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Rahua Shampoo belongs in Dept of Daft

Is a Solution for:
Oily Hair, Thinning Hair & Shedding, Dry or Brittle Hair
January 29, 2010 Reviewed by Marta 36 Comments
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.
  • August 13, 2018

    by Rachel

    Well after reading this article and the comments I’m not going to buy again. If this indeed is from a rare palm tree or just a plain ole palm tree I’m not buying. Palm oil has caused death destruction and loss of acres upon acres upon acres of rare rainforest. Animals killed and wiped out so someone can have silky hair for a day. I think they should be more open that the product is from a palm tree. Many people avoid buying products from palm trees because of the devastation caused from planting and obtaining it. I’m just not so sure about this tree they harvest from. A lot of companies claim sustainability and are not. They might be sustainable I’m just not sure. Also just because the harvesting of the tree is sustainable doesn’t mean it hasn’t caused damage in another way. Like the loss of native plants and animals from the planting and growing of these trees. Red flags go up when I hear palm oil. Thanks you for letting me share my opinion

  • October 26, 2017

    by JR

    This article is completely wrong. The Rahua nut is the from Ungurahua tree. Same thing, different word for different languages. Not hard to find proof at all, as she said the Ungurahua is a widely she contradicted herself in her own article. Frustrating that people need to disparage everything when the proof of the opposite is easily found.

  • August 11, 2017

    by Susan

    Hi, I am seventy three years old and I have bleached hair , I have used Rahul shampoo, conditioner and the elixir the results are absolutely amazing my hair is lustrous and shiny wouldn't use any thing else

  • October 4, 2016

    by karen

    Hi there, just to let you know the Rahua nut is very very real and is from the Ecuadorian amazon and you can find an image on google easily.

  • July 22, 2016

    by Michelle

    I got the shampoo as a free trial and i LOVE IT. It has sort of a woody smell that i dont love, but the shampoo itself made my fine hair look and feel thick and silky. I love it. I wish it wasnt so expensive.

  • May 31, 2016

    by Stacy

    I bought it because I want to keep my silver white hair in that condition. This shampoo made my hair yellow! Spent 2 months trying to figure out how to get rid of the yellowing. What a scam. I have 2/3 bottle I'll never use.

  • January 21, 2016

    by XD

    Ok... I haven't tried it yet, I'm planning on buying some (hence my Googling for ingredients etc) and came across this article. Just to put you straight, Rahua oil does exists it's Ungurahua oil. Ok. Clue is in the name. My guess is that they use the seed from within the fruit and have marketed that as the Rahua nut, they have taken the fruit pulp and used oil from that and listed that as Ungurahua oil. So, to be fair, they aren't lying, it exists, it's legit, it's just a clever marketing trick they are using. Next time, do your research properly.

  • December 3, 2015

    by Ja

    Interesting and definitely does make me wonder... So what really are their ingredients then, if not the wonderful secrets of the Amazon?
    I don't know, but my hair has never been better using this stuff. This article will prompt me to do more research though, so thanks!

  • May 23, 2014

    by Kay

    I watched a video from Rahua showing the nut, its harvest, and production of the oil. It seems unlikely Rahua could have staged the whole deal. I think you can fault the effects on your hair, but the accusation of falsehood seems disingenuous.

  • February 12, 2014

    by Veronica

    Well, I've tried it and I LOVE it. I have a terrible scalp condition that causes huge scaley plaques to form on my head. Not only are they itchy, they cause my hair to fall out. They peel up and big clumps of my hair lift up and off as well. I was searching for what to do about it and came across this stuff. I had been to the doctor already and some of the prescription stuff worked here and there but wasn't consistent and was pretty darn expensive (one bottle of goo costs $350). The Rahua shampoo is the best I've ever used. Honestly. THE BEST! I'm not being paid to say this. I'm just someone who bought it off of Amazon. This is the best my hair has ever looked. The best my scalp has EVER been. And I've only been using it for four days so far. I will never use anything else. I'm getting some for my sisters (they don't have this condition). Worth every penny. And I only use a pea size dab to wash my hair. I can't say enough how great it is!

  • August 18, 2013

    by Minna

    Is it just me, or do most of the above comments seem like fake ones designed to convince people to buy the product despite the fact that it is t exactly what it claims to be? The palm oil may very well exist, but the rest seems like overpriced hype to me. Thank you for your research.

  • January 29, 2013

    by Pasquale

    I am still shocked by how much I love my RAHUA! Honestly, I have never, EVER tried anything that made my hair so beautiful and manageable. Like your hair, I have color treated, "old lady" hair, as my son liked to point out, but Rahua gives me really beautiful silky hair. I hope people try it and decide for themselves. :)

  • October 14, 2012

    by Marta

    Thank you for the information Fabiano. Your other comment posted under the name of "Suzan J" has been removed. We welcome comments and debate but do ask that people do not pose as different people, using different names, when it is obvious that are from the same IP address.

  • October 14, 2012

    by Fabiano Ferraz

    I contacted the brand. The Rahua brand uses the Ungurahua nut oil PLUS the final product the natives produce by cooking the nuts (a golden oil/butter), so it's like:
    Ungurahua oil = the "raw" nut oil, not the processed/cooked one.
    Rahua nut oil = the golden oil/butter, the final product the natives produce by cooking the nuts.

    This is why they mention the Ungurahua oil two times in the ingredients list, and chose or created a new name for the processed golden oil/butter, "Rahua" (though it seems some natives already call the product they get by cooking the nuts "Rahua", so probably the brand didn't even create the term).

  • June 9, 2012

    by Marinor

    Hello, I'm from Brazil. Excuse me for my poor English.

    "Rahua" does exist. This brand is calling the Patauá/Ungurahua's nut as Rahua, that's it, but it comes from the same palm tree/are the same thing. Here in Brazil it's called Patauá or Ungurahui (Oenocarpus bataua or Jessenia bataua (palm tree)), used as aliment (beverage, ice creams), source of high quality protein, provides intensive nourishment to the skin and accelerates repair of skin damage, also helps fortifying the hair, maintaining the natural color and brightness of the hair. May also be used for facial care. Sometimes used as medicine for breathing and respiratory disorders. It's considered a rare palm tree/oil.
    I found the Patauá (that time, named as "ungurahua") oil being sold in a 60ml small bottle in the northern Brazilian state of Bahia once. The origin was Ecuadorian or Peruvian, I can't remember exactly now.
    Oh, and that's curious: "Tungurahua" is an active stratovolcano located in the Cordillera Oriental of Ecuador.

    Now about the Rahua's products... I haven't tried them yet, but I really want to. Just looking at the ingredients list, most of them are organic/100% natural. Organic products are usually more expensive, but also usually worth it. The feedback is mostly positive. So I'm planning on ordering it soon!

    Thanks for reading.

  • May 24, 2012

    by Julia

    Expensive Things that are Not Worth it! I will never Buy it again XX

  • January 7, 2012

    by ruth

    I've only used the the finishing treatment - a little dab on dry hair ends, and it is a better treatment than argan, or other treatments on my fine, thin hair that I've tried.

  • January 7, 2012

    by Oksana

    keep coming back to the conditioner - nothing works as effectively! sorry, John Masters! can live without the Rahua 'poo.

  • January 6, 2012

    by Bellina

    It seems some people are ill informed. Rahua uses the rainforest grown Ungurahua nut. The nut is called by different names such as ungurahui, muyo, shiwamuyo and Rahua. Kind've like a sub is called a hoagie, grinder, torpedo etc. At the bare minimum try using the products and doing more research before jumping to conclusions. And just using the shampoo with another conditioner is in itself daft if you are basing a review on it. I have tried a ridiculous amount of high priced hair care over the years and have sought high and low for something natural. To date this is the best stuff I've ever put on my hair. After only one use my hair looked like a hair care commercial.

  • August 29, 2011

    by Alex

    More absurd exploitation and lies. The Shuar speak a Jivoroan language that has no relation to Quechua. They are not called "Quechua Shuar."

    "Rahua" is Quichua (related to Quechua) meaning fire. Just another scam exploiting indigenous people and rainforest issues.

  • August 1, 2011

    by Marta

    Hi Michelle, in the end I did try Rahua. You can read my review here:

  • August 1, 2011

    by Michelle

    I am very interested in trying the product, and as I am doing my due diligence I have run across many differing reviews. Most are concerned about the existance of the nut, and are even comparing it to a brazil nut. On the actual website there is an informational video that shows the process from start to finish, showing the nut and how it breaks down. It is definitely not a brazil nut, but it does look legitamate.

    The TM could be because this company is the first one by western standards to discover the nut, and they are trademarking the concoction that results from the extensive process shown in the video. From the rav reviews regarding the affects and the remaining ingredients I am going to give it a try.

  • May 29, 2011

    by Kelly O'Leary

    I've been using Rahua products now for over a year. I think it is expensive, but I love it. My hair is so soft and healthy. I can't stop using it. When I try other products my hair does not feel as good and is much more difficult to style. Worth the money for me.

  • April 29, 2011

    by Jaysie

    I had more than usual breakage with Rahua, but my hair is very fragile: fine, porous (the absolute worst trait for tresses!), and dyed blonde, plus I use velcro rollers and a hot iron a couple of times a week which vanity demands. However, I got huge volume with this stuff like no other product so far. I just can't use it all the time.

  • April 29, 2011

    by Marta

    OK, I've given in and ordered the shampoo, conditioner and finishing cream. I'll let you all know how I get on.

  • April 29, 2011

    by Oksana

    I second all the positive comments on Rahua.
    I have been using both S&C for about 2 months - I really love the results. Full, shiny hair w/lots of body. No volimizer.
    Give it a whirl, Marta. It may be just right for hot and humid NYC.

  • April 28, 2011

    by Lynne

    To those who think the writer should try the products first -- doesn't it bother any of you that an ingredient listed on the product you use on your head and that seeps into your body through your scalp doesn't exist?

    So what is exactly is the proprietary "Rahua(TM)" chemical concoction? Because there are absolutely no regulations on these kinds of products.

    Brazilian blowouts are formaldehyde-based and were recently banned in Canada.

    If you are concerned about your body's chemical burden through all your personal hygiene products, then you should check out

    And to the author I say -- good for you that you didn't try it. I notice that Amazon Beauty is not listed as having signed the Safe Cosmetics Compact (list here:

  • March 15, 2011

    by Ranjitt

    I agree with the other people who have made comments on this, that Rahua is a fantastic brand. The shampoo, conditioner and the styling cream are the best I've tried. It makes hair so shiny and styling is just bliss. I think you need to rewrite your review when you've actually tried the products!

  • February 11, 2011

    by Coni Beth

    I use Rahua products and love them! It sounds like you might be a little jealous.

  • February 3, 2011

    by Deborah Azlein

    I too am incredibly impressed by Rahua hair products. I have tons of super fine hair that frizzes at the slightest amount of humidity and have been experiencing quite a bit of hair loss after shampooing with what I thought was top of the line hair products. After using Rahua products, my hair feels like the hair I've always wanted. Frizz free, shiny, and best of all it has stopped the hair loss! I will be throwing away hundreds of dollars worth of every hair product known to man and will use only the Rahua products.

  • January 5, 2011

    by Amanda Sterling

    I came across your article when I googled RAHUA to see where I can buy it in the States as I just ran out and I'm from London and I'm in NY for 2 months.

    I have to say, for someone who writes about products - maybe you should try them first before you give brash comments.

    I bought my first set at Liberty in London after the sales girl raved about it and how it changed her hair after a few washes. It sounded like a sales pitch, but I have to say her looked beautiful and her color fab - so I bought it and after a week, my hair which is colored and very dry came back to life.
    Truly Rahua is a miracle product and whatever is in it works! So do yourself a favor and try something first and then give your comment... and from looking at your photo here, your hair can use Rahua.

    I'm not one to ever respond to things like this, but I felt you need to be a bit more professional when it comes to giving your comments.

    Signed - A big fan of Rahua

    Amanda Sterling

  • December 21, 2010

    by Claudia Wilson

    Not daft. I have been using the finishing treatment now for 4 months and it is wonderful — and yes there are unclassified plants (by western standards) in the Amazon. So before you scoff, suggest you try it!

  • November 10, 2010

    by Maxine Polins

    I bought the products from Liberty in London and I must say they are amazing. I spend quite a lot of money on my hair and my color has never looked so great and my hair feels super soft - I was a huge Kerastase Fan and I would never go back.

    This is truly a god sent product and happy it exists!

  • September 12, 2010

    by Joanne

    Thought this was useful as there is an ad in the mag with the News of the World this weekend encouraging people to buy the rahua product at £26 and £27 for shampoo and conditioner! When will we all realise that if there was a product that fixes frizz, snapped ends we would all nkow about it and notice other peoples hair looking spectacular instead of all complaining about the same thing! The only thing to remedy aboe mentioned probs is a good blow drier and someone to do it for us!!!

  • May 13, 2010

    by Ana ENersen

    I have been using Rahua for a few months now and my hair has never looked so good. It is much healtier and stronger...finally starting to grow. I notice that the shampoo does not strip my hair and the condtioner really leaves a nice feeling to my it!

  • January 31, 2010

    by rla

    wow - i recently bought their (unreturnable!) conditioner because my haircutter raved about it...oh well

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