Behind the Brand: DIP

DIP has gotten rid of choosing between a good hair day and a great workout. This shampoo and conditioner bar brand was born to combine sustainability with high-quality hair care ingredients that protect the earth we adventure on. The brand's creator, Kate Assaraf, is passionate about all things hair, adventuring with her family, and protecting the environment. DIP seeks to bring awareness into the beauty world by creating plastic-free shampoo bars and hopes to set the bar of sustainable beauty standards for other companies. The ingredients used are sourced from the earth and are meant to better protect and cleanse hair, make customers happy and protect the environment.

Tell us a bit about you and your background

The biggest thing to know: I really love hair. I've had every hairstyle from a purple beehive to silvery gray, to platinum blonde to jet black; long, short, mid length--bangs cut professionally and terribly cut by myself: editorial-worthy color and at-home box dye. I've lived through so many hair dramas, and my mood is very much connected to how my hair looks. That's the most important thing I think anyone should know about me. Professionally I have worked behind the scenes on many household brands & names on the marketing side, but really, my first love's hair. When I found out in 2014 that plastic was not only accumulating on the planet at an alarming rate but also leaching endocrine disruptors into wildlife & our bodies, I decided to make substantial lifestyle changes for myself and my family--but when it came to bar haircare, I couldn't get on board with it. So I made my own

Why did you create DIP? 

DIP was born out of frustration. I found that I couldn't find a conditioner bar that performed like luxury salon brands, and since I have been behind the scenes in beauty for a long time, I knew that there were conditioning ingredients that work better than what was being offered to customers. I didn't want to have to sell bars to people using environmental fear marketing tactics. My goal was to make Hair Care bars so good that plastic-free wasn't a selling point, just a bonus.

Tell us your approach to making the product, what were some of the very important guidelines you wanted to follow?

I wanted to approach sustainability from a non-marketing perspective. I made many decisions for DIP that would stun marketers, but I don't care. DIP would be like every bar brand if I listened to marketers. For one, I wanted to make the bars as large as possible. That means less for sales, but it means more for the environment. I also deliberately chose to develop phthalate-free Credo-Clean approved fragrances instead of using essential oils, which are very taxing on land & international labor to produce.

Secondly, I personally do not like the experience of rubbing a shampoo bar on my head, and I imagine I am not the only person that feels this way- I also lost a lot of my hair during the two years of Covid, so I challenged my chemist with this: "What if we designed the Shampoo bar so that the less you pressed it to your head, the more it lathered? I also trail run in the woods daily, so I asked "what if we made it so that you could use it every day & didn't have to choose between your workout and a good hair day?" and lastly, "What was important to every high-end shampoo, and how do we incorporate that into the bars?" Our bars have not only luxe hair care ingredients but also skin care ingredients for the scalp. The conditioner bar is my magnum opus--I tested it on all hair types repeatedly. Suppose you came to my house for a party. In that case, you were leaving with a lab sample to try and an expectation of ripping it apart & telling me what I could do to make it better (I live in NJ, and my friends are very upfront with me--they gave some great feedback that made the bars better and better each iteration). I also A/B tested each version against my favorite salon products--mostly Oribe, Olaplex, and Pureology to ensure that I could compete with those brands. The most important thing to me was performance-- and a massive bonus for me was that one conditioner bar not only replaced ten tubes of Oribe Gold Lust for me, it also replaced any need for leave-in conditioners, my precious Kerastase Hair Mask, or extra heat styling products. That's a lot of plastic from my routine, just GONE.

Can you walk us through some of the ingredients?

Sure, we have a complete listing of our ingredients & function here, which is more thorough than anything I could type, but here are some of my favorites:

Olive Derived Squalane- this ingredient used to be extracted from Shark Livers, but now we can have its benefits from a vegan source.
  • It softens hair texture and adds shine without making the hair strands greasy and can also be used in the hair to help prevent moisture loss & breakage.
  • Because it is stable at high temperatures, it can also be used as a heat protectant!
Maracuja Oil
  • It helps encourage healthy hair growth and vitality.
  • Is rich in protective antioxidants like lycopene and is known to battle the effects of sun damage, pollution, and other environmental stressors.
  • The high antioxidant content in maracuja is known to protect against hair loss, and the moisturizing properties of this oil are effective for conditioning both scalp & hair to enhance smoothness and volume.
White Tea
  • Tea extract works as an agent to strengthen hair strands.
  • White Tea contains powerful antioxidant properties, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties, as well as anti-collagenase and anti-aging properties.
  • Its caffeine content helps to stimulate blood circulation, improve hair growth, and acts as a humectant to help moisturize and condition the hair and scalp 

There are so many other carefully selected the list! We're really proud of our little bars :)

Where can people use DIP? 

The thing about bars is that they are totally travel-friendly so you can bring them everywhere without checking your bag. Besides the prominent place, the shower- I strongly suggest you bring your conditioner bar with you after swimming. After a DIP in an ocean, lake, or pool, just DIP the conditioner bar and swipe down very wet hair. Air dry and go. I've been bringing conditioner with me to the beach to detangle my hair since I was 11- the problem with bottled conditioner is that it tends to separate in the heat and get watery. The DIP conditioner bar might soften, but it still holds up when you're in vacation mode.

Where do you like to adventure? 

Before we had our two boys, my husband Jonathan and I spent a month in Sri Lanka surfing and exploring and getting immersed in the culture. We loved being there because we felt like total fish out of water, which is how we like to travel and adventure. We love to explore places where we have to learn to adapt to a new space. Most recently, I went to Nicaragua for one of Kassia Meador's retreats with Rise Up Surf, and that was the first time in my life I have stayed in a purely eco-friendly resort. I loved the experience so much. I'll go anywhere as long as there's a place to picnic, two trees to hang my hammock, and an opportunity to get lost in my thoughts.

What does adventure mean to you?

Adventure means being uncomfortable--not in a bad way, but in a heart-pounding way. Adventure means enjoying the moment so much you forget to take a photo or video of it. And I think lastly, adventuring means that you come out on the other side wiser- whether your adventure is seeing a new city or biome or just getting up the nerve to publicly speak somewhere, adventure can be found in the smallest corners of our day :)


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The Adventure Continues! Read On...