Friends, I am very honored to introduce you to a special lady, a hair healing sister named Stefani Padilla. Stefani is the creator of a line of hair healing medicines called La Tierra Sagrada which she makes out of her Topanga Canyon Studio in LA in between hair healing ceremonies with clients.
(photo by Chris Keller)
Stefani, and her soulful approach to hair, has really helped inspire my journey deeper into the realms of hair and healing, with both style and deep reflection on the meaning of hair, of it’s importance in our lives and it’s potential to help us heal and connect deeper to ourselves.
I originally met Stefani at the Spiritweavers Gathering last year, but had heard about her from a Vogue article which introduced her as a Hair Shaman, and naturally I had to know more. I reached out after the gathering, and she very graciously agreed to sharing words with us here at How-to Hair Girl!
Words on Hair and Life with Stefani Padilla
Would you tell us a bit about your journey through life, where you came from, where you have lived, different incarnations of yourself over the years?
Ah, yes, the JOURNEY… What a beautiful one it has been! It all began in Arizona, where I was born and spent the first 18 years of life. After high school, I moved to Southern California for some time. At age 22, I ended up in New York, which I called home for 7 years. I moved to LA 3 years ago, where I currently reside.
How has your life journey inspired your career into hairstyling?
Everything we do and the steps along our path are reflections of our evolution. My journey has led me to some of some of the most exotic, dream-like, profound places, and the people along this journey have been such beautiful mirrors. I have found myself in some of the craziest situations being a “hairstylist”. The funny thing is I never did hair for “hairs sake”, there was always a deeper intention to have a deeper connection with every soul I encountered along my journey. That alone is what inspired me, that alone is what kept me doing what I do. It’s a creative way to allow others to feel comfortable when opening up, and being vulnerable. It really is such a gift!
(photo Kacie Tomita)
What brought you to creation of La Tierra Sagrada? What is the intention and inspiration behind it?
(photo from La Tierra Sagrada)
The creation of La Tierra Sagrada was inspired by means of bridging the plant and the human world. I wanted to create a deeper experience for humans to connect to the energy of medicinal plants. The crown is the most receptive part of the human body.
By applying the hair medicine on the crown, you’re opening to receive the consciousness, healing, and transformative vibration from the plants used. I use the essence of ayahausca vine, which I grow, and care for myself. In recent years, this vine has become over farmed and over indulged in by people all over the world. Keeping this powerful plant protected is part of my intention as well. The plant brings healing and protection to us, so it is important we return the energy in the process.
( Photo Ayahuasca Foundation. )
Tell us about your personal hair routine?
The whole concept of the line is to create a ritual when using the products. I create the products with prayer and ritual, injecting the consciousness of healing. When applied on the hair with the same ritual consciousness, one can only receive that healing energy. I often encourage people to use the Treatment and do a hair ritual once a week, and the night of the new moon every month-This is when it is highly activating. I do the Treatment once a week and every New and Full moon.
If I let my hair go natural- its pretty wild and wavy so I throw in a ton of salt spray to make is bigger. When I need some extra moisture- I always throw the jojoba oil on the ends.
Tell us about the ritual of hair cutting and what it means to you, and how it is performed.
In many cultures, hair is considered sacred. Native Americans associate the hair with wisdom and power. In eastern culture the hair is an amazing gift of nature that can help raise the creative life force within, which increases vitality, intuition and tranquility. When we cut the hair, we essentially are cutting away an extension of the self. I believe it is important be aware of the consciousness behind why we are cutting. I try and inform the importance of creating an offering to the Earth with freshly cut hair.. It is important to give that part of you back to where it came from.
What has working with people and their hair taught you about higher consciousness?
I think the most efficient way I can respond to this question is: I have been on a life long journey to connect with a higher consciousness. My personal evolution has helped me to connect deeply with my higher self. Through my own considerable expansion of awareness I can only BE more of this higher consciousness. Through sharing my experiences and vibrating the energy with those those around me, including those whose heads I touch (heal), I could only wish that they get shaken enough to connect with their own higher consciousness.
(photo Kacie Tomita)
As hairstylists, we are in a position to heal others. How would you like to see our industry move in a direction to support that gift? What can we do as hairstylists to keep this as a central part of our path?
We are crown healers- this area of healing revolves around the others receptivity and vulnerability, it’s important that they feel safe and supported. Listening is one of the greatest skills. Being compassionate and understanding helps radiate joy and happiness. Its is important, not only as “hairstylists’, but as humans, to do the work ourselves. Know how to protect ourselves, draw boundaries, cleanse the energy, and do a daily practice to help ground, so that we can be that pure Light reflection to whomever is in front of us.
Who/what inspires you to create?
Nature, friends, the desire comes from seeking. Everything inspires me! I love Los Angeles. I get inspired daily by nature, the ocean, music, books, meditation, art… I’m so inspired by EVERY magnificent being surrounding me at this moment in my life. I’m truly blessed.
Please take us on a little walk through your day, living in Topanga Canyon.
Being in the canyon doesn’t really change the routine of day to day life, however, it does make for a beautiful back drop. Being in nature, and seeing nothing but trees swaying in the wind and the stillness of the canyon watching over me, is peaceful and grounding. Exactly what I need before braving the flow of Los Angeles.Daily: I wake up early to do my morning Sadhana. This practice entails a cold shower followed by a series of kriyas, mantras and a deep meditation. I then go about my morning routines, which includes a connection with living tea, a tune in with my teacher on Rama TV, and emails!
The studio is attached to the house-it can be perceived differently daily- some days a blessing and some days a curse..I can’t not work, especially when there is always work to be done! Every product is hand made in Laurel Canyon. I share my living and work space with my dearest friend, Kari Jansen of Poppy and Someday. (Check out Kari’s wonderful collection of wildcrafted herbal body-care tinctures and healing remedies! )
Collaborating with friends is what motivates and inspires me most. I usually do a drop in with Kari before I go into production mode. I use medicinal and ceremonial plants, so in honor of the plants, I open the space to create the products with ceremony and prayer. I clear the space and myself with palo santo. I then create, and infuse the products with blessings. I then package them up and send them out! The rest of the day includes a whirlwind of events, but all that feed my soul and the souls around me……
Stefani, we all take a moment to salute you and send you love and thanks for sharing your healing gifts with the world. All of our mutual intentions for communing here at HTHG on the topic of hair are broadened by your words, and we are greatful for your unique and beautiful perspective:)
I am really excited to announce that Stefani and I will be holding a Hair Healing and Adornment area at this years Spiritweavers Gathering, and we look forward to combining our experiences with hair to create a sacred space to style, heal, trim, and teach.
xo, HTHG, and Stefani Padilla