Introducing British M, the Korean hair care brand newly curated on Soko Glam. Stories From a Curator is a column by Charlotte Cho, the curator and co-founder of Soko Glam. As a licensed esthetician and the author of The Little Book of Skin Care, Cho gives a glimpse into her discovery process and what brands and products make the cut for the curated site.
A few words about Korean salons:
I spend about a third of the year in Korea for Soko Glam and The Klog, so that means 5-6 trips a year for about 2-4 weeks at a time. I go frequently enough that I never have to get my hair done in New York. This makes me a very lucky girl—here’s why:
Korean hair salons are so much more affordable than similar salons in the States. Case in point: A haircut at a luxury hair salon in Korea will cost you $30-$40. Bleached gradient hair dye can set you back $200, which is not cheap, but that price includes a hair treatment session, as well, so the price becomes justified.
And I cannot rave enough about Korean salons. One of my favorite hair salons in Korea is Jenny House. It’s located in this this gorgeous multi-storied building in the windy roads of the ritziest part of Seoul (You know you’re in a nice neighborhood when you rely on a car to get you there).
Celebrities are regulars at Jenny House—to get a quick trim or to get done up for shoots—because there are many private rooms for them to hide in and escape the prying eyes of fans.
And let me tell you about the service at Jenny House. It’s truly unparalleled. Imagine this: You’re draped in a luxe gown and handed an assortment of yummy cookies and mini sandwiches, and then you select your choice of beverage—whether you want a cappuccino or an iced green tea, they’ve got you. Your complimentary hair wash practically doubles as a head, neck and temple massage, so you walk out of the salon not only with beautiful hair, but feeling totally refreshed and reenergized.
It was at Jenny House when I discovered British M.
Why I curated British M:
Many of you have asked me to curate more hair products, and for someone who has frequented tons of Korean hair salons, it’s natural to ask why I haven’t focused on this category for so long.
I’ve always intended to curate more hair products on Soko Glam since I started, but to my surprise, most of these salons carried international, non-Korean brands, like Redken and Kerastase.
In the past year, that has all changed. I fell in love with Korean hair brand British M when I discovered it at one of my trips to Jenny House. The whole time I thought it was a UK-based brand because of the name. It wasn’t until I mentioned that I was absolutely loving the line (especially the Annatto Hair Oil) to the head hair stylist, Jung Moungsim, that I found out its true origins. When Jung told me she had actually made British M with a team of head stylists, I knew that I had found a hidden gem in Korea!
I dug deeper and found out that British M isn’t really so much a “hidden gem,” but actually a cult favorite. It’s been featured on many Korean beauty magazines as a top rated hair line and even on the cable show “Get it Beauty.” It’s popular amongst the hairstylist community for its professional products and you can find the brand in over 100 luxury and boutique Korean hair salons. This is no small feat. For comparison, Sephora has about 350 stores throughout the US!
The philosophy behind this hair stylist-created line is simple and it is completely in line with the Korea “skin-first philosophy.” They wanted to make sure that whatever you put on your hair and scalp should be made with gentle, safe ingredients. Yes, whatever you do for your facial skin should be done to your scalp, because it’s still a part of your skin and it does the very important job of growing healthy, strong, and shiny hair!
British M believes that for healthy hair, you should be using everything from low pH shampoos, to organic ingredients and paraben-free formulas. In other words, British M aims to even make even styling products—like the hair oil and the sea salt spray—gentle enough to put directly on your face, without causing any breakouts or issues. Technique matters too, which we will definitely go into more detail later on The Klog.
This product launch is a big deal for me. It’s not everyday that I introduce hair products to Soko Glam, so when I do, I make sure it’s products that I know Korean women swear by and products that I use every single day. I hope you’re as excited about British M as I am!