One of the great things about reporting on fashion and beauty is the (occasionally) fascinating people we get to meet. So it was with Fabian Lliguin, renowned New York hair stylist and passionate environmentalist, who founded the all natural Rahua hair care system after his United Nations work with the Amazonian Quechua-Shuar tribes.
Fabian is a delightful Ecuadorian of Quechua descent and a regular visitor to the Amazon, where he noticed -not surprisingly, being a hairdresser – in what beautiful conditioned the Quechua women kept their hair. He told us ‘The women’s hair is often ankle length and incredibly healthy and they are very proud of it. I pestered them to let me know what they did and eventually they showed me this beaten up old glass bottle, full of rahua oil, which they combed daily through their hair to keep it glossy.”
Fabian took some oil back to his salon in New York and used it on his clients, who loved it and so a luxury brand was born.
However, extremely sensitive to the exploitation that regularly occurs with his Amazon relatives, Fabian wanted to set up a self-sustaining supply chain, which would remain completely chemical-free and where the tribes maintained control. He has managed to do this, teaching new skills via a not-for-profit organisation to educate the women to become good business leaders and sustainability champions. There’s a nice video about it on the website.
All very commendable, I hear you say, but what of the product? I tried the soon-to-launch hair detox and renewal treatment (out August) which claims to remove environmental residue within your hair, and if you are a big user of hair product you’ll know how flat and lifeless your hair can become when you’ve over-used the holding gel/straighteners/spray/dry shampoo/etc. This worked a treat on my hair, leaving it fabulously soft and shiny, I feel it could become quite addictive to want your hair to feel this good all the time.
But until it launches, I suggest you look at the hero product, the daily hair drops, made from the rahua oil and absolutely lovely to comb through your tired, dried up locks. The oil works because it’s made of very small molecules that are negatively charged, so it clings lightly but firmly to the hair (which has a positive charge… all this science…keep up…) leaving it smooth and soft without weighing it down. The smell is delicious too, which is also a feature of the shampoo and conditioner.
Clean and green products as coming at you fast in beauty, its a trend influenced by all the ‘clean’ food and general aversion to chemicals many consumers have. If it’s something you are concerned about, this is a lovely brand to know. Not cheap, but then the good stuff rarely is.