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Taya Beauty Buriti Nut Intensive Repair Mask — The Key To Patricia Velasquez’s Luscious Hair


About two weeks ago, I attended an HSN Beauty event, during which writers and editors had the opportunity to meet representatives from some of the skincare, haircare, and cosmetics brands sold on the shopping network and become better acquainted with these lines, their star products, and their upcoming launches. I made my way down an aisle lined with display tables along each side, making pit stops at each destination — and then, as I reached the very end of the line, I saw a familiar face: the lovely Patricia Velasquez.

Right away, Velasquez and I recognized each other — even though it had been over five years since we last crossed paths. I first met the Venezuelan model and actress (The Mummy Returns, “Arrested Development,” “American Family,”) in 2004, when I was penning  a cover story on her for Urban Latino. The following year, when I was part of the editorial team at Complex magazine, I arranged for Velasquez to appear on the cover of our Hollywood issue. This time around, we spent quite a bit of time chatting inside a trailer packed with photography assistants, hair stylists, makeup artists, and fashion stylists, parked  outside of the photo shoot location: an Old World-style mansion in upstate New York. It was the day after Thanksgiving; everybody had sipped on too many cocktails the previous evening, so the hangovers were in full effect (picture a cramped van full of people wearing sunglasses and looking slightly wilted — except for Velasquez, who still managed to look radiant); and it was freezing cold outside (it actually started snowing late in the afternoon). Unfortunately for all parties involved, there was no working heat inside the estate, and the tiny space heaters we had transported to the venue weren’t doing much to keep us warm. As soon as we finished shooting Velasquez in one look, then, we would all scurry to the trailer, the only place where we could feel nice and toasty.

Since we were in such cramped quarters and the conditions were less than ideal, the scenario lent itself for some good old-fashioned bonding. We all cracked jokes, complained about the cold, and swapped silly industry anecdotes. But, in between all the laughs, Velasquez spoke extensively about her work with the Wayuu Tayaa Foundation, the non-profit organization she launched in 2002 to help provide clean drinking water, food supplies, and medical resources to the impoverished Wayúu people in the Guajira Peninsula of northern Colombia and northwest Venezuela.

Over the years, I’ve watched closely as Velasquez has continued expanding her organization’s reach, opening mobile medical clinics in areas where health care was virtually non-existent, installing an irrigation system in an area where people previously had to walk miles for drinking water, launching immunization campaigns, and creating art programs that will help children feel proud of their heritage and safeguard their cultural norms.

Velasquez’s latest endeavor, the haircare line Taya Beauty, was also inspired by her indigenous background. Though made in the USA, Taya products almost exclusively consist of botanicals grown and harvested in South America by farmers native to the region. The company, then, also provides the indigenous communities of the Amazon with a sustainable way of life by properly compensating these farmers for their labor and providing a channel through which they can create a revenue stream. These vegan, paraben-free, and sulfate-free products rely on plants grown in an eco-friendly manner, with the utmost respect for the lush rainforest plants in the Amazon realm.

The star offering in the range is the Taya Beauty Buriti Nut Intensive Repair Mask, a deep conditioning treatment that can be applied to dry hair, then rinsed off to make tresses appear smoother, shinier, healthier, and frizz-free. The key ingredient in this balmy, slightly sticky hair mask is the oil extracted from the buriti nuts found in tropical buriti palm trees. Rich in Omega-3, Omega-6, and Omega-9 fatty acids, as well as Vitamin A, beta carotene, and lipids that mimic those naturally found in hair follicles, buriti nut oil extract works wonders on dry, color-treated, and damaged hair. Other botanical ingredients include raw parsley, which is said to stimulate hair growth, and Brazil nut extract, another substance rich in Omega-6; as well as minerals like calcium, manganese, copper, phosphorus, and magnesium; and antioxidant-rich vitamin E.

I’ve been using the Taya Buriti Nut Intensive Repair Mask for a couple of weeks now (I first tried it the day after the HSN Beauty event), and I’ve been marveling over the results I’ve witnessed. First, one of the things I love about the mask is its orange color — it almost looks like a mango purée and its smell is leafy and fresh, which itself speaks to the high concentration of organic plant ingredients. Second, I find it so handy that you can apply the mask to dry hair. Rather than having to shampoo, smooth onto damp tresses, and then rinse off 15-20 minutes later, you can simply scoop out a small amount of this treatment, rub the substance in between your palms to together to create a bit of an emulsion, and then work into the hair section by section, moving from the scalp to the ends, and rinse after 20 minutes (so, in essence, it saves you that additional shower). When you rinse the mask off, you’ll notice each strand of hair seems more voluptuous, as if it has been inflated from within. Your strands will be detangled and your mane will feel silky soft. Once your hair is dry, the improvement in texture will be even more noticeable, as will the increased shine.

Since I have painfully dry hair, I’ve experimented with applying the mask at night, then sleeping in it and rinsing off in the morning — and this ritual has proved to be a saving grace for my hair, making it look healthier than ever. On one occasion, I remember my hair looking scragglier than a Muppet’s fur — and, after just one 25-minute application of this powerhouse hair mask, my mane was resurrected. Even a friend commented on how soft my hair felt! Talk about a noticeable change!

I’m now resolved to use the Taya Buriti Nut Intensive Repair Mask 2-3 times a week to keep my hair looking its best. Bottom line: it’s the best haircare discovery I’ve made in months. And, since this miraculous treatment is available on HSN and HSN.com, I don’t even have to trek anywhere to order a refill.


Taya Beauty Buriti Nut Intensive Repair Mask, $32. Available at HSN.com

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