(Photo via moi)
There are so many reasons to go green with your haircare, most notably the fact that your scalps absorb everything. Holistic experts point out that your skin is the largest organ on your body, and the proximity of our scalps to, well, our brains makes choosing clean products extra important.
Yesterday I spoke with Stefani Padilla, the creator of a totally clean, green, and healthy line of haircare products: La Tierra Sagrada. I was already fascinated by the line because of my interest in shamanism, plant-medicine, and especially ayahuasca.
That's why I already knew that when taken in a shamanic ceremony, a tea is formulated using the plant to extract a highly-potent hallucinogen called DMT. When taken with spiritual purposes in mind, the short-acting but intense hallucinogen is said to unveil the secrets of the universe to the recipient. (Secrets of the universe? COUNT ME IN.)
I already had to try the products. But after speaking with Stefani, I'm absolutely hooked. Here's why.
La Tierra Sagrada was created the using shamanic wisdom that came from Stefani's own healing journey, which included years apprenticing with an Amazonian shaman.
Stefani was already a successful hair stylist, working on sets in New York City. But by the time she was 28, she found herself in a state of health crisis. Her over-taxed adrenal glands (from the stress and go-go-go of the NYC lifestyle) had left her depleted, leading to the discovery of her autoimmune diagnoses, and making a health-conscious lifestyle overhaul necessary. (Much like the one I experienced before becoming a writer!)
You might not know that the traditional shamanic path often includes a health-crisis. Reflecting the inner process of "ego death," the outer breakdown of your health necessitates a conscious and intentional reconstruction of your lifestyle. The thing is — as you rebuild your ego, your outer world also transforms. Experiencing it for yourself is one thing, but you can witness how Stefani lived it.
(Photo via moi)
Stefani discovered the hard way that insufficient self-care in the face of a high-stress lifestyle is simply unsustainable, especially for sensitive souls. Her concern for the deleterious effects of stress — and the negative health impact of constant exposure to chemicals — led to the development of her first three products, what eventually became La Tierra Sagrada Treatment ($44), La Tierra Sagrada Jojoba Oil ($42), and La Tierra Sagrada Salt Spray ($30). She shared them with friends and acquaintances who all, without fail, noticed their hair ailments resolving (i.e. thicker, fuller, and even stimulated growth).
She had already begun down the shamanic path of healing and plant medicine, but a two-week sojourn in the Amazon helped her decide to make her extensive plant wisdom available to the public through what became her line of nourishing haircare products, La Tierra Sagrada.
The recipe for her hair-healing products came to her while in ceremony, literally conveyed to her through ayahuasca's very essence. Her line of all natural products incorporate the healing, nurturing, and protective essences of ayahuasca's stem into the products, along with well-documented nourishing ingredients that range from coconut oil and jojoba, to rosemary oil and sunflower-derived vitamin E. [Note: Only the root contains DMT, but if you're wary of the ultra-beneficial plant, the bottles whose packaging doesn't contain vines do not contain the precious substance.]
The entire line contains superfoods for your hair and scalp, incorporating Ayurvedic and Chinese herbs along with Amazonian plant-medicine and steam-distilled essences. Even the products that don't contain ayahuasca contain superfoods for your strands, like her must-try Dry Shampoo ($30).
(Photo via moi)
How to use it:
I use hair oil almost everyday anyway — sometimes while my hair is still wet; other times, after it's been dried and styled. To get the full effect of the jojoba oil (above), begin by massaging it onto the crown of your head.
The significance lies in the fact that our chakra systems culminate at the crown, which represents our ethereal connection to the universe on a subtle, energetic level. According to shamanic tradition, the plant's healing takes place simultaneously on all levels of being — as you are physically soothed from without, your body absorbs the oils from within.
The subtle effect of the bodily healing thus works at the vibrational level, most potently applied at the crown of your head. I noticed a calming, soothing effect on your nervous system that kept me feeling mellow — but not tired — for the rest of the evening, even after dousing myself in her jojoba oil.
(Photo via How You Glow)
She was also gracious enough to provide these tips on creating your own self-healing "hair-emony" (like a ceremony, just with hair), to maximize the full potential of her products. These healing rituals are especially potent in conjunction with the moon's cycles, massaging the oil into your scalp as a form of self-care while you connect and reflect on your inner truth.
Specifically, New Moons (January 16) call for setting your intentions and manifestations, communicating to the universe what it is you would like to attract, as part of your hair ritual. On Full moons (January 31st), you can symbolically visualize what you'd like to let go of or see pass, in any or all domains of existence (i.e. physical, emotional, spiritual, etc.).
While you don't have to incorporate the spiritual element of healing into your use of her products, this practice will vibe with spiritually-attuned individuals like myself. With raving testimonials ("They healed my hair and my soul!), why pass up their multi-dimensional effects?!
(Photo via How You Glow)
The truth is, I walked away from our conversation with the certainty that Stefani Padilla is a teacher — although she defers to the ultimate teacher: ayahuasca. But she is making the sacred wisdom of plant-medicine available to the public, organizing a community-building impact through her fabulous hair-emonies, a providing us all with a way to connect within.
She is also quite literally a pioneer in living the path of your personal truth. In accordance with the notion of "Healer, heal thyself," she provides each of us with the medicine and tools needed to heal ourselves on our own personal journeys inward and onward. No matter your background, lifestyle, or "ethereal orientation," she reminds us that looking within connects us to our own greatest healers: ourselves.
After dousing myself in her jojoba hair oil, it served as a reminder to stay connected to my truth and my own path towards continued wellness the entire evening afterward. Plus, my irritated, dry scalp (F U, eczema!) was being soothed by nature's chemical-free plant-healers. I was so stoked that I even put tiny dollops of the oil on top of my dogs' itty-bitty crown chakras, and massaged some oil into Tom's hair.
I am so thankful for discovering these products (Byrdie, this one's for you) — just in time to include them in my Brit + Co. Hair Oil roundup, which will go live shortly. I am also eternally grateful for the conversation we had, because Stefani Padilla is seriously amazing.
P.S. If you want to find out more about shamanism, there's a great documentary available to stream called The Last Shaman. If you want to learn more about the hallucinogen in the plant's root, you can watch DMT: The Spirit Molecule. Oh, and Chelsea Handler featured ayahuasca on an episode of her Netflix show!
What chemicals are you putting on your head? Just kidding.