MEET MORDECHAI OF YAROK ORGANIC HAIR CARE
Welcome back to Behind the Beauty, where we give you the inside scoop on some of our favorite brands, all through the words of their founders. Today, we're introducing you to Mordechai Alvow, the celebrity hair stylist behind Yarok Organic Hair Care. The brand combines a powerful blend of organic and all-natural botanicals that are consciously sourced and responsiblity harvested into its line of cleansing, conditioning, styling and treatment products. Every one of their products meets 100% of vegan requirements, and is free of alcohol, parabens, sulfates and animal cruelty, which few haircare lines can claim. The high-performance products don't sacrifice quality in their formulations, and they nourish and improve hair texture as you use them. Read on to find out more about the line, plus get the details on our exclusive promotion with Yarok!
Tell us how you started Yarok.
I was born in Israel it the city called Jaffa and also known as the city of oranges. Every day, I woke up across from an orange grove. It fragranced the air and I always felt lucky that it was my scenery. Both my parents loved cooking and talked constantly about ingredients, and some of my first knowledge about new and rare ingredients was with an older cousin of mine. My first encounter of healing remedies was with my grandma who used to use herbs from her little backyard garden.
As a child, I remember loving going with my mom to apothecaries; they were my candy store. They were what was very exciting to me. Scents of nature filling out the space, the colors and shapes of the bottles.
Fast forward to my early 20s when I choose hairstyling as my career and came to New York. This career was always more about the effect I could make on people’s lives and how I could make them fall in love with themselves again once looking at the mirror. Don’t get me wrong: The glamour was pretty great too.
A few years into my career, some challenges started to appear, I got such a bad rash on my hands that I had to run and get Cortizone shots to heal my skin. I was scared and faced with the decision that I might have to stop doing hair. Instead I stopped using toxic products and my skin healed. At that time I was pursuing editorial work, working within a team of photographers, directors, stylists and makeup artists. The models on the set constantly complained about damaged hair and kept on looking to me to find out what to use on their hair. But there was nothing in the marketplace that delivered results without the damage.
In the late 90s, everyone in NY started to discover healthier life styles, including myself. I turned to spiritual studies of Kabbalah, I stopped smoking. I improved my diet and discovered yoga. These changes were my wake-up call. I was meant to search and introduce a healthier solution for professionals and their customers using organic and natural ingredients for hair dressing.
I went back to my roots, the love of cooking, ingredients, smells… I ordered lots of books and started researching what wonderful plants herbs nature has given us to heal and use for our beauty regime. I remember making so many soaps and creams in my kitchen to give to my friends to try. Every chance I had, I’d travel to exotic places and get inspired and find out what other cultures have used. Like in Australia, I saw massive eucalyptus trees, with a cloud of their scent present in the air from miles away. Or in Japan, the only place where Camellia oil is produced from a small tree. I was blown away from some of the facts. Like, for example, it takes 60 rose petals to make a drop of rose oil and how labor intensive is needed to make distill essential oils. A new world had opened up.
The marketplace was still pretty bare of natural products and at the time people thought that something natural was too crunchy or bohemian. It was time for organics to meet glamour.
What's your favorite product from the line? Why?
I truly love them all for different reasons (they are my children) and I can’t favorite one over the others, but I do use daily three of them: Feed Your Curls, gives me hold and texture and I finish with Feed Your Do mixed with Feed Your Shine, both for moisture, shine and coating. I LOVE the smell of Feed your Shine… at the same time that it awakens me, it also relaxes.
Any secret uses of your products that we should know about?
If they’re a secret, I can’t tell you… it won’t be a secret no more! But, I can say that everything is done with certain dates and conciseness. I have been studying the philosophy of Kabbalah, which is the blue print of our lives and there is a lot of reading and meditation from the book of formation called The Zohar. The Zohar teaches us many cosmic secrets and helps understand that all challenges are actually important and essential to break walls and limitations, to be able and be successful.
What's the most challenging thing about being a business owner?
The challenge to me is that my ideas and vision are greater and that when it comes to action, there may be some delays in the actions.
For example, when we need to photograph a product, I go myself to the photographer and position the product the way I think its needs to look. Don’t get me wrong, I love it... but often I wish I had more manpower to go ahead and do things of that sort.
What hair styling tips do you have for the fall?
Fall styles continue to show texture. The three best products for that are Feed Your Ends, Roots and Hold. Feed Your Ends is our number one, all-time bestseller. It’s great for so many things and is essential to have it around. It delivers vitamins to hair, helps with split ends, supplies shine and is a great heat protector. Feed Your Roots gives hold and volume. You can use it before a blow out or if you decide to leave your hair to air dry. The hold comes from non-GMO corn and rice powder and has no alcohol. Feed Your Hold is a super light hair spray that you can brush your hair after applying and it stays bouncy and up there.
What trends do you see in green beauty?
It looks like hair color is finally getting the main stage. Major and indie brands are coming up with ammonia free, PPT free hair coloring (thank god). This is major as most hair stylists are breathing in fumes constantly.
For skin, makeup is also so much more advanced. It’s no longer boring makeup colors—we can see a range of fashion colors for makeup and safe mascara like W3LL People.
If you could share one piece of advice for holistic living, what would it be?
Oh, I have so many… okay, what works for me is commitment. Don’t say you’ll do and then you don’t. If you commit to sports at least 30 minutes a day, do it (even if you’re hung-over), commit to incorporating a green juice (it’s okay to have French fries sometimes), and the most important is if you commit to help a friend, do it. Not because you need be nice, but because you understand that that is how the universe works. One more thing about universe: It’s important to trust; the universe at challenging times.
How can we be more conscious consumers to affect change in the beauty industry?
We can all support businesses that care about the environment. Social media is such an amazing tool. So rapidly, you can spread the word to so many people at once and so immediately. Buy products that are not just pretty packaging, and spend time reading about the causes behind them. Through my brand, I continue my personal mission, to affect green change in the beauty industry without sacrificing results or luxury. Hair stylists and salon owners truly understand now that it is possible to achieve superior results using natural and organic products.
What do you do when you feel overwhelmed or burned out?
I go jogging, helps to release anxiety. I like to walk in nature as much as possible and hang out around dogs and children. I also learned that to be able to take a break from my world, volunteering is a great cure.
Thanks for opening up, Mordechai! Now, here's the deal: For the month of October, buy more than $30 work of Yarok Organic Hair Care and you'll get a FREE travel-sized Feed Your Ends. Shop the line at EcoDiva Beauty to get your free gift while supplies last.