It’s a centuries-old fact: The wisest solutions are born in the beauty salon. Just ask former salon owner and AHNESTI Haircare Founder Lorri Weisen. With her husband battling his second cancer diagnosis, she sought a way to reduce his chemical burden in food and body products. Yet her own industry proved a leading culprit of untested chemical ingredients. “I was astounded when I discovered all the chemicals used in professional haircare products,” she says. “As a salon owner, I thought, ‘I have to do something about this.’ ”
The result is AHNESTI (sold at Uptown Minnesota on Concourse G). Launched in 2014, it is the only professional haircare line to follow Whole Foods’ standards for health and safety. Its seven products (two types of shampoo and conditioner, a hair and scalp refresher, a styling gel, and a whipped paste) are made with organic, naturally derived ingredients and are gluten free, cruelty free, vegan, and biodegradable. Most importantly—they work. “Being healthful and eco-conscious is, of course, my top priority,” says Weisen, “but that means nothing if the products don’t perform.”
They not only perform, they actually improve the health of the hair. The shampoos and conditioners (Puriti for fine hair and Integriti for coarse or damaged hair) protect color, reduce breakage, and increase shine. Utiliti, the styling gel, adds moisture to the hair, while Authoriti, the whipped paste, conditions.
Eterniti, the hair and scalp refresher, is a bestseller. Carissa Nielsen, AHNESTI national sales director, swears by it as a dry shampoo, hand sanitizer, and air freshener (it smells like fresh lavender). “I can go seven or eight days straight without washing my hair if I use it every day,” she says.
The entire line is multifunctional. “My son has eczema and can’t bathe every day,” says Nielsen. “When he does bathe, he uses the Puriti shampoo as his bubble bath and body wash, too.”
“I use Puriti as a face wash, body wash, and shaving gel,” adds Weisen. “It’s incredibly cleansing and gentle on the skin.”
Puriti’s multi-uses make it great for travel. The pair also recommends the Authoriti paste for your next trip. “The paste provides buildable hold,” says Nielsen. “You can’t overdo it, so you can add a little more and restyle your look when you get off the plane. It will also lather and cleanse the hair in the shower, eliminating the need for a shampoo.”
A year into the venture, the women are committed to their ethical and performance standards—and to having fun. Nielsen often skateboards through the office (“in my helmet!”) where dogs are also allowed to lounge. Follow AHNESTI on Instagram and enjoy regular “Bedhead Monday” posts. “With my husband’s health in decline, I don’t know what the future holds,” says Weisen. “But I want to look back on these years and think, ‘that was the most fulfilling thing I ever did.’ He was the inspiration behind AHNESTI and my effort to contribute something important.”