Australian Beauty Secrets Come Stateside
It’s a rare talent that has hair like this but can handle all manes equally. The beautiful woman below is none other than Janet Waddell, a haircare veteran and owner of the namesake salon in NYC’s Gramercy Park neighborhood.
A blowout is a simple reminder of how big a role haircare is in a woman’s beauty regime and look. But, when you have anything but a simple mane, finding a stylist that is talented enough to handle length and texture is a feat. Waddell is a pro and as such, has a loyal following at her Gramercy location, but it took years of hard work to get there.
The native of Britain has been in the industry for about 20 years. She began her career at Vidal Sassoon in London and later moved to San Francisco to open a location there. After starting and running the San Francisco location, she moved to NYC, earning accolades from the likes of Allure and Esquire. Later, she moved to the prestigious Bergdorf Goodman to become John Barrett‘s education director and senior stylist. But, her most recent creation is not the salon but a range of hair products created with business partner Anna Herceg.
Herceg (pictured above), a native of Australia, and Waddell, formed the company Janna World Productions and introduced their first products in December 2009. The collection is a trio comprised of a shampoo, conditioner, and styling balm that prove haircare is about quality over quantity. The marriage of Waddell’s industry experience and Herceg’s business savvy, thanks to years spent in advertising and development for magazines and media, will likely prove a winning combo. But, part of this venture goes back beyond the resume, tracing back to their roots and traditions.
Any beauty industry veteran knows there are plenty of “miracle” ingredients from nations near and far, but few measure up. Even if there are many, usually they are difficult to work with, often due to strong smells. Such is not the case with emu oil, one of Australia’s best beauty secrets. But, it’s not emu’s smell that usually turns people off, but it’s source. Yes, emu oil is sourced from the emu, a large bird.
Long touted by the natives of Australia, the Aborigines, the oil has healing properties, helps combat dry skin and is reportedly successful at getting through the epidermis to work on the skin and the scalp. Among emu oil’s properties is the ability to strengthen air follicles, help prevent graying via nutrition, and “feed” the hair. The emu oil used in these products is processed in Tennessee and regulated by the American Emu Association and tested by the American Oil Chemist Society.
According to this gorgeous, talented duo, water makes up the bulk of most shampoos. One might assume that water is to shampoo what alcohol is to most perfumes: the filler. Such is not the case with their shampoo, which is less than 10% water, paraben-free and is loaded with emu oil, extracts of aloe, chamomile, ginseng, and comfrey, as well as kanuka and tea tree oils. The paraben-free conditioner, also rich in emu oil, also contains grape seed husks and lactic acid to exfoliate the scalp, and extracts of aloe, mallow, chamomile, and calendula, as well as vitamin B5, and kanuka and tea trea oils.
Waddell was a master when dealing with my kinky curls and imparted a major beauty tip: if you use oil on your hair, a dry wash is key. If there is oil in your hair, as there often is in mine thanks to my Indian hair oil, then the best way to really get squeaky clean is to apply shampoo to dry hair and lather, and then add water and rinse. A second shampoo on wet hair is optional, followed by the light but nourishing conditioner and then the stlying balm, which promises to make hair more manageable without weighing it down, and protect it from the environment. Plus, the grassy citrus-like smell leaves the most subtle scent on the tresses.
The before and after results Waddell and the products created were drastic; my mane went from kinky, full bodied, slightly frizzy curls to the once-in-a-while sleek straight blowout, with the least amount of frizz I’ve ever seen. The entire process seemed effortless to Waddell and the products continued to produce consistent results at home.
Given the range of the products on the market and the quality ingredients, this collection is quite reasonably priced, at $24-28.
To buy the products, visit the Janet Waddell studio at 243 East 18th Street Suite A (basement unit) near Second Avenue in Manhattan, or go to JanetWaddell.com