Online Exclusives

Socially Conscious Hair Care

January 2, 2009

Amazon Beauty courts consumers concerned about minimizing their carbon imprint with organic and exotic elixirs for the hair.

Socially Conscious Hair Care

Amazon Beauty courts consumers concerned about minimizing their carbon imprint with organic and exotic elixirs for the hair.

By Joanna Cosgrove
Online Editor

Amazon Beauty offers a range of products based on ingredients derived from the rainforest.
The Amazon Rainforest is ripe with natural beauty ingredients. For hundreds of years, deep in the heart of the Amazon, women from the Quechua-Shuar tribe have foraged the Rahua nut, which renders an oil that’s long been used to promote long, healthy and strong hair. Knowing that modern consumers are increasingly drawn to natural, greener alternatives to chemical-infused hair preparations, Fabian Lliguin and his wife Anna Ayers, founders of New York-based Amazon Beauty, traveled into the Amazon Rainforest in search of this time tested ingredient.

A native of Ecuador, Mr. Lliguin comes from a long line of Ecuadorian hairdressers, having gotten his start with his family’s hair salon at the young age of 17 and later with his own Lliguin Hair Team, which worked with local and international beauty brands including Wella, Rena, Chardon, L’Oréal and Orquidea. His wife, Ms. Ayers, has a background in fashion and trend forecasting.

Because of his Ecuadorian roots, Mr. Llinguin had a deep relationship with the Amazon Rainforest. During one visit in 1999, he noticed a particular tribe of women with long, healthy, beautiful hair that was different from those women outside of the tribe. He discovered the women applied rahua, from the ruhua nut, to their hair to achieve its health and beauty. 

“The women of the Quechua-Shuar tribe have been using the rahua nut for hundreds of years to achieve long, strong healthy hair,” he said. “Women in Quechar-Shuar tribe harvest and process the rahua nut in ancient, natural ways so the rainforest remains undamaged.”

In 2002 the couple moved forward with product development, working primarily with Quechua-Shuar tribal leaders who are capable of communicating in Spanish. Mr. Llinguin continues to team with the tribal people to locate, harvest and process his hair care line’s natural ingredients in the forest. At the same time, Ms. Ayers works with the Quechua-Shuar tribal women, drawing on her education in trend forecasting, to help prepare them “for the shift in ‘go-green’ trends” as well as the increased use of raw, symbiotic materials, many of which are harvested in the Amazon jungle. She also educates the women about the relationship between quality and price.

Formulation Insights

Although the industry has continued to warm to “greener” beauty products, Mr. Lliguin insisted that “one-third of all personal care products contain one or more ingredients classified as possible human carcinogens.” In contrast, his Amazon Beauty hair care line consists of gentle formulas that are “completely free of chemical preservatives.”

The Amazon Beauty line includes four hair care products: Rahua Leave-In Treatment ($35 for 1oz., $125 for 4oz.), Rahua Shampoo ($32 for 9.3oz.), Rahua Conditioner ($34 for 9.3oz), Rahua Elixir ($100 for .5oz., $175 for 1oz.).

The primary ingredient in the line is Rahua oil, which is obtained from the Rahua nut “during the rise and fall of the Amazon’s full moon.” By penetrating deep into the hair’s cortex, Rahua Elixir “repairs and rebuilds damaged strands in three minutes.” When used with Rahua Leave-In Treatment hair “reaches unsurpassed length, remaining healthy and shiny,” according to the company.

Another key ingredient is (Bursera graveolens), a centuries old calming ingredient that imparts “an amazingly beautiful aroma.” Common to the coast of Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, Palo Santo is derived from a tree that inhabits the South American Gran Chaco region (northern Argentina, Paraguay, Bolivia and the Brazilian Mato Grosso). Aged, fallen “holy trees” are ripe with Palo Santo oil, which has been used for centuries in teas and medicinal elixirs for its many healing properties. It is also used by the Manta nationality to ward off “bad energy” and has been coveted by Shamans of the Latin culture for hundreds of years. Palo Santo also contains inherent antibacterial properties that balance the “scalp mantle” to maintain a healthy scalp.

“The Amazon basin is the true and original ‘beauty garden’ of the world because of its plentiful indigenous plants, fruits and nuts that are high in anti-oxidants as well as hair and skin nourishing oils,” explained Mr. Lliguin. “Amazon Beauty products are made with all-natural, organic ingredients from the Amazon rainforest, without the use of the pesticides. (The products) use a natural preservation system, further enhanced with the antibacterial and antifungal properties of Palo Santo, to give Amazon Beauty products a shelf life of more than three years.”

Working side by side with the women of the Quechua-Shuar tribe motivated the couple to use their products as a means of Rainforest preservation. With their Rahua hair care line, the couple has come full circle with nature, giving back to the Amazon and the Quechua-Shuar tribe by donating funds to ensure the tribe maintains the intellectual rights to these Amazonian resources and helping to preserve the beauty of the planet’s largest living, renewable natural resource.

“The potential of ancient beauty secrets found in the Amazon Rainforest is infinite. At Amazon Beauty it is our intention to work with the tribes of the rainforest to help them learn and understand how to hold on to their ancient beauty secrets,” concluded Ms. Ayers. “The true beauty of our products is that they are not produced in factories but are created by the planet, for the planet, while empowering the nationalities of the Amazon Rainforest. This natural science has been protected over time and we do not intend to ever ‘manufacture’ these ingredients.”

Amazon Beauty products are sold at,, Cocoon Hair Studio, Salon Eliut Rivera and Manhattan Color Studio.

Related End-User Markets:

Related Raw Materials:

blog comments powered by Disqus
  • Skin Care of One’s Own

    Skin Care of One’s Own

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||October 3, 2016
    Nu Skin’s ageLOC Me—which melds the worlds of smart-phone technology, efficacious ingredients and personalization

  • Proof Positive

    Proof Positive

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||October 3, 2016
    Testing service providers enable companies to back up their claims and stay in compliance with regulations.

  • Change Is in the Air

    Change Is in the Air

    Doreen Wang, BrandZ ||October 3, 2016
    Technology is changing the personal care market

  • Coming Clean on a Host of Issues

    Coming Clean on a Host of Issues

    October 17, 2016
    Cleaning Products Conference is set for Nov. 9-11, 2016 in Washington DC.

  • Let the Magic Begin!

    Let the Magic Begin!

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||October 10, 2016
    IFSCC Congress gets underway at Walt Disney World this month.

  • Ogee Opens for Business

    Ogee Opens for Business

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||October 10, 2016
    Banking on the power of jojoba oil, a Vermont-based start-up is the newest player in organic luxury skin care.

  • P&G’s Latest Patents

    P&G’s Latest Patents

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||October 10, 2016
    A look at recent patent and IP related news from the biggest household and personal care player in the US.

  • A Cosmetic Armor Against Pollution

    A Cosmetic Armor Against Pollution

    Julia Comas, Cristina Davi, Elena Canadas, Laia Gonzalez, Raquel Delgado, Lipotec SAU||October 3, 2016
    Lipotec’s Pollushield creates a barrier between skin and pollutants and boosts the antioxidative potential of skin.

  • Cosmetic Chemists Head to Orlando Next Month

    Cosmetic Chemists Head to Orlando Next Month

    September 26, 2016
    Organizing Chair Guy Padulo explains why you should attend the IFSCC Congress.

  • Active Agents

    Active Agents

    September 19, 2016
    On the surface, surfactants may seem staid, but the market, and the supplier activity driving it, is bubbling.

  • Expanding Erbaviva

    Expanding Erbaviva

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||September 13, 2016
    A farm-to-bottle organic brand celebrates its 20th anniversary with a new look, new products and plans to expand in the US.

  • Lauder’s Latest Patents

    Lauder’s Latest Patents

    September 1, 2016
    A composition with NIR light emitting material, a skin care device and more awarded to this beauty business giant.

  • Fro Yo!

    Fro Yo!

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||August 22, 2016
    Project Beauty dishes out Hairgurt, a line of vitamin-rich hair shampoos and conditioning masques.

  • And Now for Something Completely Different…

    And Now for Something Completely Different…

    August 15, 2016
    Phlur is out to make you rethink fragrance packaging.

  • The Butler Does It

    The Butler Does It

    August 15, 2016
    A new green cleaning product at your service.

  • Individualism IS The American Way

    Individualism IS The American Way

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||August 15, 2016
    Why blue hair and BB creams still thrill US consumers.

  • Red, Black & Blue

    Red, Black & Blue

    August 8, 2016
    No matter who wins the US Presidential election, Americans expect their finances to get bloodied and bruised in 2017.

  • Athletes, Not Objects

    Athletes, Not Objects

    Nancy Jeffries, Contributing Editor||August 1, 2016
    Dove Unveils My Beauty billboard in Times Square.

  • Patent Update

    Patent Update

    July 28, 2016
    Three-layered hair product from Lauder, palm oil extracts for wrinkle treatment and more in recently awarded patents.

  • Senior Skin Care

    Senior Skin Care

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||July 19, 2016
    McCord Research and Product Quest Manufacturing roll out new hospital-grade skin care kits for seniors to use at home.

  • Enter Éclair

    Enter Éclair

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||July 5, 2016
    A new naturals line rolls out in Rite Aid stores nationwide.

  • Patent Update

    Patent Update

    June 30, 2016
    J&J's anti-aging patent, LVMH and cannabis essential oil, transdermal botulinum toxins and more in recent patent news.

  • What

    What's Next for the UK?

    Sarah Boumphrey, Euromonitor International||June 27, 2016
    Euromonitor weighs in on how Brexit could impact consumer product companies.

  • The Future of Innovation

    The Future of Innovation

    Nancy Jeffries, Contributing Editor||June 27, 2016
    Fashion Institute of Technology graduate students tackle a far-reaching topic for their Capstone project.

  • Henkel Grabs the Sun

    Henkel Grabs the Sun

    Ian Bell, Euromonitor International||June 24, 2016
    Euromonitor's Ian Bell on the impact the purchase will have on the US detergent industry.

  • Problems for Preservatives

    Problems for Preservatives

    June 20, 2016
    David Steinberg details the issues surrounding this critical ingredient category.

  • Exploring Green in Vegas

    Exploring Green in Vegas

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||June 6, 2016
    Cosmoprof North America sets the stage for brands dedicated to the growing and evolving eco-friendly beauty space.

  • We

    We're Surrounded!

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||May 30, 2016
    Industry experts explain the important role that the skin microbiome plays in human health.