Meet Anna: Founder of RAHUA
Behind the thirteen beautiful brands that BEAUTSY represents are thirteen strong, badass women (and, well, two men!). Time to get to know them better. Every month we go into depth with one of our founders, about the story behind the brand. In this edition: Anna, co-founder of RAHUA.
With RAHUA being the latest addition to our bathroom cabinet we were already happy, but we were over the moon when we heard that the brand wanted to participate in a Q&A with BEAUTSY. Anna Ayers and Fabian Lliguin are what you might call a Powerful Pair: they became best friends from the moment Anna entered Fabian's hair salon in New York. They've been a couple ever since. In the field of love and in the beauty business. Because in 2008 RAHUA was born, a 100% natural hair care brand from the tropical rainforest. The Amazon, to be precise.
RAHUA is named after one of the most precious oils and the most unique ingredients from the Amazon: Rahua oil. The molecules in this oil are small enough to penetrate deep into the hair fibres, resulting in a beautiful exterior and strong structure. You'll find the ingredient in every RAHUA product and it ensures that the hair is cleaned, without damaging the natural protective layer. The brand's goal is simple and idealistic: to create hair products on a natural basis, without synthetic substances and other toxic ingredients, while at the same time securing the future of the rainforest and its indigenous communities. With BEAUTSY, Anna talks about green beauty, her own haircare routine and a possible skincare line.
How does RAHUA differ from other brands in the green beauty market?
“Nowadays many beauty brands are putting themselves in the ‘clean beauty’-category, and there are no specific regulations to date on what qualifies a brand as green beauty. RAHUA has been a leader in the category from its inception. RAHUA was the first hair care brand to use plant-based preservation system through the use of Palo Santo (a South American tree). We were told it couldn’t be done, and we succeeded. As environmentalists, our first priority is to preserve the Amazon and assist the indigenous people with the tools for them to continue living as they do, which in turn preserves the forest. The introduction of the rare Rahua-oil from the Amazonian inhabitants provided us with the method to help them build their economy and protect their land.”
"Nowadays beauty brands are putting themselves in the ‘clean beauty’-category, without specifics regulations to date on"
What is the biggest misconception people have about organic beauty?
“That organic beauty is not as effective as synthetic or conventional beauty. But organic ingredients have become very strong, effective and marketable without chemical pollution to the human body and to the world’s rivers. Our star ingredients come from the rainforest and none of these ingredients are farmed. In fact, for the Rahua-trees to be able to thrive and product healthy Rahua-nuts, they cannot be grown close to each other. Our ingredients are grown wild in undisturbed forests and harvested using indigenous knowledge deep into the rainforest in locations were regulators would not be able to travel.”
How does green beauty in the USA differ from green beauty in Europe?
“They have a different certificate, but at end both are similar. They just ban different ingredients. Nevertheless, both reduce chemicals from entering the environment and the human consumption entry point. Organic beauty in the USA promotes organic ingredient discoveries, with less red tape. The EU has a longer set of rules which sometimes could slow down organic ingredient advancements. But none of them consider the social problem of what happens in the land before the last farmer planted organic crops, especially in third world countries where the land was taken away from indigenous people.”
Did the indigenous people that you work with suffer in any way from the recent Amazon fires?
“Not directly. We source our ingredients in areas located in Ecuador. The first have been mainly concentrated in Brazil and other areas that have not interfered with our production. But, we have made it our mission to join the Amazon frontlines. As a brand, we a partnering with landislife.org to raise funds for the Brazilian Amazon in support of the frontline brigades, who are fighting the fires. So far, we have been able to protect approximately 105,000 acres of pristine jungle in the Achuar territory and 150,000 acres for the Tagaromenane tribe. These trees are producing enough oxygen to balance the carbon footprint of approximately one million people.”
What’s RAHUA’s success built on?
“RAHUA products are created with the highest quality, plant-based ingredients that perform at the highest level. Unlike synthetic ingredients that are more of a ‘cosmetic’, and coat the hair to make it look good. Our ingredients actually heal and repair the hair for long lasting, healthy results. Consumers that are using RAHUA see a dramatic difference in their hair.”
What are your top three hero products?
“RAHUA Elixer*, our pure Rahua-oil that regenerates and restores. Second, our Classic Shampoo, which is perfect for all hair types and textures. And last but not least, the Leave-In Treatment, a versatile styling/ conditioning treatment that nourished, strengthens and tames the hair.”
"Consumers that are using RAHUA see a dramatic difference in their hair"
Can you tell us about your hair care routine?
“I wash my hair every other day with the Hydration Shampoo and the Classic Conditioner. I use the Leave-In treatment every day for touch-up or prior to blow drying. I always carry de Smoothing Hair Balm* in my purse for quick hair touch-ups, as well for using on my dry lips. Weekly, I like to use the Omega 9 Hair Mask or Color Full Conditioner to give my hair color vibrancy, extra hydration and shine.”
What other brands do you use outside of RAHUA?
“I like Tata Harper and Pai, for my skincare. For makeup, I use ILIA.”
What's your secret hair beauty tip?
“Use a pre-condition, before using shampoo! Use it on dry hair, leave it in for a few minutes (or as long as you can) before stepping into the shower, wetting your hair and using shampoo. Another hair care tip is to make sure to use a wide tooth comb for your conditioner or treatment, which helps massage it into the hair.”
What's next on the list for your line of hair products?
“We’ve just launched the RAHUA Founder’s Blend Scalp & Hair Treatment. A targeted, plant-powered, non-toxic scalp ands hair treatment. It’s comprised of Rahua oil, Palo Santo oil, Hemp oil and a combination of vitamins and antioxidants to balance the scalp’s moisture level, strengthen follicles and act as an anti-inflammatory and anti-irritant to sooth and nourish it.”
Are you planning on producing skincare as well?
“Well, considering the Founder’s Blend we’re thinking of the scalp as the extension of skincare, which is often missed. Otherwise, the sky is the limit for RAHUA. Always working on new possibilities…”
What would you like to accomplish with RAHUA?
“We’d like to see RAHUA in everyone’s bathroom. As a global brand, first and foremost we are concerned with the environment and using sustainable beauty products is the first step in protecting not only your own health, but also the health of the planet.”
Any dreams for the future?
“A green utopia! Our dream for the future is for everyone thoughtfully using clean, green products to help save the Amazon Rainforest for perpetuity.”
*Not for sale at BEAUTSY.
Would you like to try RAHUA’s products? Discover them here!