Thursday, April 14, 2011




Words/Images Judith Ecochard

True 100% USDA Certified Organic hair products are very rare---though given the desire to eat foods grown without pesticides/chemicals---it’s only logical that what we slap on our scalps should be GREEN too.

And just as those pure foods usually taste better---and then one feels better, so too does feeding the hair eco-wise---result in soft, shiny, thick and manageable hair…with targeted products available for different types.

We ran into Philip Pelusi, a scientist/entrepreneur backstage during the recent NY Fashion Week…and happily accepted an invite to catch-up with his brand TELA™ BEAUTY ORGANICS at the stunning, sun-filled, spacious salon located in NYC's hip Meatpacking district.

After we were reminded how much we wished our living quarters were half as nice as this enormous two room loft like space--- (13 Little West 12th Street)

We focused on the newly packaged 13-product haircare line---that all meets the very exacting standards to earn the USDA Organic label. (And not the “natural” moniker which means nothing, really IMHO).

What we loved of course, were the products we tried out---including CURLY –Organic Shampoo and Conditioner for Curly or Frizzy Hair---with hydrating Solomon’s Seal and Reishi Mushrooms to restore strength and body.

Interesting we actually got a tiny bit of a satisfying lather, courtesy of truly natural ingredients –a nice surprise as many lathering shampoos are made with  the detergent-like sodium lauryl sulfate.

Our hair felt clean not stripped, a nice distinction---and ready for the copious amounts of conditioner we use--- as our chlorine dried our long locks are always crying out for help. We finger combed the CURLY Conditioner through our hair, let it sit about a minute or two then rinsed.

Result, our hair  is shiny and amazingly strong given its exposure to public pool chemicals.
Philip Pelusi

Better, there is nothing in the ingredients (35+) that we ever have to worry about…a good thing as the skin on scalps does absorb whatever one puts on it---just like the skin on the rest of one’s body.

We also have been following up with about two quarters sized pumps of the HEALER $36- 100% USDA Certified Organic moisturizing conditioning treatment that we leave in. It’s protective healing properties with organic humectants Shea Butter and Aragon Oil, and strengthening proteins/anti oxidants Pomegranate and Tomato---all synergistically work to protect and heal tresses that are stressed.

The complete line also includes “DRI” Shampoo $28 ---and the popular, water-soluble GUARDIAN $32---that’s effective as a regular sunscreen for guys too---think of all that exposed scalp skin when surfing or hitting the Links. FYI = All good for all hair types.

No worries though, scent wise, these products (as all TELA™ BEAUTY ORGANICS) smell terrific…barely imparting a light exotic floral/spicy/woodsy scent that should be bottled.

FYI: A select collection of TELA™ BEAUTY ORGANICS products is for sale at Nordstrom’s and the complete line is available at Philip Pelusi Salons (

SPECIAL THANKS: Theodora indulged us with a relaxing/luxurious moisturizing hair treatment at the salon---that had our hair looking shiny smooth and ready for our close-up. “Women are sick of keeping their hair under hats…and want hair that moves” for spring, she observes. We think---a great way to get THAT going.

Hair straightening is an in-demand salon service---  many women with "ethnic" hair are devoted to that process as a permanent solution to either tame the frizz, soften/manage the curls and/or have straight hair.

Recently, we went to a very informative launch of SoftSheen-Carson® Professional OPTIMUM ADVANCED™ Keratin Whipped Crème Relaxer System---that uses Smart Lye + Oil Infusion™ Technology…

Available as an in-salon treatment---this multi-step (5) process is a very big deal---even the gal that trims our hair is excited by this first major breakthrough in ten years===a worthy addition, by this company- that's a L’Oreal USA owned brand.

Johnny Wright, celebrity stylist and Artistic Style Director of SoftSheen-Carson® was on hand to explain it all including the after care styling products.

The very big deal part--- is that Smart Lye uses 25% less Sodium Hydroxide than relaxers with similar strengthening properties… resulting in less potential for damage, and stronger hair.

“It works like a GPS device…” Wright observed. “…because now it (the relaxer) goes to the hair that needs straightening.” Not all over, and therefore possibly damaging.

Additionally, the practically odor free relaxing system ‘experience’ includes treatment products infused with Pro-keratin™ Complex and Oil Infusion ---moisturizing blends that smooths (soothes) the hair and imparts a high gloss finish---and nourishes strands with healthy coconut and argan oils that penetrate hair shafts with deep conditioning benefits.

The result “…always soft hair…” ---and no surprise, a relaxer system that’s already a popular with other celebrity stylists too.

Judging by the models’ hair we saw at the launch---we were impressed…at just how flexible the OPTIMUM ADVANCED™ Ketain Whipped Crème Relaxer System can be, depending on a clients hair type and wants/needs.

“Softsheen came back with technology-that comes back with a bang,” Wright enthusiastically noted. “And the packaging is fantastic.” We agree…no more goopy tubs that invite spills and waste.


At-home products including High Gloss Shine Spray, Flexible Holding Spray and Keratin Sealing Leave-In Conditioner.

NICE:  Wright shared other hair care tips---like:

Sleep on satin pillowcases…wrap hair at night and use steam rollers in the AM for soft curls, no rubber bands (!!), Vitamin E capsules…break open and massage into scalp to improve blood circulation…wait two weeks after coloring or removing hair out of braids before using any relaxer.

FUN: A salon rehab contest for the deserving, courtesy of SoftSheen Carson®…SALON STYLE UP ---for details/rules online beginning April 15th 2011.