why my hair is on a diet…

by bellab

Quechua Girl and Rainbow in Ecuador

A few weeks ago I was to invited to Urban Retreat at Harrods to meet Anna Ayers, co-founder of Rahua, who make entirely natural hair products using a rare and restorative plant oil called rahua (pronounced ra-wa – to save any in-store gaffes). Rahua is harvested (sustainably) by the native Quechua-Shuar tribes in the Ecuadorian amazon who, incidentally, happen to have hair that would make even Nicole Scherzinger weep with envy (this lady’s keeping hers under her hat). The backstory is quite fascinating, you can read more about Anna and her partner Fabian here and watch a neat little film about the people who harvest the rahua berries here, but suffice to say the brand have launched an in-salon treatment – the Rahua Omega 9 Pro – exclusively at Urban Retreat and I was invited along to try it. I know, another hard day in the office.

Regarding the diet, here’s what I’m on about. These product contain only natural ingredients. 100%. There’s no foamy SLS and certainly no silicon, which is why at first, your hair can feel a bit, well, puffy. Silicon coats the hair shaft – it’s that ultra smooth feeling you get from Morrocanoil (hmmm yeah, I fell for that natural spiel too), and while it doesn’t necessarily harm healthy hair, over time it does build up on the hair shaft creating a certain heaviness. So, what I’m saying is, manage your expectations. If you’re switching to Rahua shampoo and conditioner from a traditional silicon-based regime, there’ll be about a two week transition period while your hair works out what the hell is going on. If you can’t wait, book in for the aforementioned treatment at UR Harrods to speed up that process dramatically. The other thing Rahua products don’t contain is wheat, instead they contain quinoa proteins. So not only am I now eating a shed load of this magic grain, my hair is feeling the benefits too.

As well as the in-salon treatment, there are two new products – an Omega 9 mask you can use in the comfort of your own bathroom, as well as lovely soft wax I’ve been working into my messy crop with pretty good results. I’m also using the voluminous variant of the shampoo and conditioner as I have fine hair and the traditional formula is a bit heavy for me, much to my disappointment as it smells FANTASTIC due to an ingredient called Palo Santo, a liquified tree oil traditionally used by Ecuadorian holy men to make incense for their churches, which sadly doesn’t feature in the voluminous range. But you can’t have it all can you?

*Quechua Girl and Rainbow in Ecuador by Jay Koppelman, available to purchase via intuitphotography.com