Dry skin. Sunburnt noses. Itchy scalps. It’s the less glamorous side of living in a state as arid as Colorado. We already know that washing your hair every day is bad for you, but choosing in-between-wash products is often a mysterious shopping process. How hard is it to find a dry shampoo that’s made of ingredients that we can understand?
One day, I was perusing the Denver Fashion Truck storefront in Sunnyside and found a little bottle of dry shampoo by Zola Oil Co. that checked my list: a chemical-free ingredient list, striking packaging, and made by a local business. I also loved that it was a powder, which soaks, rather than alcohol-based, which dries your locks even more. Leña Leyva, Zola’s founder, says she was tired of washing her hair every day but couldn’t find any dry shampoos in the market that worked nor catered to people of color’s hair types. That’s when she took it in her own hands to create her own.
With the help of her family and friends (a nurse practitioner mother with a holistic background and a geneticist cousin whose colleague just happened to be studying the microbiome of the armpit), Leña was able to successfully test-run her own batches of dry shampoo and deodorant and launched Zola Oil Co.’s online storefront in January 2017. Her mantra, “Save the Flora,” refers to keeping everyone’s unique natural microbiome healthy since it’s often disrupted by over-washing and stripping the body of its good-for-you bacteria. She says her products are made of gentle enough ingredients that work with, not remove, the flora.
Leña has rolled out more products in the past couple of years such as facial oils, beard care, and feminine deodorant, and hopes it will start more conversations about each other’s bodies and personal hygiene. Zola is definitely a beauty goal that we all can get behind.