Indian Beauty Brand Qi Brings Swiss Innovation To Homegrown Ayurveda

Qi Ayurveda
Qi AyurvedaQi Ayurveda

Chembarathi and/or Vellila Thali were a weekly staple when growing up as a young girl in a Malayali household. I would see my mother going out and picking hibiscus flowers and leaves of a local variant of the Mussenda tree, and my grandmother would resolutely rub it between her palms with a bit of the exfoliating and cleansing Incha root (wild acacia) and a bit of water and this blended concoction was a weekly haircare ritual. The process was time-intensive but worthwhile. My grandmother and mother greyed late and their curly hair has continued to be healthy, even in their 70s and 60s, respectively. 

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Perhaps it’s an essential journey that many of us go through, but I paid little heed to their rituals and wisdom when I was younger. But in getting older and being someone who inherited their love for self-care, in addition to their curly hair, I have renewed respect and understanding of traditional beauty treatments. It might also be the realisation that in scoffing at the herbal and ayurvedic, I was also the first in the family to get grey hair before turning 30. The last decade has been a year of India coming into its own as a producer of lifestyle products - from beauty to fashion. 

Qi Ayurveda (pronounced chi), is a new entrant into the market of beauty brands in the nation. But the person who founded the brand, Rajshree Pathy is someone who has veritable knowledge and experience in the industry on her side. One of the founding members of the iconic and globally renowned brand Kama Ayurveda, and a founder of the India Design Forum, Rajshree is a luminary who has spent all her time and energy in the last two years to launch Qi Ayurveda. Growing up in Coimbatore, Tamilnadu, Rajshree imbibed varying aspects of Ayurveda from all those around her. 

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In many of her interviews from the launch of her brand, she talked about how being taken to the nearest ‘Vaidyashala’ (ayurveda centre) was normal for her, and how baths with herbs, leaves and flowers were the way of life she grew up with. As the narrative around beauty and wellness rituals is shifting away from simply being chemical solutions in the last five years, and towards a more holistic approach, there is an emerging space where ancient wisdom and modern innovations are finding convergence. 

The way in which the founder looks at the brand is translated into the name as well. While it is written Qi, it is pronounced Chi - the vital life force that courses through all of us. Through its products, communication and story, they are promoting the preservation of this vital energy through rituals that nurture and nourish one through natural ingredients. 

Rajshree worked with a cadre of scientists and researchers from Switzerland, with the intention of creating a brand that combines Ayurvedic rituals and herbal concoctions with the best of production and technology to ensure that the customers get the most potent and effective experience when using the products. Her experiment to create an ayurvedic beauty brand that offers the efficacy and potency of contemporary products has set it ahead from the get-go. 

The brand launched with four different variants that cater to differing hair care needs that one may have - hydrate, nourish, restore and wellness. Under each of these categories, they have corresponding oils, shampoos and conditioners that feature ingredients and formulations that can address these needs. The brand was launched in April with a small but select group of industry experts and press, at the founder’s farm home in Coimbatore and the guests had the chance to see the way of life that the founder is talking about, up close and personal. 

The brand has been launched in Good Earth as well as their dedicated website, where one can learn more about the products in depth, from history to formulation. The holistic, mindful brand is Rajshree’s passion project that she hopes to n into an all-encompassing self-care brand, with potential plans of having a skincare range in the near future. 

You can follow them here.

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