Brand Spotlight

By: GlossWire
Jan 20, 2023 10:07 PM

BeautyTalks with Romina Manenti, MAY11 Hair Oil Founder


Could you tell us a little bit about your key all-natural ingredients that go into MAY11 Hair Oil products?

MAY11 Hair Oils are formulated with organic, vegan and pure carrier oils and essential oils. Our mission is to support healthy hair growth at any stage using ingredients sourced only from nature. 

Our ingredients contain the same nutrients that our hair is made from, such as vitamins, omegas, vegetable proteins and minerals. Once in contact with the hair, these nutrients are absorbed and will organically replenish the hair, supporting hair growth throughout its entire cycle.


Tell us about the method of producing MAY11 Hair Oil products!

I created the MAY11 process method which was patented in 2019. The MAY11 process method ensures that all the properties of each ingredient are retained from the moment of the extraction (cold press extraction) through to the final blend. By working with low temperatures over time in the blending machines, the molecules won’t be broken and the oils will keep the properties and benefits from their original source.


“America showed me the paths and formulas to achieve things that I never thought I could…”


How involved is MAY11 Hair Oil in sustainability? 

At a company level we approach sustainability by constantly trying to create mindful solutions that meet our needs, while limiting any negative impact and future consequences. 

For example, we are very careful to prioritize and work with local companies and suppliers. This means that we can reduce the distance that our raw materials and packaging need to travel to create our products, and we are reducing our company impact overall.

On a broader level, our products are both inspired by and work in harmony with nature. Our concentrated, undiluted formulas optimize the absorption of our natural ingredients, and cut down on the creation of any excess product. From every 2-3ml of treatment that is applied to the hair, 70-90% is absorbed. The excess is minimal, meaning that less water and shampoo is required overall. We believe that over time, each of these steps add up to affect our environmental impact as an individual and as a brand.

At the consumer level, we encourage our customers to use every last drop of their MAY11 treatment with care and mindfulness. Using more product at a time won’t necessarily speed up the results, so it is better to be intentional about usage to make sure none of these precious ingredients or materials are wasted. It is this type of intention that we believe creates the foundation for mindful consumption, now and in the future.


In what ways has your move from Europe to America impacted you?

When I decided to move to America I was still a bit naive. American culture definitely helped to teach me how to make my dreams and visions become a reality! America showed me the paths and formulas to achieve things that I never thought I could be capable of or good enough for, and has proven that success really is a destination not a dream.

Despite the fact that I was already an adult, when I came here it was like hitting reset and starting from zero. Learning another language on top of Italian and French was a good training for my brain muscle and helped me to verbalize ideas and feelings, make them tangible, be able to share my creativity at many levels and expand my network and connections.

These connections brought me a new perspective. I expanded my curiosity in learning new things, or just perceived the same things in a new way than my Italian and French background.


What inspired you to get into the haircare industry?

Since I was young, about 6 years old, I always knew I wanted to be a hairstylist. I realized that I was very intrigued by people's hair and how the hair could be the main element to make someone look different, fashionable and attractive. Soon, I wanted to learn how to transform hair by coloring, cutting and shaping. I think my innate sense of aesthetic was dragged into the beauty world without even realizing I was going there, and from there I started to follow the signs. The first thing I realized was that the hair salon wasn’t for me, and I landed doing hair for the fashion industry. 


What helped you find the right products for your hair?

In my experience, I constantly have to try products for myself and for my work. Working in fashion, there is a push to break the boundaries of everything that has been done before. This mindset helped me to be unafraid and experiment with an unconventional use of hair products. I relay a big part of my success to the way I master my use of hair products, calibrating the right quantity, the absorption and each signature finish.

So, to answer your question, you know when it's right when you have been wrong, and only by keeping practice will you build a certainty and confidence in what you are doing.  


“When I create a new product I consider my inspirations, my clients needs and requests, and consumer behavior.”


What does the date MAY11 represent?

MAY11 is my birthday, but it wasn’t intentional to name my company after the day I was born.

MAY11 was drafted initially as OIL11, but when it was the time to trademark my lawyer said that it wasn’t going to be a strong trademark. I then had one day to change the name, and I was looking for a short, meaningful name MAY popped into my mind… so MAY11 it was!


Run us through your hair care routine!

Very basic!

Shampoo and conditioner: I alternate between the Iles Formula shampoo and conditioner and the Kevin Murphy Angel Wash and Angel Rinse.

Treatments I use MAY11 oils.

Scalp: I use the scalp oil once a week, I love the feeling of a clean energized scalp.

Hair: Alternating once a week, I use the MAY11 Revitalizing Hair Oil and Blonde Restoring Hair Oil.

Styling: I add 1 pump a day in between shampooing of Blonde Restoring Hair Oil in spring/summer and Revitalizing Hair Oil in winter.


How does MAY11 Hair Oil source their ingredients?

All of our suppliers are based in the USA, though some of the ingredients must be imported. The Jamaican Black Castor Oil, for example, comes from Jamaica and is of the highest quality.


What product would you suggest for someone with damaged hair?

This depends on whether the hair has been damaged through natural wear and tear (such as heat styling) or chemically damaged (such as bleaching). The MAY11 Revitalizing Hair Oil is the universal treatment for damaged hair, and the MAY11 Blonde Restoring Hair Oil is created for color treated blonde and bleached hair.


What is your go-to MAY11 Hair Oil product?

The Revitalizing Hair Oil with Neroli Oil… It always makes me feel like I’m on holiday!


How has your brand evolved over the years?

Initially I wanted to have only one universal product which is why the first version of the Revitalizing Hair Oil was created for all hair types. However, then the pandemic rapidly changed everyone's lifestyle. After spending so much time at home we all started to listen to our body’s signs more carefully, and I wanted to find hair solutions that are more than just an automated habit.

For example, someone may have had dandruff or an oily scalp, but because they had previously been washing it every day they hadn’t realized they had a problem. When they finally had time to address it, they had questions about why that happened or how to fix it.

Based on a client’s request, I developed my second product, the Purifying Scalp Oil. This blend implements specific essential oils to help soothe the scalp and energize the blood flow that helps to promote healthier hair growth. When I create a new product I consider my inspirations, my clients needs and requests, and consumer behavior.


Tell us a bit about the four phases of hair growth!

This is the life cycle of each hair strand, from the moment it starts growing in the follicle until the moment it is shed. We have a page on our website dedicated to helping people understand the growth cycle of their own hair and to prepare for any hair shedding. We naturally lose about 100 hairs a day, so having this scientific knowledge helps reassure people that it is natural for hair to fall out and to not worry when it does.


What is your most memorable moment with MAY11 Hair Oil?

I think it was when I found out from The NY Times that Norma Kamali uses MAY11!