There’s a whiff of summer in the air and a girl’s thoughts naturally turn to… shampoo. Well, OK, among other things. But soft, sweet-smelling hair on bronzed shoulders is the stuff advertising is made of, and the dream comes one step closer with naturally fragranced and guaranteed vegan haircare.

Summer Stories is a boutique new shower essentials range started by Brisbane locals Felicity Loughrey and Tim Dwyer. It uses gorgeous and natural locally sourced ingredients such as kangaroo apple, finger lime, wild lemon myrtle and eucalyptus. The products are quirkily named after local Queensland towns and they look great on the bathroom shelf, which is important, right?

Oh, and the range is (deep breath): Australian made, paraben free, silicon free, sulphate free, cruelty free, vegan friendly, biodegradable, free of dyes and artificial colours.

vegan haircare

We spent five minutes on the phone with Felicity, to ask the searching questions:

Why did you start your own business?
Tim and I sat next to each other at a Brisbane-based corporate. Outside our 9-5, we set about building Summer Stories. The shampoo is an idea I’ve had for a while. I lived in New York City for a few years and when I came home, I couldn’t find any shampoos I liked. I was looking for something made with Australian ingredients in cool packaging. So that’s how we ended up here.

Why was producing a vegan product important to you?
There’s no need for animal products to be in a shampoo or conditioner and ours are tested on people, not animals. Our products were always going to be vegan. I think the human race will look back on the slaughter of animals badly in 100 years.

What’s been the best thing about the journey?
The response! People have loved the lemon myrtle scents, the eucalyptus, the orange citrus. Friends, family and strangers on the internet have been so supportive. I think people love a small business.
I’ve also learned a lot about Australian native ingredients that I didn’t know before, like quandong adds smoothness and kangaroo apple is great at tackling frizz. And did you know that lemon myrtle leaves have the highest amount of citral [lemon] of any plant in the world?

And the most challenging?
Sustainable packaging. If anyone has any great solutions we would love to chat! We’re working on a refill pouch – it uses less plastic and is more efficient for shipping. It’s not perfect but we would love to evolve our packaging in the future.

vegan haircare