Armagh couple’s haircare brand Act+Acre taking the US by storm

Armagh couple’s haircare brand Act+Acre taking the US by storm
Armagh couple’s haircare brand Act+Acre taking the US by storm

Meet the Northern Irish couple experiencing phenomenal success in the US because of their revolutionary haircare brand.ew York-based Helen Reavey from Armagh, and her accomplice Colm Mackin from Co Down, launched Act+Acre in 2019 – constructing on Helen’s a few years of hairstyling expertise.
They first met 20 years in the past whereas learning at Ulster University, Coleraine, having each enrolled in a global enterprise course. It was throughout a break in her research that Helen fell in love with hairdressing and was inspired by a lecturer to pursue it as a profession after commencement.

She then educated with Gordon Keddle in Newry, persevering with her research at Southern Regional College earlier than taking on a job at Peter Mark in Dublin, whereas Colm labored for PwC.

Following eight years in Dublin, a possibility introduced itself in 2013 when Helen was provided the likelihood to help at a present at New York Fashion Week. Following this, she took the daring determination to maneuver Stateside.

Helen quickly discovered a mentor in Sam McKnight, identified for his work with the likes of Lady Gaga, Princess Diana and Kate Moss. She assisted him throughout the globe for quite a lot of years, working for manufacturers resembling Chanel and Fendi at main trend week exhibits.

Since then, Helen has labored with the likes of Alicia Keys, Harry Styles and Bella Hadid, to call just some.

It was in 2017, when Helen was main the hair for Ralph & Russo’s Haute Couture present in Paris, that the couple had a ‘lightbulb’ second backstage.


Helen Reavey and Colm Mackin

Helen Reavey and Colm Mackin

Helen mentioned: “Colm came visiting to help me, he was allowed in as a result of I used to be the lead now. When trend week occurs, Paris is all the time the final. The fashions’ scalps are pink uncooked, the hair doesn’t take any form of type, you’ve to place in a lot product they usually’re tremendous delicate. I had mentioned that I wanted there was one thing to dissolve all the product and assist me with the hair – then this lightbulb second went off with Colm, he was like, ‘is that this a factor?’

“He flew again to New York and referred to as me just a few days later saying, ‘I believe we’ve a brand right here’. That type of began us and immediately I knew it needed to be about scalp well being.”

Act+Acre makes use of an revolutionary “cold-processed” technique. Partnering with Stanford University scientists, the couple created a patented line of haircare that retains the freshness and efficiency of energetic substances.

Helen defined: “Everything begins at the root. Nobody is considering the vitamins the hair wants at that start stage, it’s the most necessary stage. If you’re utilizing warmth to mix substances, you’re not getting the substances at the finish of the course of. When you’re smelling peppermint on one thing, it’s really artificial as a result of it’s already evaporated off.”


New York-based Helen Reavey from Armagh and her accomplice, Colm Mackin from County Down launched the brand in 2019, constructing on Helen’s a few years of hair styling expertise.

New York-based Helen Reavey from Armagh and her accomplice, Colm Mackin from County Down launched the brand in 2019, constructing on Helen’s a few years of hair styling expertise.

The cold-pressed technique is achieved utilizing hyperbaric chambers, ice-cold water and 1,200 kilos of stress, combining plant-based substances with out warmth, thus producing a way more sustainable and efficient product.

Colm mentioned: “It has been actually unbelievable. Our focus has all the time been on producing a world-class product and the world-class service with that – schooling and aftercare. If you have got that, anything [in the business] could be mounted.”

“For me, that product needed to work, it needed to be unbelievable,” Helen mentioned.

Act+Acre was formally launched in January 2019 with an editorial function in American Vogue. Helen described this as an enormous second as the journal not often launches magnificence manufacturers.

“It actually put us on a unique taking part in area,” added Colm.

Described as “pioneering the scalp care business” by Forbes, it has additionally been named as one in every of America’s fastest-growing e-commerce manufacturers by Business Insider and offered out in seven minutes on QVC, having received the community’s “Big Find” competitors of their first two months of launching.

Since then, the brand has been seen throughout the pages of Harper’s Bazaar, Glamour, Vanity Fair and even acquired Oprah Winfrey’s stamp of approval in her April 2022 journal.

As profitable as the launch has been, Helen continues to be working full-time as a hairstylist, having lately styled Hillary Clinton for the MET Gala.

She mentioned: “That was an incredible expertise… I got here in with an enormous ‘hey guys’, which perhaps isn’t the means you go about assembly Hillary Clinton, however she is aware of Northern Ireland so nicely. I had met her in 1998 in Armagh.”

The couple nonetheless share an in depth reference to again residence, recurrently visiting household in Warrenpoint and stay up for launching the brand in Europe.

Colm mentioned: “We needed to achieve important mass in North America first. We have needed to get to the level the place we’re doing large brand activations earlier than launching in Ireland and the UK.

“We’re all the time making an attempt to rent individuals from Northern Ireland, the final time we have been residence we have been holding interviews in a espresso store in Warrenpoint. So if anyone, give them a shout. We want heads of promoting and communications, we would like individuals to assist activate the Irish and UK launch.

Act+Acre is presently out there on The brand could be contacted by way of e-mail: [email protected]

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