I came across a range of haircare products called Amazon Beauty and was impressed by the short ingredients list and the absence of any silicones, fillers, sulfates or preservatives that can clog up many a shampoo. In fact, I was about to hit the buy button for Rahua Shampoo ($32) featuring rahua nut extract and then I stopped in my tracks. Rahua nut oil is listed in the ingredients, but the word 'rahua' has been registered. That's like trademarking 'peanut'. I smelled a rat.

Amazon Beauty's products come with an origination myth that is remarkably similar to that of Ojon, another haircare line. Like Ojon, Amazon Beauty has scoured the rainforests to find a remote tribe - in Amazon's Beauty's case, the Quechua Shuar tribe who use a special oil that is responsible for their thick and lustrous hair (Ojon's tribe is the Tawaka - roughly translated as people with beautiful hair). Naturally rahua nut oil is extremely rare. So rare, that it exists only in the imagination of Amazon Beauty's Equadorian born founder, Fabian Llguin. There is no such thing as a rahua nut - and I spent ages trying to track one down.

The ingredients list for Ruhua Shampoo also has a separate entry for ungurahua oil. We are told that this is also extremely rare. As a matter of fact, Economic Botany journal says it is a palm tree that widely used throughout the Amazon basin for its thatch, fibers, wood and edible fruit. At least the damn thing exists.

Unguraha oil is, according to Amazon Beauty's marketing blurb, a rich source of omega-9. The trouble is that this fatty acid is not be confused by omegas-3 and 6. Our body makes its own o-9 from unsaturated fat and therefore it is classed as non-essential.

Amazon Beauty helpfully provides an image next to its description of rahua (see above). Am I the only one who thinks it looks like a wreath of dead oak leaves?


Purified water, certified organic herbal water of green tea, honeysuckle and raspberry leaf, organic aloe vera, shea betaine, coconut betaine, vegetable glycerin, sea salt, caprylic fatty acid, wheat protein amino acid, corn amino acids, vitamin E, ungurahua oil, rahua nut oil, lecithin, palo santo oil, panthenol, oat protein, and citric acid.