Expert's Opinion

It's What's Inside That Counts

March 11, 2013

Organic ingredients can alter hair texture, says Pelusi.

By Philip Pelusi
Internationally recognized stylist and product artist

The standard, widely used method of trying to alter texture is to work on the outside of the hair.Historically, products coated the exterior surface of the hair shaft with resins, “silicones” or other agents designed to persuade its texture to be fuller or smoother.This is not always a bad option when the resins or silicones are appropriate for the task at hand and if they are easily removed during shampooing to eliminate build-up.

As a stylist, I found that altering hair’s texture only by coating its exterior limited my ability to create new and novel styles and needed more options to achieve better results while leaving the hair with a more natural feeling texture with the manageability required of today’s modern style trends.Simply put, I was looking for a process that safely and quickly gave my clients the texture of the hair of their youth, even after years of damaging processes and treatments.So, breaking with “current wisdom” and traditional processes, I decided to retexturize hair from the inside-out.

The inside of the hair shaft has long been viewed as the target destination for hair treatments. Since the ‘60’s when the first protein treatments arrived on the scene, researchers were able to prove that specific bits of animal-based proteins, primarily collagen hydrolysates, actually penetrated deeply into the hair shaft.They also showed that these molecules preferred to penetrate where hair was damaged, attracted and held moisture deeply within hair’s cortex, provided softness, and reduced static for greater manageability. Combining these protein hydrolysates, with their ability to penetrate, with traditional hair conditioning ingredients, used in simple “crème rinses” that coated hair’s surface, created reconditioning and restructurizing compositions.But true texture eluded us at that time, as until only recently formulators had no means of altering hair’s innate internal structure.

I have fervently used natural and organic ingredients to strengthen and hydrate hair.As I used these ingredients, I was growing as a product creator and came to the realization that within this pool of beneficial ingredients were certain ingredients that could also alter texture. Interestingly through my evaluations of these formulations on my clients, I found that there are many natural and organic ingredients that not only strengthen hair, but also create more texture and volume.Also within this pool of ingredients there are also many hydrating organic ingredients that also smooth and reduce the volume of the hair fabric.

I also discovered that by using these ingredients in this manner I was able to affect texture without coating the outside of the hair at all, leaving hair feeling more natural looking more modern.Hair also felt stronger, more hydrated and soft, had more shine and lost less permanent color due to the multiple benefits of these ingredients.So for me it was a win-win, positively effecting both texture and condition.

It was my pursuit of creating modern, natural feeling fine hair with texture and volume that was instrumental in my thought process in creating this new approach.As I said, the process of applying resin-based products to fine textures is fairly standard and a widely accepted solution, but I found as a stylist that coating fine hair often leaves it feeling dry, coarse and unnatural.

Obviously, too much resin leaves the hair very firm and full at first, but then humidity and other factors intervene, and the weight of the product makes the hair fall flat some hours later.So instead I created proprietary blends of natural and organic ingredients that imbed themselves inside the hair fiber to build volume and create a thicker texture.Some of the following organic ingredients are at the core of these blends:

·Horsetail, a wound healing herbal remedy dating back to ancient Roman and Greek medicine, is rich in silicon and other minerals that strengthen skin and hair, helping to prevent and repair split ends.

·Red Sage has been known as a very important root in Chinese medicine promoting healthy scalp circulation.This powerful anti-oxidant helps eliminate free radicals from sunlight and present in pollutants that can break down hair and scalp fabric and fade hair color.It also helps create stronger hair with greater volume and style longevity.

·Organic Sprouted Soy helps improve keratinization in the skin and hair and supports healthy hair growth, helping to maintain stronger hair fibers with more body and style longevity.Its anti-oxidant content helps ward off the harmful weakening effects of free radical pollutants that breakdown the fabric of hair that can cause it to be weak, brittle and allow color to fade.This helps finer hair stays stronger longer.

Helping these volume building organic ingredients to imbed themselves into the cuticle and cortex layer of the hair is our proprietary microemulsion technology, providing a greater and longer lasting solution to texturization of fine, limp hair. Micro Emulsion Technology delivers each ingredient as an extremely fine, sub-micron encapsulate for the best penetrating and longest lasting effectiveness.While these organic ingredients have a natural level of substantivity when applied to the hair shaft, this delivery system creates more rapid and longer lasting volumizing results that last throughout the day.

Additionally due to rapid penetration and enhanced effectiveness, there is virtually no cosmetic weight apparent in the hair.Strengthening and protective benefits combine with meticulously balanced formulations to provide excellent texture and volume.Volume and texture is achieved without excessive heavy resins that can leave fine hair flat due at the end of the day.Not to say that all resins leave the hair flat and dull, as modern chemistry has provided us with many resins that give a light texturizing effect when combined in appropriate formulations at amounts that will not weigh hair down or leave it feeling coated or sticky.

Although the focus of this article is increased texturization of fine, limp hair, the same approach can be used on coarse unruly hair that requires reduced volume and more smoothness.This type of client is usually struggling with too much texture and volume and wants more slip and smoothness of their texture.The more traditional approach to reduce volume by applying oily materials or “silicones” in formulations designed to coat hair’s surface, forcing it to a smoother shinier state.Unfortunately, in many cases the overall effect is that when enough product is applied to achieve the goal, the hair feels coated and unnatural, and is lacking bounce and movement.Adding to this problem is that because this type of hair is generally unruly and difficult to style, it is shampooed less frequently, allowing the buildup of natural oils to make the results even less satisfactory.My approach is to combine natural and organic ingredients that rapidly penetrate into the hair with ingredients that provide a lighter conditioned feeling that lasts longer with no apparent weight or build-up.

Microemulsion technology has provided me with a platform into which natural and organic ingredients can be tailored to achieve a wide and diverse palette of results on many types of hair, from fine and limp to coarse and unruly, damaged or undamaged.In addition to the core natural and organic ingredients listed above, I have found the following to be essential:

·Organic Marshmallow Root is a soothing and healing herb used for centuries by the Romans, Chinese, Syrians and Egyptians.It has long lasting positive effects on the scalp and hair with its emollient and moisturizing effects by attracting and holding moisture, for excellent softening or all hair types.

·Organic Mountain Ladybell provides lipids and sugars that act as humectants binding moisture to the hair and scalp, critical to the health of the hair and scalp as well as color retention and style ability.

· Organic Plantain is a tropical herb rich in Potassium and Vitamin C that act as powerful anti-oxidants that help protect hair from free radical pollutants and keep hair and scalp strong, protecting not only its innate chemistry but also color treatments.As a humectant, it draws and binds moisture to the hair fabric.Hair looks and feels moisturized and resists heat damage.

·Organic Lemon, Orange and Whortleberry are fruits that balance pH of the hair.In doing so, the cuticle is locked down, making hair feel and behave more smoothly during blow drying, accelerating drying and protecting from excessive heat during the process.These natural and organic ingredients are imbedded into the hair fiber and styles last longer and are more resistant to humidity.Best of all, hair has movement feeling light, lustrous and silky.Never stiff, sticky or greasy.

For product recommendation and more information contact us at Tela Beauty Organics by Philip Pelusi at either or

About the Author
Philip Pelusi is an internationally recognized stylist, photographer and product artist. Having gone from one salon to 13 locations as well as a magnificent industry centerpiece in New York City, Pelusi has created a philosophy, two product lines, P2 by Philip Pelusi and Tela Beauty Organics by Philip Pelusi and systems for success. Philip created and trademarked, within the industry, the phrase “A Cut Above The Rest” to coincide with his creation of the registered Volumetric haircutting technique around which he built his empire.

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