You’re a green beauty looking for her forever shampoo that says high-end rather than Whole Foods or you’re the lux beauty looking for a hair product that is effective but cleaner than everything else out there. Until now, this had been a paradox in the beauty scene, that elusive high-end green shampoo that could tame the needs of the Barneys girl and the NMDL girl. Enter Rahua, a line of eco-friendly green hair products inspired and sourced from the Amazon Rainforest.
When my friend at Barneys sent me two bottles of their shampoo for review, I was ecstatic. I had my eye on this brand for the longest time and it was the next on my list of hair products to try after I finished my Aesop shampoo. This “rainforest grown” shampoo is 100% natural, and contains the essence of “amazon beauty” from the sourcing to the exotic ingredients. The shampoos resemble golden honey contained in plastic bottles (admittedly glass would have been more luxurious but if they’re dropped in the shower, it would not be so luxurious), with gold bottle cap and metallic logos throughout, pure organic decadence.
I applied Rahua Shampoo the first night I got it and was immediately smitten with the thick texture that rivaled the richness of its non-green counterparts. No doubt the actual molasses content in this shampoo probably helped with the rich texture. I couldn’t pinpoint the scent but recently a few of my girls on Twitter pinned the opening notes on Licorice, which as I’ve observed, isn’t to everyone’s liking. Although not a huge fan of licorice myself, I found the scent of this pleasing and I would describe it almost like one of those sweet mints that you find around the holidays: a subtle candy-sweet, licorice, and minty all blended together. This isn’t a scent that will win awards but it is still quite enjoyable.
I have read rave reviews for this shampoo, and at $32 a bottle, I would hope that there within each bottle would be magic. The shampoo gently cleanses, strengthens all hair types, and maintains a healthy scalp. How does it propose to do all these things? The key ingredients include Rahua elixir which repairs hair and accelerates hair growth, wheat proteins (quinoa) which retain moisture, sea salt which exfoliates scalp, and palo santo which is claimed to provide the majority of the aromatic benefits. I actually like some of the other ingredients that they don’t call out. Green Tea leaf extract is the 2nd most abundant ingredient and it is a major antioxidant and anti-inflammatory which no doubt helps sooth scalp and strengthen hair. Rosemary is a similar type of ingredient that is like a tonic on the hair and scalp. Coco Betaine is a great cleansing agent that comes from coconuts and shea butter. So overall, I’m thrilled with the ingredients.
I apply a dollop roughly the size of a half dollar (remember those?) and emulsify it in my hands a bit before I massage it into my hair because I find that the shampoo goes further this way as my hair seems to drink up the product. The product lathers up nicely, almost like a conventional shampoo (although you will need more). It also washes off cleanly, which isn’t the case for all natural shampoos.
My hair and scalp felt healthy and clean. A quick tip, don’t try to make this lather as much as your conventional shampoo, it was not designed to do that and you’ll risk drying out your hair and scalp. I did that in the beginning and felt my hair and scalp were so dry. Then I was told by my friend at Barneys that I had been using too much product. After I cut back, even though I don’t get the amount of foam I like, my hair feels better and I’m starting to see the shiny, healthy, strong locks. I’m not sure if this is related but usually I notice that I can lose a bit of hair, and now when I brush through my hair I lose maybe just half as much as before. I know this shampoo helps strengthen hair strands and encourage growth so I think this might have something to do with it.
For the price, I know some of you will likely not be swayed to leave your more economic shampoos especially if they work for you. So I just want to be responsible and clear here: although this shampoo worked for me, you won’t get “miracles”, you’ll get good results that should at least match your current shampoo and whether that is worth the premium is up to you. To me personally, I view the price as a luxury, because this is a brand that managed to break into the ivory towers of some of the most elite and luxurious retailers while maintaining their credo of clean ingredients. Most of the 1-2 star reviews I see on Spirit Beauty Lounge don’t say anything negative about the shampoo itself, only that it doesn’t out perform cheaper shampoos. I think those negative reviews are kind of missing the point of this luxury product.
Despite that, I agree with them: I don’t think shampoos from John Masters or Intelligent Nutrients are inferior, but again, you’re absolutely paying for the brand prestige and the ohhh factor. Some people will roll their eyes and call it throwing money away, but I see value in looking at my beauty products and knowing I have a beautiful luxurious product that performs well. I don’t see too much difference between this and spending thousands on a Saint Laurent handbag versus one from Target made out of the same material.
So my verdict is clear, for the consummate green beauty disappointed by the lack of options for a clean shampoo that is also luxurious, I point you to Rahua. For the luxury girl who feels like giving green products a try, this shampoo will convince you that clean ingredients can indeed keep up and out-perform some of the high-end staples, and it’ll look beautiful and fitting next to your other fabulous products. For the others , this is a decadent splurge that won’t disappoint you but will probably not find itself as a repurchase among your regulars but if you want to just spoil yourself with something fancy while supporting a green brand, this is a wonderful choice.
Available at Spirit Beauty Lounge ($32)
*Note: These products were gifted to me by my friend who works at Barneys who has no financial ties to Rahua (and doesn’t even work in their Beauty department). My friend simply knew that I have been longing to try this brand for a while. And you guys know I would not let any of that sway me from writing an honest review.