I first met Stefani Padilla when my friend Erin Fetherston commented that my husband’s hair was looking a little “young Republican.” (Which he totally is, by the way… I just don’t want people to automatically assume anything by looking at him. That’s too boring.)
This was a few years ago. Erin, who is now married to Gabe Saporta, the lead singer and founder of the band Cobra Starship, suggested that Stefani, Gabe’s hairstylist and someone who also often styles Erin’s hair as well, come to our apartment to cut my husband’s hair. Even Brook, who had had the same hairstyle for a decade, was super excited.
Stefani cut his hair and made a subtle, but potent difference. She didn’t turn him into the lead singer of a synthpop band (that wouldn’t be right either), but she managed to transform him from a young Republican into something cooler and slightly messier, but still very neat, if that makes any sense. She made his hair a little choppier and added a paste that gave it some texture. Et voilà, he still has the same haircut today.
Stefani now splits her time between Los Angeles and a monthly trip to New York to see clients. Since we moved to France, Brook (my husband) initially used to organize our trips back to New York to correlate with when Stefani would be there. That’s how good she is.
We don’t get to see her as often, but I am super excited to announce that she has launched a new line of hair products: La Tierra Sagrada. Her products are all natural, with medicinal properties, that are, obviously, good for your hair. No chemicals to fry your strands, just lots of healing oils to give you her signature “cool” texture. So now she can be with us even though we are almost six thousand miles apart…
Read below for an interview with Stefani and more details about her amazing and gorgeously packaged products:
1. How and when did you first become interested in hair?
I first became interested in hair, while I was in High School. I used to have friends who were talented stylists at Toni & Guy, when it was the “hip” salon. I allowed them multiple opportunities to use my head as a piece of art in hair shows. The hours on end I’d spend in the salon, waiting for my hair to process, I’d observe and almost download all that was surrounding me. I learned a lot this way. I moved to California for college, where I studied design and Art History. In between visits home, I would cut and color my own hair. I slowly began cutting the hair of friends, roommates, classmates, and so on, and this is where it all began.
2. Why did you decide to do these specific products? With natural healing and medicinal properties?
I have been using versions of these three products for years on all of my clients. Whenever I am on a shoot I make sure to always have a salt spray for texture, a jojoba oil as a serum, and coconut oil to tame and add moisture to dry, frizzy and unruly hair.
To set these products apart from the rest of what is out there, I infused medicinal plants into the oils, to create more of a healing product. On a day-to-day basis, I try to consume, and use only the most nutrient- packed foods and cosmetics. I wanted to make this accessible to hair as well. For example: Everyone loves a salt spray, but most salt sprays are either packed with chemicals, or too salty, leaving the hair dry, and inevitably damaged. In actuality, when we go and jump into the ocean, we already have our natural oils in our hair, protecting each strand. The minerals from the ocean are what give it that sexy, beachy texture without the damage. I add plant extracts and essential oils to alkalized water and salt minerals, to give hair the truest beach vibe as possible… and naturally!
3. I adore your packaging! Very old school. What inspired it?
The whole idea behind La Tierra Sagrada (The Sacred Earth) was to go back to the beginning of medicine, back to the beginning of apothecary. I chose glass and amber bottles to give more of that feeling, as well as encourage those who purchase the products, to recycle them and reduce plastic waste.
The label my talented friend, Alexandra Stapleton, designed with some ideas I had pulled from 18th and 19th century images.
4. I love a salt spray… Can you give a girl with Rapunzel-long hair a few tips on how to use it? A styling idea for someone incredibly bored with her hair?
The salt spray is awesome! It adds the best texture to any type of hair! It’s great to use on wet or dry hair. Spray on roots for volume, and spray on the ends for beachy texture, waves and body.
For super long, Rapunzel-length hair, mist the entire length with the spray, section by section. Add texture using your hands to scrunch, air dry, or tousle with a blow dryer. For extra volume, diffusing the hair with a dryer gives you a bit more. Play with it until the desired look is achieved!
5. Can you tell me about the “Treatment” product? Is it a masque?
The TREATEMENT is amazing. It is a leave in treatment. The base is coconut oil, along with babassu oil and meadow foam seed oil, to lock in the most moisture, sealing each strand. Inevitably, healing the hair from dryness, damage and environmental effects. This treatment is what I used to help my hair grow, and I recommend to all of my clients who are growing their hair out, or just looking for a powerful treatment, and to give the hair some extra love.
6. And the Jojoba?
Jojoba oil is really a great serum. I made it mostly as a “pouf tamer” for my band boys who refuse to wash their hair. After washing, it replaces the oil the hair usually produces naturally. I have also been using it on my skin, as most of my clients have been doing as well! It is great as a scalp treatment, if there is any irritation happening. I like to use it as a serum for the ladies with the long hair! A tiny bit goes a long way…
7. What’s next?
Shampoo, conditioner and body oil… Three of the biggest requests right now. I’m in the process of formulating right now, and have hopes to launch this year!
8. Besides healthy hair, any tips or trends for styling hair in 2014?
Trends for this year are a clear reflection of what is happening in the world around us. I believe this year’s style forecast is all about an organic, going “back to basics” natural appearance. It’s more about caring for what you have as apposed to making a flashy bold statement. Hair has been fuller, healthier, and taking on more of an over all “natural” approach.
As the world become more conscious, people care less about the appearance as opposed to the foundation, the structure, and overall care. This is why I made La Tierra Sagrada a hair medicine that caters to the healing of the hair and maintaining a healthy, beautiful foundation.