Rahua Co-Founder Anna Ayers On the Brand’s Do-Good Hero Ingredient (and More)
What’s the magic of rahua oil? Why does it help preserve the rainforest? How does Anna Ayers take care of her own hair? And when is Rahua’s refill program launching? All is revealed below!
We’re sure you’ve heard about Rahua – the hair care brand founded by husband and wife, Fabian Lliguin and Anna Ayers, in New York circa 2008. Ten plus years later, the couple is widely known for having converted a strong environmental commitment into a popular line of products, which owes its success to its core ingredient: the rahua oil. Curious about how they made this rather fortunate discovery, we asked Anna to share the story.
“My partner and I are Ecoagents – environmentalists whose mission is to preserve the natural environment of the Amazon rainforest – and Fabian [a renowned hair stylist and colorist in NYC] was first introduced to rahua oil while on a mission there. When meeting a group of women that were applying an oil to their extraordinary long and healthy hair, he inquired what the secret was, and they went on to tell him all about the many benefits of the rahua oil.”
“Rahua oil is beyond organic as it’s not farmed but grown wild in virgin rainforest, and it’s harvested by indigenous tribes in Amazonia using ancient ancestral wisdom.”
The magical oil, as she calls it, is hand made with the same traditional methods used for centuries, and it’s greatness lies in its extremely small molecular structure, enabling it to penetrate deep into the hair’s cortex, filling in dry porous stands, bonding and repairing it. (Raise your hand if you feel like you could use some of that magic right now.)
“Rahua oil is beyond organic as it’s not farmed but grown wild in virgin rainforest,” Anna explains, “and it’s harvested by indigenous tribes in Amazonia using ancient ancestral wisdom. It’s 100% plant derived and the purest and cleanest version of omega 9, omega 6 and omega 3, which is deeply nourishing and hydrating for the hair, scalp and skin. During my own first personal encounter with rahua oil, my hair plumped up and felt thicker to the touch. Rahua oil feeds the hair and replenishes it with nourishment!”
Caring deeply about the Amazon rainforest, the duo founded their company, Amazon Beauty Inc., and the Rahua brand to protect and preserve it. The raw ingredients, Anna tells us, is purchased directly from the makers in the Amazon rainforest in order to support the indigenous lifestyle and create a healthy, self-sustained growing economy. This to encourage the indigenous people to continue living in the Amazon, utilizing and preserving their traditions and ultimately making them the guardians and protectors of the rainforest.
For the rainforest grown ingredients in their products, Rahua has created its own cosmetic category, Symbiotic, which they say transcend both organic and fair trade.
“Most ‘organic’ ingredients are farmed,” Anna explains. “Symbiotic ingredients are harvested and prepared using knowledge by people indigenous to the virgin forest. The ingredients are then purchased at an above fair price to build economies and empower the indigenous people.”
What are some of your favorite natural ingredients to work with, other than rahua oil?
– We also use other powerful oils from the rainforest and South America, such as palo santo, morete and sacha inchi. Palo santo oil, used in many Rahua products, not only has a wonderful centering aroma, but is a natural preservative with anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
– Morete, also known as burriti, is rich in vitamins A, C and E, essential fatty acids, tocopherols and carotenoids, and provides hair and skin with a natural glow and protects from UVA rays.
– Sacha inchi, known as the Inca peanut, is not only edible but rich in omega 3 fatty acids and antioxidants; including vitamins A and E. Sacha inchi oil has numerous benefits including locking in hair’s moisture, soothing the scalp, evening the skin’s appearance, restoring moisture balance, lessening inflammatory responses, and protecting from UV damage.
Would you like to share your own hair care routine? (We’re super curious!)
– My routine changes depending on the season, my mood and what I’m up to! My current regular routine is shampooing every other day, or every two days, with Hydration Shampoo, followed by the Classic Conditioner. Every day I use the Leave-In Treatment by massaging a little on hair ends before blow drying or air drying. I also use it for retouching on second-day hair.
– If I need more sleekness-control frizz-fighting, I combo Leave-In Treatment with Cream Wax before blow drying or heat styling. For an extra quick lift and volume in between shampoos I love to use Rahua Voluminous Dry Shampoo; or if I want more texture: the Rahua Enchanted Island Salt Spray.
– Treatments are a must! I massage Founder’s Blend Scalp & Hair Treatment on my scalp, followed by a gua sha massage before bedtime a couple times a week, and I do a deep treatment for my hair with Omega 9 Hair Mask on the weekends.
“Massaging hair and scalp with plant-based products containing pure plant oils keep hair nourished, resulting in shine.”
What are your best tips for healthy-looking hair and skin?
– Hydration equates to healthy looking hair and skin. Drinking lots of water helps keep the skin glowing. Massaging hair and scalp with plant-based products containing pure plant oils keep hair nourished, resulting in shine. Eating a healthy plant-based, balanced diet also yields health and helps with hydration retention. A little sun for vitamin D, but limit exposure for preserving youthful looking skin and color-treated hair.
For the Rahua fans your there, 2020 looks like it’s going to bring a couple of exciting new product launches: “One is Rahua Leave-In Treatment Light – based on one of our best-selling items – which provides heat protection and frizz control for finer hair types,” Anna reveals. “We’ll also be launching a new body care item: Rahua Enchanted Island Lotion Mist – a lightweight, quick-absorbing sprayable lotion to hydrate skin. And we’re very excited about the new Refill Program with refill pouches, beginning with Rahua Classic Shampoo and Rahua Classic Conditioner.”
Henné Organics Founder Laura Xiao Gives a Lip Care Crash Course
We bet we’re not the only ones suffering from dry and cracked lips this time of year, which is why we've brought in some expert help.
After a Year of Testing: These Are My Three Best SKIN TREAT Products
Emma is often asked to share her best Christmas gift ideas. Here's a safe one.
10 Facial Oils to Keep Your Glow Going Through Winter
Read this if: you want a nourished and radiant complexion from October all the way to Mars, and beyond.
Hooked On the Dry Shampoo? Upgrade to One of These
The turn has come to explore the dry shampoos on the natural beauty market, and we think we’ve found some pretty good ones.