Our story begins with Romina Manenti, New York based editorial hairstylist, founder and creator of May•11 Hair Oil. Her hair philosophy is simple:
“Having good hair is a fundamental right – you can achieve it by making the right choices”
Driven by beauty, creativity and passion for life, Romina’s journey has always been to exemplify the inner beauty of each subject she works with – to translate their emotions, spirit, energy and state of mind through their hair – whether a top model, actress or personal client. Women would often ask how they can keep their hair healthy and strong, a question that resonated with her and was the undeniable catalyst that sparked the creation of this nourishing product.
“My deep belief in the power of botanical oils pushed me to create a universal blend that contained the highest level of nutrition and protection for all hair types” – Romina Manenti
Equally, the relationship you have with your hair mirrors the relationship you have with your self. A new haircut, a fresh hair color, experimenting with a new style, can elicit feelings of confidence, power and freedom. For Romina, rousing these emotions is essential and vital to her work as a hairstylist. Inspired by the passion, creativity and heritage of her native Italy, Romina has had the opportunity to live in cities that echo this strong influence including Paris and Brooklyn New York, where she is based.
For over 15 years, her experience with models, actresses and personal clients enabled her to understand how hair can transform an individual and excite them. Through her conversations on set many expressed the difficulties maintaining healthy looking hair on a daily basis. This sparked a curiosity in Romina and over the course of her career she consulted with numerous peers and hairstylists to uncover what was missing from the infinite amount of products offered to consumers. Her investigation led organically to her neighborhood and community where she discovered the secret to nourishing, non-oily hair was with the treatment of Jamaican Black Castor Oil. This vital nutrient excels and performs for the benefit of the hair with its healing and revitalizing properties.
After a year testing its qualities, Romina discovered that this magical ingredient combined with 3 other unrefined oils (sweet almond, avocado and hemp) create a texture that locks oil inside the hair cuticle while enhancing softness and lustre. The alluring and sophisticated bouquet of Bergamot and Sandalwood conclude this unique elixir awakening feelings of euphoria and positivity.
Name : Romina Manenti @rominahair
Birthplace : Bergamo, Italy
Métier : Hairstylist working in the fashion industry, Founder and creator of May•11 Hair Oil @may11hairoil
Sources of inspiration : I’m inspired by flowers and interior design.
I love colors , and flowers are one of the species from mother nature that offers the uniqueness of an infinitive variety of colors. I love the simplicity of flowers and the complexity behind that beauty.
Flowers also inspire me at the tactile level, the feeling of touching flowers, the sensorial experience , that I recreate when I work with hair , like shiny, silky hair – velvety textures.
I’m inspired by styles and concepts from interior design, by artists and creators of living spaces that offer an experience of art of living . I’m fascinated by the “relationships” between volumes, spaces and objects.
What makes you happy : a lot of things from eating a gelato to spending time with people that I love, working using my hands, cooking, creating flowers compositions…
Favorite reads : As the only time for reading is in the evening i like to read novels because it lighten my mind from the busy day. The last novel I really loved was “My Brilliant Friend” written by Elena Ferrante.
Favorite tunes : Everything that reminds me of my youth – Guns and Roses – Jean Michel Jarre – – Italian pop music.
Favorite foods : Italian – French – Lebanese. I like food which has recipes developed and passed on from grandmothers. I like the consciousness of quality and precision of chosen ingredients. I also do my best to eat local food .
Beauty tips : Your hair is an extension of your personality, play with hair colors, haircuts and hair shapes. Enjoy to be a different version of yourself , discover and surprise yourself , be your own inspiration. Embrace and empower the uniqueness of the beauty in every stage of life. If you can see time as something given to you and not taken from you, there will be no gaps between who you are and who you want to be.
What gets you in a working flow : My creativity! My entire life has been created and lived to support and make my creativity manifested , from work to the most intimate times of my life.
My creativity plays a big role in the way I live and where I live. My creativity pushes my curiosity of discovering by experience , that’s why I chose a job that took me all over the world in the last 20 years , and it makes me move and live in 3 countries.
Everyday I train my creativity with intuition and discipline in order to always be simultaneously in momentum.
What are you working on now : 3 things :
I’m working on a photo-shoot and videos for fashion and beauty clients in NY and abroad.
I just started to draft the logistics of how to create and coordinate “hair retreats” for the new up and coming generation. There are so many values and quality of work that has gotten lost in the past decade. I was lucky to know and work in the era where the fashion industry validation standards were based on using criteria of quality and genuine ideas. I had the chance to meet and work with people that made a part of the history of fashion, I can’t keep it only for myself.
And I am also working on developing and growing my baby May•11 hair oil.
Favorite motto / quote : “A woman is like a tea bag you never know how strong it is until it’s in hot water.” Eleanor Roosevelt
Photography by Karen Goss