We have seen Ayurveda grow in leaps and bounds over the last few years with most Indian beauty brands reviving it, recreating formulas and reinventing the game. And now, new-age beauty hair care brand, Aveda is all ready to set foot in India by harnessing the same ideals but with it’s high-performance, botanically-derived professional hair products. In an age of extreme awareness of both ingredients, systems and brand knowledge – Aveda seems to have hit all the high notes when it comes to providing cutting-edge products and bridging that science with natural ingredients and a “return to our roots” approach to haircare.
The founder of Aveda, Horst Rechelbacher, an award-winning Austrian hairdresser came to India in the 1970s for a visit, and his learnings of Ayurveda and the power of wellness gave birth to the label we see today. He met Shiv Nath Tandon in the ashram Sadhana Mandir in Rishikesh and developed his first Clove Shampoo in a kitchen sink in Minneapolis, Minnesota, together with doctors of Ayurveda, Dr Kusum and Dr Vinod Upadhyay. He also found the hair care market at that time, was filled with synthetic products, and Aveda was born in 1978 with a clear vision to bring botanical products to the forefront. And this week, at their launch, we got an opportunity to talk to Cindy Angerhofer, Executive Director, Botanical Research for Aveda Research on what makes Aveda a label to reckon with and how we can harness this beautiful energy the brand brings to the table.
How does the heritage of Aveda sit with India? They are intrinsically linked, so tell us how that works?
Our founder had come to Rishikesh and was inspired by the power of ayurveda and he wanted to take the herbs and concepts and use them in skincare and haircare. We don’t make ayurvedic products, we definitely use ayurvedic ingredients to harness the beautiful benefits they provide and ever since, we are trying to interpret wellness through them. We want to really honour the ingredients – from ginger, gotukula, tumeric, liquorice and pure plant essences. The philosophy of Aveda is to use the herbs and part of our whole process is to marry these aromas and naturally-derived ingredients and create high-performing products and do it with a sustainable approach.
How does Aveda work to be environmentally conscious and responsible?
Sustainability is the foundation of Aveda – some of the best ingredients we use are inspired and sourced from India. The ground and the soil are protected, the people who harvest it are protected. The ingredient aspect for us is very important. Our goal is make our products as green as possible – we look at reducing our water usage, we carefully monitor our energy-use in production and in our corporate offices to make sure we are responsible. We are the first beauty brand to produce using wind energy. Our packaging is also sustainable and responsible while being cruelty-free too.
What have been your favourite ingredient that you have ever worked with?
Amla is my favourite ingredient, by far. I was introduced to it by our Ayurvedic practitioners and as a scientist studying it in the lab, I am amazed by it – it’s a wonder herb that comes with so many benefits. Apart from that, ingredients like turmeric, amla and ginseng are a big part of collections and the brand sources nothing but the best.
Tell us a bit about your favourite products at Aveda?
Invati is our premium product and one that I have worked very hard on hair loss. It reduces hair loss and keeps hair healthy. Our Rosemary Mint shampoo is another of my favourites, its a basic product and a wake up call in the shower.
How is Aveda going to change or influence Indian market?
Our brand is started by a well known hairdresser and a very successful one at that – so we make sure that our products are high-performance in addition to sustainability. Our salons are soon going to come to India and we are looking to add the whole experience to Indian audiences. We are bringing in luxurious hair care by blending tradition with modern technology – that’s distinctive for the Indian market.
Aveda products are available on Nykaa.com, sephora.nnnow.com and at select Nykaa Luxe stores in Delhi, Ahmedabad, Indore, Hyderabad, and Bengaluru and select Sephora stores in Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Chandigarh, Chennai, Kolkata and Bengaluru. They are priced between Rs 950 to Rs 4850.