Meet The Founder

Respect your lengths with these heat-styling heroes

Call yourself a hair care connoisseur? Your ticket to hair heaven’s landed… Heat-styling tools with a difference, {Cloud Nine} facilitate long-lasting waves or a super-sleek look without scorching your delicate strands. With variable temperatures to minimise tress trauma, as well as ionising surfaces to maximise the ‘slip’ and help to ward against breakage, these tools can be tailored to every hair type. Completely revelatory, we caught up with the brains behind your newest tress obsession…

{Cult Beauty} Firstly, everyone will want to know ‘Why Cloud Nine’? Can you talk us through the brand’s beginnings and explain what differentiates your styling tools from all the others out there?

{Robert Powls} I’ve spent my entire working life in hairdressing and I love it. After founding and selling GHD, I took a break from the industry, but soon felt the pull to return. Back in the ’90s the success of the straightening iron was all about poker-straight, Jennifer Aniston-style hair, achieved using the highest heat possible with no concern for the damage that was caused to the hair. This was always something that I found hard to ignore.

I created {Cloud Nine} as I was tired of seeing the irreparable damage caused by too much heat. Everyone’s hair is unique and all hair types respond differently to heat, so there is no one ‘optimum’ temperature for all hair types.

My vision was to build a brand that would deliver healthier styling, tailored to the individual. The simple principle ‘less heat, more style’ is at the heart of our business and every single product we make has been carefully designed to this ethos. Our award-winning range of tools combine our signature mineral-infused, ceramic plates with an innovative temperature control feature to deliver a more personalised and healthier styling experience. We put you in control to style at the correct temperature for your hair type and to achieve glossy, lasting styles, with less damage.

{CB} We’re all increasingly aware of our hair’s health and with the industry exploring extracts usually reserved for skin care, as well as a swathe of product launches geared towards maintaining scalp health, we wondered if you had some tips for protecting from – or undoing – the impact of heat-styling? Are there any products or ingredients you trust to help prevent lengths being weakened?

{RP} Cloud Nine’s mission is to challenge common beliefs and redefine approaches to styling with heat. In our latest campaign we are seeking to educate customers on how to determine the perfect temperature and styling routine for their hair type – allowing them to achieve healthier hair, less breakage, fewer split ends and long lasting results. When you can achieve results at significantly lower temperatures, without damaging your hair – why wouldn’t you?

Using a good quality heat protection spray is also important for healthy styling.

Cloud Nine’s {Magical Quick Dry Potion}, does exactly what the name suggests and more, a lot more! This little miracle in a bottle reduces drying time by 50%, resulting in less heat exposure which minimises the risk of damage. It also provides further heat protection when styling with electricals and reinforces the hair shaft, to strengthen weak and abused locks.

{CB} Straight styles have taken a bit of ‘back seat’ in recent years, with looser, tousled textures taking precedence. Do you think (with the ongoing ‘90s revival) that sleek, straightened lengths will start making a comeback? Will we (once again) be asking stylists for ‘The Rachel’?

{RP} I think straight hair is definitely going to make a comeback for 2018, but definitely a more relaxed vibe, less “poker” straight – more softer, ‘undone’ take on straight.

{CB} …that being said, everybody still longs for that insouciant, ‘French girl’ look. How do those of us not blessed with a Parisian address achieve that enviable, bed-head texture? How do the stubbornly-straight-haired get strands to hold a wave (this comes from a personal place)?

{RP} We get asked this SO much! It’s really all about the preparation before styling. Build up the base of your hair using a mousse or salt spray and scrunch some texture into your hair, prior to using a wand on it. This will allow you to achieve hold much easier. Just think about how you would always prep your skin with a primer before any foundation to keen your foundation on longer. It’s exactly the same with your hair!

{CB} And for those of us with afro hair or ultra-curly textures, do you have some drying/styling tips to enhance definition (and help minimise the risk of frizz)?

{RP} A top tip for working with any curly hair type is to minimise the frequency of shampoo usage. Ideally you should only wash your hair once a week. If you feel you need to freshen it up during the week, use a co-wash shampoo to refresh your hair without drying it out.

I know we have mentioned it already, but {The Cloud Nine Magical Potion} also acts as an anti-frizz spray, so we would always recommend using this on coarse, frizz-prone hair prior to styling.

{CB} Your tools have variable temperatures to suit the range of hair textures. Can you explain a little bit about the differences between hair types, and why some strands are more susceptible to heat than others?

{RP} Hair types are as unique as a fingerprint, and every type responds differently to heat.

Take hair density as an example, if your hair is very fine it will respond to heat very easily, you don’t need to turn the heat up to highest heat to achieve styling. However, if you have thicker, courser hair then more heat can be required. When choosing the correct heat, it is really about experimenting with what works on your hair, there is no optimum temperature for all hair types, you have to find the heat that works best for you. If you can use less heat and still get your desired style, why would you ever turn it up again?

Your hair also differs depending on the section, for example, hair around your hairline is much more fragile than the rest of the head. You therefore should not use a high heat in these areas, we would always recommend only using 150 degrees or lower on these areas, regardless of the temperature that you style the rest of your hair on.

The desired result is also something that you should consider when choosing your heat. If you want more of a relaxed style, a loose wave for example, then you can turn the heat down to achieve a more natural finish.

{CB} What do you think we’re likely to start seeing more of hair trend-wise? Have you noticed any burgeoning cuts/styles/colours we should watch out for?

{RP} Mid-length hair has been a strong fashion so far in 2018. It is great for girls with longer hair, who want a new style, without losing all their length.

I think we will also be seeing a more ’70s vibe coming through, in the form of more “shaped” hair cuts. Think outgrown fringes and soft, shorter lengths around the face, dressed with very undone texture. I would imagine more punchy hair colour will be making a comeback too, for so long we have been seeing pastels, but vibrant hair colour was very prominent at the recent Paris Fashion Week – so look out for a revival!

{CB} And when it comes to hair care, what do you think’s tipped to be the next ‘big’ thing? We’re witnessing an influx of entirely new types of product – from steam caps to frizz-fighting sheets – have you seen any innovations you’re especially excited by?

{RP} I think that the most encouraging trend to come to market lately is the ability to tailor hair care to the individual needs of your hair type. When purchasing skin care products, customers take great care to learn about their skin type and wouldn’t dream of deviating away from products that are recommended to them to compliment it. Choosing hair care should be no different. New trends in customers choosing their hair care for what they really need is so promising and I have no doubt that it will lead to a rise in healthier hair.

{CB} Finally, what’s next for Cloud Nine? What do we need to watch out for?

{RP} {Cloud Nine} are constantly researching the latest technology and innovations, so that we can deliver products that will allow customers to be the best versions of themselves and take a much more personal approach to styling. I couldn’t possibly give too much away though, just watch this space!


Verity Douglas

Verity Douglas

Content Editor

Verity is our Content Editor and a Cult Beauty veteran. Currently on maternity leave, raising Cult Beauty’s honorary ‘word nerd’, Tabitha, she speaks fluent ‘beauty’ and loves nothing more than the marriage of language and lip balm (and cleanser and candles… ad infinitum). Nothing can stop her from quoting Nancy Mitford, treating herself to yet another Bella Freud candle for her desk or buying that pilgrim-esque collared or heavily fringed outfit she’s been eyeing. You can trust her to debunk widespread beauty myths and dispense invaluable advice with ease…