I feel like I need to start a regular series called “Dara Does it Again”. Dara Kennedy, the founder of Ayla Beauty, is always discovering cool, clean, hard-to-find brands. Usually, this is how it goes: Jess, you should really try this amazing [fill in the blank] I found in Europe. You will love it. It is so different from everything else. And, I’m like, Okay, sounds cool. But, it’s so… different…. I’m not sure it’s for me… She sends it to me anyway, because she just *knows*. Then, I try it, I’m blown away, and I remember the last ten times this happened. This time it was two Italian haircare lines, Biofficina Toscana and TEK. I am now convinced that everyone needs to try these products.
Italian haircare line Biofficina Toscana is made in Tuscany with mostly organic and natural ingredients. Their products are effective and very versatile (read: they all work on practically everyone), and the natural scent is so lovely. I must warn you: you are probably not used to washing your hair like this, but the results you’ll get in the 5 minutes it takes to un-learn the old way are so worth it! First you mix the Gentle Shampoo Concentrate, Sage Hydrolat (or hydrolat of your choice) and water in the My Shampoo Bottle. It’s kind of fun – think of it as your very own custom haircare lab. The Gentle Shampoo Concentrate is works on all hair types, from oily to dry to coarse to fragile to color-treated. You squirt it directly on your scalp, and it barely lathers, but it really, truly does leave hair looking and feeling clean – take it from someone who can barely go a day without looking like they a fried a chicken in their hair. It works. I customize mine with the Sage Hydrolat, which boosts shine and volume, and balances sebum production. I honestly saw a difference in volume, shine and oiliness in one use, and the results just got better and better. I am dumbfounded. I’ve also been using their Active Concentrate Conditioner, which works on all types of straight hair. This conditioner leaves my hair silky, smooth, and shiny with volume at the roots. Again. Dumbfounded. The secret is their biodegradable formula that includes tuscan olive oil, white kidney bean extract and Behenamidopropyl Dimethylamine, which sounds scary, but it’s actually a plant-based, biodegradable ingredient that has incredible smoothing and detangling benefits. After shampooing and conditioning, I spray a little bit of the Anti Frizz Lotion on my towel-dried hair. I do not have frizzy hair, by the way; I honestly have the opposite problem. Needless to say, I expected my silky, fine, limp hair, to become even more so after using this, but no. Even on a rainy day, this entire haircare routine leaves my hair shiny and smooth, with body and volume, and zero frizz. Dara says that those with frizzy hair cannot get enough of this stuff. The blend of glycerin, local organic honey, organic jojoba oil, and that magical scary-sounding ingredient Behenamidopropyl Dimethylamine just totally eliminates frizz. I do want be very transparent and say that there are cleaner haircare lines out there, but because hair products, in my opinion, are possibly the most difficult switch to make (when going from conventional to nontoxic), I make an allowance here and there. This line is clean enough for my own personal standards.
TEK is a line of Italian hair brushes that are designed to be both eco-friendly and gentle on the hair and scalp. The company has been around since 1977, and its products have been featured in New York’s MoMA & Milan’s Museum of Science and Technology. I don’t know about you, but I think I’ve unintentionally damaged my hair with that brush that you are supposed to detangle your hair with when it’s wet. It gave me a false sense of security, and when I was in a rush, (always) I’d kind of rip through my wet hair with it. Oops. So, when Dara suggested the TEK line, I was interested. The brushes and combs are not only beautiful, they are thoughtfully and ethically made. The wood TEK uses is is 100% FSC-certified ash wood that is smoothed by hand, and treated only with linseed oil and beeswax, the cushions on the heads of their brushes are 100% pure rubber, and the boar bristles they use on some of their brushes are cruelty-free – they are obtained by giving the boar a haircut. 🙂 The Wide Tooth Comb is great for detangling wet hair and applying hair conditioners and masks. It’s made me slow down when detangling my wet hair. The Paddle Brush with Long Wooden Pins gives a great scalp massage, even if your hair is thick (they pins really are long). The rubber cushion on the head of the brush was specifically designed to prevent excess pulling on the hair (since I am convinced I am never getting my pre-baby hair back, this comforts me a little). This brush was built to last, but even when you end up replacing it with your next one, you won’t feel as guilty, given that it’s completely biodegradable. Score. My favorite brush from this line is the Oval Brush with Wild Boar Bristles. It’s like it was made for my oily scalp and fine hair. When used regularly, boar bristles naturally distribute sebum along the hair shaft, making hair look shinier and healthier over time. Somehow, it simultaneously volumizes and smooths hair all at once, and it’s so gentle – it doesn’t pull or tug on the hair. Also, unlike that very famous boar bristle brush, this one is eco-friendly and an amazing value – $32!
I’m so excited to introduce you all to these brands that Ayla Beauty and I are teaming up to host an incredible giveaway tonight, (10/26 around 9pm EST) on my Instagram profile (@barebeautyblog). One lucky winner will receive (1) TEK Wide Tooth Comb, (1) TEK Paddle Brush, (1) Biofficina Toscana Gentle Shampoo Concentrate, (1) Biofficina Toscana Active Conditioner Concentrate, and (1) My Shampoo Bottle – a $116 value.
Good luck, and have a great weekend!
I’ve spent almost a decade immersed in the world of green beauty and nontoxic living. I want to help you find everything from a killer lipstick to a nontoxic laundry detergent, and beyond. Subscribe to a healthier lifestyle with me.
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