to create permanent conditioning within the hair.
Tests show that after five successive shampoos with a quaternized Keratin protein, up to 45% of the protein deposited on freshly permed or colour-treated hair bonded to the hair’s cuticle and cortex; thus, successfully providing permanent conditioning.
2nd Criteria: pH Specificity
Your hair has a natural pH range between 4.5 to 5.5 (the pH scale goes from 0-14 – with 0-7 being Acidic and 7-14 being Alkaline). When you maintain your hair with products in this pH range, you keep the hair cuticle closed – locking in colour, maintaining moisture, and reducing frizz. This specific pH range is what started the whole professional hair care industry. If you are using hair care products other than Soma and the bottle reads it is pH “Balanced” – this is nothing more than a marketing term and means absolutely nothing. The pH range must be specified to be at least 5.5 or less to keep your hair cuticle closed!
For the Techies: During chemical treatment, the hair structure physically changes; the natural pH is raised above 5.5 to break bonds and/or give “lift” (open the cuticle). To colour hair, the cuticle must be lifted with the pH higher than 5.5. To maintain hair colour, pH must return to normal (4.4-5.5). External factors such as air and water (which may have a neutral pH of approximately 7), impede the ability of coloured hair to maintain its sheen and normal pH, over time. To counterbalance these effects, coloured hair should be cared for with low pH products.
3rd Criteria: No Alcohol Allowed
YHairsprays can contain anywhere between 70-90% alcohol (denatured SD). What does alcohol do? It’s a drying agent. That means it attacks moisture in your hair. Alcohol will attack the hair structure itself and destroy it, causing hair to become dry and brittle by extracting the Keratin protein you have been trying to replace. Hairsprays can actually remove ink from clothing! If it can remove ink, imagine what it does to your hair colour!
Every Soma product is rich with Keratin Protein, properly Ph balanced, and lacks common ingredients that are harmful to hair health in colour.