Why would Melisse Shaban, who had access to some seriously covetable shampoo as an exec at The Body Shop, Aveda, and Frédéric Fekkai, go to the trouble of making her own? “I had the opportunity to work with a new, transformative technology that delivers results like I’ve never seen before in my entire career,” she explains. She’s referring to something called Alpha Keratin 60ku—a human protein keratin integral to nails and hair that was originally refined as part of a regenerative medicine for severely wounded soldiers. Because the magical stuff so closely matches what your body produces, it gets sucked up by the most damaged, needy areas—which, used right, means insanely shiny, split end-free strands.
After working with this protein for six years, Melisse launched Virtue Labs, a line of shampoos, conditioners, and styling products, in February 2017, and Jessica Biel, Kristen Stewart, and Emma Watson were all fans before year-end. This celeb love feels a little foreign to Melisse, who’s most often found hanging at home in North Carolina with her wife Jane, their two kids, and a whole zoo of animals—blessedly, she’s not letting all the success go to her head.