May-June 2019

Take It With You

Travel must-haves for your next trip. Plus, a local line of hair care products without the irritants found in some other brands.

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Iris Rubin, right, started a hair care company with Greg Maged, her brother-in-law. Photo by Liz Lynch.


“Every time I would go to get my hair done, my skin would break out,” says Harvard-trained dermatologist Iris Rubin, who lives in Potomac. She began investigating potential causes and discovered that the culprit was in the products the salon was using on her hair. “Even rinse-off hair care products leave a residue on the scalp, so obviously it might stick to the rest of your skin,” Rubin says. “People think of teenagers as being prone to breakouts, but it’s a huge issue among adult women, too. If you’re acne-prone, why would you put something on your hair that will run down your face and back that might clog your pores?”

Rubin researched the nearly 400 potential ingredients found in hair care products and started testing them on her own skin to see which ones might cause breakouts. When she approached her brother-in-law Greg Maged—who has an MBA from Wharton and previously served as chief of staff to Charles Schwab’s founder—to see if he’d be interested in partnering on a line of noncomedogenic hair care products, he got on board immediately. “Hair and skin products are often created in silos; companies don’t think of the crossover effect,” Maged says. “For Iris to think of them as related was groundbreaking.”

The result is SEEN hair care, a line of products that are designed to not clog pores or cause breakouts. The shampoo, conditioner and styling cream (which just won a NewBeauty award for best blowout cream) hit the market this past November, with more products on the horizon. “It’s taken us four years to develop these products, all of which are free of sulfates, silicon, parabens, phthalates and dyes,” Rubin says. “Our big thing was no compromises. A lot of the doctor-created brands don’t smell good or don’t make your hair feel good. And not all natural or organic products are skin-friendly. Our line had to accomplish all those things.” Maged adds: “The ingredient list on our label is pretty slim. We’ve achieved what we have not through putting stuff in but taking it out. There’s actually a lot of science underneath it.”

Rubin, who grew up in Potomac and graduated from Winston Churchill High School, is a mom of three; Maged lives in Bethesda and is married to Rubin’s twin sister, with whom he has three children. SEEN products are currently available online at and at a few local salons, including Betru Salon in Bethesda.

“We call the brand SEEN because if your hair or skin doesn’t look good, you’re not comfortable being seen,” Rubin says. “We want people to feel confident using our products, knowing they’ll look like their best selves.”