Our Story - About Hair Cooki Shampoo Bars

Brian Jackman, an award-winning journalist, once said “Africa changes you forever, like nowhere on earth. Once you have been there, you will never be the same.” Those words ring true for Hannah Velez, the founder of Hair Cooki shampoo bars Australia. The year was 2019 when the newly married Velez and her husband packed their life belongings into two backpacks, quit their 9-5 corporate jobs and set off for a trip of a lifetime. But little did Velez know the magic that would stem from this 2-year journey. Jackman continues his famous quote with, “but how do you describe its magic to someone who has never felt it? How can you explain the fascination of this vast, dusty continent, whose oldest roads are elephant paths?” It was then Velez realized that she needed to bring this magic home with her, the magic of Africa.

From a young age, Velez always knew deep down that she had an urge inside, like a fire in her stomach - she needed to make a difference in her lifetime. But it was on one warm day, in September 2019, when she was travelling in an old bus down a dusty road in Zimbabwe, Africa when the idea for Hair Cooki suddenly came to her. She had been looking out in the distance at the far-off, granite mountains covered in prickly plants and acacia trees; but it was what she saw in her immediate vision that truly upset her. What filled her eyes were the sad, hopeless images of everyday plastic and litter. Masses of single-use plastic splashed against the grand backdrop of the majestic mountains, which jutted spires of bare rock into the skies at heights that gave the impression that even the sky itself was punctured. But it was the plastic cutlery, confectionery packets and disposable nappies that stood out the most. That was the big wake-up call she needed.

Time was ticking, these mountains needed help, and Planet Earth needed help. Luckily, Velez had just the idea. Velez smiles as she thinks back to that moment, she remembers thinking of the inspiring quote from Anne-Marie Bonneau that still rings in her mind today, “we don't need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly.”  Hair Cooki needed to be something that people could do every day to be on their zero-waste journey. It was important to her that Hair Cooki allowed people to make small, but important changes that could be compatible with their daily life so that they would be permanent long-term changes, rather than just fads. It was at this moment that Hair Cooki was born.

Hair Cooki needed to be special. It needed to fill the critical gap in the Australian market - to be able to provide quality, refillable, plastic-free hair care products. Velez wanted to make sure all the components in the bars would be free from harmful chemicals, water and plastic. Through countless hours of research, design, and evaluation, she created Hair Cooki shampoo bars, where the shampoo and conditioner can be stored in bars rather than being diluted with water and having to be stored in heavy, bulky, plastic bottles. One of the best features of the Hair Cooki bars is how simple they make travel, which is another one of Hannah’s passions. The shampoo and conditioner bars allow people to take their shampoo and conditioner through carry-on; removing the need to wait at the luggage carousel after a long flight or having to deal with the mess from broken shampoo bottles.

Velez knew that creating these eco-friendly shampoo and conditioner bars would give everyday people the opportunity to reduce their carbon footprint. Lowering your carbon footprint is crucial as it reduces the consequences of climate change, enhances public health, stimulates the global economy, and preserves biodiversity. Let Hair Cooki shampoo bars help you on your sustainable journey to reducing your carbon footprint, who knows you might just get to feel that indescribable magic along the way.

Today, Hair Cooki remains a fully Australian, female owned small business, based in the Sunny Gold Coast. We may be small, but don't be fooled, we are out to make a difference and have so far helped our wonderful customer ditch well over 50,000 plastic bottles! As we continue to grow, we are constantly evolving and innovating, coming up with new products to help us on our vision

Our Vision at Hair Cooki: 

"To help everyday people find long term, sustainable solutions to reduce their negative impact on our planet, but without compromising on quality."