Hair Care Product Formulation Experts Struggling to Adjust to New Realities of Post Argan Oil World
Organic chemist Jose Olivier had been a formulation chemist at Paul Mitchell for twenty years when he was let go late last year in a round of R&D cutbacks. Dr. Olivier attributes the layoffs directly to the rise in importance of Moroccan argan oil in the hair care world. “Paul Mitchell was a great place to work back in the 80’s, especially for a young kid fresh out of school. In college and graduate school I couldn’t get within twenty feet of a woman, but at Mitchell I was running my fingers through supermodel’s hair on a daily basis. Of course this was part of how we tested the performance of various experimental conditioner formulations, but still it was awesome,” said Dr. Olivier explaining his first exposure to the world of hair care product formulation chemistry. He would go on to hold several positions in R&D culminating in his promotion to research manager for X division, the super secretive Paul Mitchell skunk works where new formulations, some worth millions of dollars, were first conceived and invented. At its’ peak his salary topped out at $250K a year and the benefits and perks were significant. “In addition to the constant parade of gorgeous women into the laboratory the company put on endless parties. Anytime a new product was introduced, which was at least a couple times a month some huge gala event had to occur. I was only invited to a few, and was asked to stay away from any of the camera’s and famous people, but I still had a lot of fun. Of course the drugs were a bit out of control. The deviated septum I got from the constant cocaine use still causes me nose bleeds whenever the humidity drops below 40%.” Now he is jobless and barely getting by on his monthly unemployment benefits. “That (expletive) damn argan oil. Why did it have to be so good? I mean who would have believed an all natural, plant derived oil could compete with dimethicone when it came to smoothness and shine and outperform it in terms of residual greasy feel. I was the first person to suggest dimethicone as an additive to hair conditioners. Got a patent for that one, and now that patent, much like me, is basically worthless, all because of that mother (expletive) argan oil. I am gonna go (expletive) mad dog (expletive) postal on those mother (expletive) in Morocco and burn their argan oil fields to ash. They’ll pay for what they did to me. They’ll pay.” Laughing maniacally Dr. Olivier turned and walked away head bowed low.