Just in time for the cooler autumnal air, Gisou has launched the much-awaited Honey-Infused Hair Repair Serum today. Capturing the freshest honey with the power of micro-encapsulation, each droplet gently bursts upon application, releasing the honey and oil-based blend enriched with plant-based keratin to seal in moisture and intensely hydrate the hair, promising 5 times more smoothness and up to 94% of sealed split ends.
Founded by Negin Mirsalehi, Gisou isn’t just a simple passion project backed by another influencer. With six generations of beekeeping heritage in her family, Mirsalehi built her brand with a foundation rooted in passion for bees, haircare, and natural beauty. I speak to Mirsalehi on her newest launch, her haircare routine, and the biggest challenges she has faced running her own business.
What’s the difference between the new hair serum and Gisou’s best selling hair oil? How did it help your postpartum hair repair and grow?
Mirsalehi: Our Honey Infused Hair Repair Serum and Honey Infused Hair Oil are perfect hair care partners. Our serum hydrates and restores your locks with both instant and long-term benefits while preventing further damage when used on damp hair. Our hair oil then comes in as an amazing finishing product, to protect your hair and maintain moisture along with the benefits of our serum.
If you know me, you know how much I’ve always loved my long locks, but when I was around 4 months postpartum I was experiencing a lot of hair shedding, as many women do after giving birth. My hair became thinner with the shedding, and people started suggesting to me that I’d need to cut it, which I didn’t want to do. During our testing, I began to incorporate the Hair Serum into my personal hair care routine, and I noticed immediately it completely restored my hair. It helped bring back my hair’s natural structure while reducing my shedding and bringing back a lot of the hydration I had lost. I would not have been able to restore my hair without it.
How do you incorporate Gisou’s products in your daily beauty and self care routine?
Mirsalehi: A good rule of thumb is to treat your hair routine like you would a really good skincare routine. For me, this is my opportunity during my day to take a moment for myself. Even though it can take a bit of time, depending on what I need to do, I try to make it a sensorial experience. After washing my hair with our Honey Infused Hair Wash and Conditioner, I immediately apply a dropper-full of the Hair Repair Serum to my hands and work it through my damp hair, just like you might use a face serum after cleansing your skin to repair and protect it. I like to concentrate the serum on my ends to really help with split ends and retention. Once that’s finished, I lock in moisture by adding our Honey Infused Hair Oil to seal in all the amazing benefits of the serum while adding shine.
Tell us more about the sustainability practices at Gisou as well as at the Mirsalehi bee garden — why is it important to you and your brand?
Mirsalehi: We are committed to becoming a cleaner & greener Gisou. Our efforts — towards becoming a more sustainable company focus on 6 key pillars: (1) Evolving our bee-centered approach to prioritize bee welfare and let the bees guide our beekeeping practices. This is why we opened a second bee garden this year which is run by my sister and Gisou’s Beekeeper-in-Chief, Negar. We focus on deriving Mirsalehi Honey and Mirsalehi Propolis, our key ingredients, in a cruelty-free manner. (2) Raising awareness for the importance of honey bees and how vital they are to our ecosystem. (3) Increasing bee to bottle transparency by continuing to keep our consumers updated on Gisou’s sustainable improvements and the choices we make in packaging. (4) Continually striving to make our formulations greener by using as many natural ingredients as possible without compromising on the function, quality and integrity of our products. (5) Improving the sustainability of our packaging by striking the right balance between aesthetics and the use of recycled, recyclable and biodegradable materials and (6) Reducing our carbon footprint throughout our supply chain. At Gisou we are always evolving our methods of sustainable support.
Biggest challenge in developing your own business as well as products?
Mirsalehi: The biggest challenge in developing Gisou has been bringing our vision to life with the same clarity while our team expands and grows. When we started Gisou, we were a small team of 4, building a brand based on a recipe from my mother’s kitchen and from my online communities’ interest in my haircare routine. Working so closely together meant each of us were completely aligned on the vision, messaging, sustainability commitment and our big ambition for Gisou. As we have expanded, it is inevitable that the challenge becomes maintaining that same strong level of understanding within our growing team.
One of our biggest production challenges has been ensuring that we always stay true to our brand values and promise. When developing new formulas, it can be tempting to pursue all of the opportunities that are available from an innovation standpoint. We have to constantly ensure that all of our innovation stays true to our honey and bee-centered approach. Honey has so many incredible benefits, and we want to ensure that we are providing the highest quality to our community in every product we produce.
Doing what you do with fashion and beauty, how do you balance a busy, travel-filled work life with home life and time for yourself?
Mirsalehi: Family is at the center of everything we do at Gisou and I am incredibly fortunate to be surrounded by my family at every level of our business. My sister Negar is our Beekeeper-in-Chief, a role that she developed within Gisou to ensure that bees are always the priority when it comes to sustainability and honey harvesting. My father inspired my love for beekeeping from a young age spending time in his garden tending to the bees and each day I work hand in hand with my fiancé Maurits as we build this business. I’m constantly recharged in my day to day work because I have a strong support system behind me which I don’t take for granted.
As someone who was always in gardens and nature from a young age, I’ve always felt connected and grounded in being outside with nature. It’s where I’m the most calm, centered and at peace. During my pregnancy, being outside was where I felt most in tune with my body, so I make sure I consistently prioritize that time, whether going to my family’s bee gardens or taking long strolls around Amsterdam, with my family.
As one of the most well known and successful influencer brands, Gisou has built a community of loyal fans. What would you say is key to Gisou’s growth so far?
Mirsalehi: Our online community has absolutely been the biggest key to Gisou’s growth. They play a huge role in shaping the future of Gisou and continually inspire so much of what we do at Gisou. I started my career sharing my beauty and fashion tips but over time I began to hear more and more from my community that they were interested in learning about my haircare routine specifically. I also slowly started to share more about the world of beekeeping and received an amazing response. Being able to have such an open dialogue with our Gisou consumer base is really what propels us forward. They’re always honest about how they feel about our products and that keeps us on our toes but also helps us to be the best brand possible. We wouldn’t be Gisou without them.
With your role as a mother, entrepreneur and public personality, what would your advice be on using social media as a tool for business?
Mirsalehi: Social media is an incredible tool. It helped me grow Gisou and find our community. In the same way it did for me, it can bring a lot of opportunity for business owners to access audiences and connect with people, ultimately fueling growth and conversion. I’m very grateful for the role social media has played in helping me build Gisou, but I also recognize the need for balance when I’m using it in my personal and professional life. I try to limit how much time I spend online and make sure I make time to be present in my real life to form meaningful connections with people I care about.
I think the same should go for any small business owner. Understand the power of social media to connect with your consumer. As you grow you might need to explore more platforms to reach your audience authentically but when you first start, go with what you know and enjoy. It’s the best way to be authentic.
For more information on Gisou’s new hair repair serum and other products, visit www.gisou.com.