Haircare darling of the green beauty set… introducing Rahua.
This post comes to us from our beauty contributor, Allie White.
The Amazon rainforest may be known for many things, but the source of world-class haircare probably isn’t the first that comes to mind.
But as the home to a staggering amount of nature and life — it’s the most biodiverse place on the planet, with almost 400 billion trees and 16,000 unique species — it shouldn’t come as a surprise that natural beauty brands are big fans of the world’s largest rainforest.
Take for example, Fabian Lliguin and Anna Ayers, co-founders of Rahua, haircare darling of the green beauty set. Pronounced “ra-wa,” the line of all-natural, non-toxic shampoos, conditioners and hair treatments was born out of Lliguin’s recognition of the healing powers of the Amazon, specifically the ungurahua nut.
“After returning from one of my environmental trips with a test batch of rahua oil, I proceeded to use it in my salon and witnessed transformative results on every single client,” he says. “When I realized all the benefits of this precious ingredient, I knew I was onto something.”
What’s more, the couple (yes, that’s right, they’re partners in business and love) decided that, while it was important to craft an all-natural, organic line of products that truly worked, it was equally important to help protect and sustain the rainforest they loved so dearly and that provided so much.
We chatted with Lliguin and Ayers about their revolutionary line, sustainability and why a great haircut can be a game-changer.
Tell us about your path to founding Rahua. What was it about hair care, self care and natural ingredients that captivated you?
Fabian Lliguin: Growing up in the hair salon, I thought everyone was a hairstylist! Hair has always been my world, and so has everything around protecting the environment. With my calling as an eco-agent (environmentalist) to preserve the Amazon rainforest, I have combined my passion and knowledge for both to make beautiful products with thoughtful and sustainable ingredients that will help us protect the rainforests and its inhabitants for the future.
How did you go from discovering the benefits of your star ingredients to actually creating the products?
FL: Both of my parents were hairdressers in South America, so I grew up in the hair salon. After moving to New York City and opening and running salons, I have always been dedicated to making clients feel great about themselves. After returning from one of my environmental trips with a test batch of Rahua oil, I proceeded to use it in my salon and witnessed transformative results on every single client. When I realized all the benefits of this precious ingredient, I knew I was onto something.
What was most important to you when you were creating the line?
FL: The most important goal for us was to create clean (non-toxic), effective products. Our very first product was the Rahua Elixir, which contains the pure Rahua oil as the tribeswomen in the rainforest prepare it. Soon after that, clients saw the transformative effects of the Elixir and began asking for shampoos, conditioners and treatments. Now we have a full line of daily hair care and treatments, as well as natural styling products and a luxurious body collection.
What’s the philosophy behind your all-natural and organic brand?
Anna Ayers: RAHUA by Amazon Beauty is committed to creating and marketing 100% plant-derived, organic, eco-lux hair and body care products based on ingredients and centuries-old beauty secrets from the Amazon rainforest. The company promises to produce the most luxurious, natural and efficacious products on the market, created in partnership with Amazonian indigenous communities with the goal of supporting the Amazon rainforest and the people who live there. We are building sustainable economies and encouraging the revival of ancient ceremonial tribal traditions in the form of rainforest-grown and symbiotic ingredients.
You’ve been providing natural hair care products since way before it was “trendy” to use naturals. What inspired you to do an all-natural line at that time?
FL: We started our company in 2008, but I did lots of development years before that in my salons. When we first started the company, people thought it was a bit crazy to make natural hair care. At the same time, when we first tested the market, we received many specific ingredient questions from customers, so we knew there was interest and demand for healthy ingredients. This consumer conversation was just the beginning.
Have you found natural products were readily accepted by the mainstream, or has it been an uphill battle to prove naturals really do work?
FL: There are always challenges along the way, but the overall takeaway now is that natural and plant-derived products and ingredients are on the rise, and customers are looking for healthier solutions. Just like what we’ve seen with natural and organic growth in the food industry, the same has taken root in the beauty industry, including where and how ingredients are sourced.
What qualities does your line have to have? What’s non-negotiable?
AA: Our products must have excellent performance and must be highly functional. We use plant-derived ingredients. We do not include sulfates, parabens or dubious synthetics. Our products are also made with organic ingredients and are vegan and gluten-free.
How do you maintain the quality and cleanliness of your ingredients as you grow?
AA: We run small batches with our high quality, plant-derived ingredients. High quality, high performance products are our priority. Every single ingredient is researched, tested and approved by Fabian.
Now that naturals are more mainstream, what kind of future do you see for the industry?
AA: The future is bright; we see lots of growth and opportunities. Natural is important because it connects us to nature and the environment. Incorporating more natural ingredients into beauty products in more sustainable and efficient ways means we appreciate, respect and take care of nature and the environment even more. This appreciation will keep our planet healthy — that is why we created Rahua.
What keeps you passionate about natural beauty and self care?
AA: The love for the preservation of nature and the Amazon rainforest and its indigenous peoples… also creating natural highly efficacious products that make our customers look and feel great!
What’s your favorite Rahua product?
AA: One of my favorite Rahua items is our Finishing Treatment. It is the most perfect finishing styler. It protects my hair during heat styling. If I want to let my hair air dry, it provides just the right amount of weight to my ends.
What’s your “desert island” product?
AA: If I was on a desert island, I would definitely have Rahua Elixir — this miracle oil can do it all in a pinch! Since we live on the island of Manhattan, I don’t have to imagine this… it works brilliantly!
What’s your best piece of hair care advice for women?
FL: Get a great haircut from a well-trained stylist, and use natural products for stylish beauty.
What does “beauty” mean to you?
AA: Our tagline is “Beauty is Power.” Beauty definitely means confidence and power. It is through beauty that we can create a positive impact on the world.
+ Shop Rahua products here!