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discover aveda

the art and science of pure flower and plant essences is the core of aveda. our beauty products are alive with the life force of plants, and contain pure essential oils. our solutions are so powerful we call them purescriptions™. while we specialize in hair care, we offer other plant-based products—skin care, makeup, pure-fume™, aromas and lifestyle—that are all professionally developed, clinically tested, and go to exceptional lengths to be respectful of the earth. our professional network, nearly 8,000 salons and spas worldwide, shares our commitment. ever since a hairdresser founded aveda in 1978, our products have been harvested with respect for the earth, in harmony with the web of life.

aveda: connecting beauty, environment and well-being.


1. we believe in treating ourselves,each other, and the planet with care and respect.

we believe social responsibility is our responsibility.

3. we believe ecological and profit goals are mutually achievable.

4. we believe our authenticity and experience are our points of difference.

5. we believe in inspiring and educating people to integrate wellness and beauty in their lives.

6. we believe in the power of oneness: from our global image to a focused network.

7. we believe learning never ends.

8. we believe in encouraging innovation and empowered decision-making.

9. we believe our actions, products and services should always embody excellence.

10. we believe personal and organizational balance is the key to sustainable success.

11. we believe true leadership is delivered with passion and by example.

our mission at aveda is to care for the world we live in, from the products we make to the ways in which we give back to society. at aveda, we strive to set an example for environmental leadership and responsibility, not just in the world of beauty, but around the world.

connecting beauty, environment and well-being.
Horst Rechelbacher
Founder, Aveda
our founder

the legacy of horst rechelbacher extends far beyond the creation of Aveda. a pioneer of holistic beauty, and a champion of environmental responsibility, horst’s purpose and passion have taken on a momentum of their own as part of a greater global movement toward balance and harmony, both individual and collective.

Born in Austria in 1941 to an herbalist mother and a shoemaker father, Horst began working in the salon across the street at the age of 14. “I was not a good student at all but I was very eager to be something different,” he said. Horst was a natural talent, and by 17 he was working as a stylist at a prestigious salon in Rome, tending to such film stars as Sophia Loren. By the young age of 20 he had won the European Hairstyling Championship, which he used as a springboard to tour Europe and the United States. “What is a calling? It’s like almost a fire inside me and it keeps me alive,” he said.

a lifelong student with a lasting vision

A world-class stylist in his teens, Horst ended up in Minneapolis, Minnesota by accident. Literally. During a stylist competition in 1964, Horst’s car was hit by a drunk driver. He decided to settle in Minneapolis, as a European hairdresser, and opened his own salon, Horst & Friends and then several others, becoming a successful salon entrepreneur in his twenties. In the late sixties, Horst suffered burn out from overwork and recovered thanks to herbal remedies prepared by his mother, as well as to the practice of yoga and meditation. Following a retreat in India in 1970, Horst integrated Ayurveda in his lifestyle and his salon business model. He adopted a holistic thinking, the belief that individual beauty is directly linked to the beauty of the world around us. His were ideas that would revolutionize the beauty industry. “We are the earth,” he said. “We are soil. We are water. We are everything. So go organic if you can. So become a farmer. Grow in your own house. Grow peppermint and make your own tea. Celebrate life.”

from the ancient art of Ayurveda come the rituals of Aveda

In India, he also received the inspiration to create Aveda. Horst gained greater appreciation for the power of wellness to promote balance in mind, body and spirit, the prerequisite to achieving the guest’s beauty goals. He met Shiv Nath Tandon in the ashram Sadhana Mandir in Rishikesh, India with whom he developed his first Clove Shampoo in a kitchen sink in Minneapolis, together with doctors of Ayurveda, Vinod and Kusum Upadhyay. All have continued to work with Aveda since the early 1970s. 

Out of this well-timed collaboration, Aveda was born in 1978 with the vision to bring beauty professionals botanical products that would be good for them, their guests, and the Earth and its communities. Horst’s foresight is a testament to how far ahead of his time he was, and although no longer with us his legacy lives on in countless ways, from the signature ritual of a neck and shoulder massage that Aveda salons are known for, to an ecologically-minded way of doing business, one that celebrates companies with a conscience. Most importantly, Horst taught us that: “Every day presents every one of us with the opportunity to create positive effects. Even the simplest, seemingly insignificant choices we make in our daily lives—what to eat, what to wear, what to use on our bodies and in our homes—have a ripple effect that reaches far beyond us personally.”

a life of extraordinary leadership

1978 — Horst founds Aveda with the mission of creating holistic beauty through wellness; Aveda is “knowledge of the whole”

1982 — The first Aveda Institute opens its doors in Minneapolis; Aveda Institutes are schools for aspiring professionals in the beauty industry

1987 — Horst publishes “Rejuvenation: A Wellness Guide for Women and Men” 

1989 — Horst endorses the Valdez/Ceres principles of environmental sustainability, making Aveda the first company to sign on

1997 — Aveda is acquired by The Estée Lauder Companies and grows to become a global success story with a presence in more than 35 countries and 8,000 salons 
and spas

1999 — Horst publishes “Aveda Rituals: A Daily Guide to Natural Health 
and Beauty” 

2004 — The beauty industry awards Horst a Lifetime Achievement Award 

2005 and 1995 — Vanity Fair magazine names Horst one of the most influential environmentalists in the U.S. 

2007— Horst receives the Rachel Carson Award for a Lifetime Commitment to Environmental Ethics & Integrity

2007—The Spa & Salon Professional Association honors Horst as an Industry Innovator & Legend for lifetime contribution to the cosmetology industry 

2009 — The President of Austria awards Horst the “Decoration of Honour in Gold Services to the Republic of Austria,” an award given to exemplary Austrian business leaders

2013 — The International Spa Association (ISPA) honors Horst with the ISPA Visionary Leader Award


5,000 years of results our earliest roots lie in ayurveda, the indian healing tradition based on the knowledge of life and the interconnectedness of all things. it has proven, over 5,000 years, that treating the whole person leads to greater balance and well-being, so we consider the effects of our products not only on hair or skin, but on body, mind and emotion.

Our relationship with Ayurveda began in 1978, thanks to two renowned Ayurvedic physicians and scholars, Drs. Vinod and Kusum Upadhyay. Globally sought for their expertise in Ayurvedic medicine, pharmacology, botanical research and aromatherapy, they brought 1,000s of years of Vedic and Ayurvedic tradition to bear on Aveda's work. Their guidance first helped us identify botanical actives for our products, allowed us to pioneer “functional aromas”(with our Chakra™ Balancing Blends), and helped us launch innovative, powerful plant derived formulas such as Outer Peace™ Acne Relief skin care.

ayurvedic roots

Ayurveda is an ancient holistic system of healing that strives to create balance in body, mind and spirit. Ayurveda means “the science of life” and it has been central to Aveda since the very beginning, when we partnered with the Ayurvedic Doctors Vinod and Kusum Upadhyay*.

*Maharshi Bhardwaj Clinic and Research Centre in Haridwar, India.

In keeping with Ayurvedic principles—and because of our concern for the Earth—Aveda is committed to using organic ingredients. This has led to another Ayurvedic partnership—between Aveda and the Indian firm, Nisarga.

Nisarga—which means “nature” in Sanskrit—grows Ayurvedic herbs with organic agriculture. We have partnered with them to obtain organic turmeric and amla for use in some of our products.

Nisarga employs an environmentally friendly extraction method using CO2, which leaves no toxic residues and works at a lower temperature—yielding highly potent extracts.

Because of the company's concern about the dangers of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, Nisarga works to encourage farmers to convert to organic agriculture. They have held regular educational seminars for about 35,000 farmers over the years, convincing many to go organic. Nisarga pays the organic certification costs for the farmers they partner with and also provides educational support to help make the conversion successful.
acting responsibly

we believe there is no responsible alternative to doing business other than through the pursuit of environmental sustainability and this belief guides every decision we make. we find inspiration for doing so in nature and believe that nature is not merely something to be cherished and protected, but also should be emulated as a model of sustainability. we also believe that profit and environmental responsibility will increasingly work together as more industries find out that "nature works" for both sustainability and the bottom-line.
* Bottles and jars.
environmental health and safety
Aveda is proud to be recertified as a MNSTAR workplace!
learn more »
cradle to cradle
In support of our mission "to care for the world we live in" Aveda has embraced the Cradle to Cradle (C2C) concept and philosophy as a key element of acting responsibly.
learn more »

aveda cares
Over the past decade, we've partnered with nonprofit organizations whose work supports our commitment to social and environmental improvement.
earth fund »
community care policy »
renewable energy
Aveda supports the development of renewable wind energy to help offset our carbon footprint over time. We are proud to be the first beauty company manufacturing products with 100% certified wind power**.

Learn about our wind energy purchases and offsets »
packaging with plastics derived from plants
First prestige beauty company to combine PCR and bioplastics in a plastic tube.
learn more »
earth and community care report
In 1989, we were the first privately held company to sign the CERES Principles (Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies). Today, we continue to strive to improve our practices and commit to publicly sharing our results.
2011-2012 Report »
2014 Report »
aveda and the yawanawa
The yawanawa people, growers of the beautiful, red-orange Brazilian urukum seeds, work as a community, toward growth and renewal with support from Aveda.
learn more »
**First beauty company manufacturing with 100% wind power in our primary facility.
responsible packaging
We are proud to have been the first beauty company using 100% post consumer recycled PET. Now more than 85% of our skin care and hair care styling PET bottles and jars contain 100% post consumer recycled materials.
learn more »

our ingredient promise

At Aveda, The Art and Science of Pure Flower and Plant Essences, we believe that Nature is the best beauty artist of all. This is why we continually strive to increase our use of naturally derived ingredients whenever possible.

Naturally Derived: We define naturally derived ingredients to be those for which more than 50% of the molecule comes from a plant, non-petroleum mineral, water, or some other natural source.

Our commitment to deliver high performance, botanically-based products that are kinder to the planet – which is good for all of us -- goes much deeper than our use of naturally derived ingredients.
learn more about aveda and green ingredients »
lokta bark paper from nepal
at the top of the world in the himalayas of nepal, things are changing for the better for many families, and the forests as well.
learn more »
babassu brings a better life
women have been gathering the nuts of the babassu tree in Maranhão, Brazil, for generations.
learn more »
watch video »
rose and lavender from bulgaria
aveda's partnership with enio bonchev, a bulgarian rose and lavender oil distillery, ensures the romi people's fair treatment and compensation.
learn more »
ingredient sourcing

Journey with us—to trace Aveda's ingredients back to the farm or harvesting co-op. We call it Soil to Bottle℠, and we do it to ensure fair compensation throughout the process.

Aveda develops close working partnerships with certain communities and/or suppliers and seeks to use them as our primary source for specific ingredients. We frequently reference these relationships in our promotional materials. However, sometimes due to conditions beyond our control (e.g., drought, pests, and capacity limitations) these communities and/or suppliers are unable to meet our needs for an ingredient, including being unable to supply some or all of it. When such situations occur, Aveda uses additional suppliers to provide high-quality alternative sources until we are able to resume sourcing from the primary supplier.
sandalwood from western australia 
Sandalwood (Santalum spicatum) oil is a key ingredient found in many of Aveda’s own aroma blends, providing a rich, woody depth with polished smooth notes that create an air of complexity and mystery in many of our beloved skin, body and hair care products.
learn more »

ayurvedic roots of turmeric and amla
we get turmeric—known for its effectiveness in ayurveda—from the Indian firm nisarga (which means “nature” in sanskrit). our partnership with nisarga is helping them to convert more farmland to organic—which is better for the earth, the farmers—all of us.
learn more »
buriti from brazil
with oil from the tree of life.
learn more »
watch video »
get a boost from the acacia
sacred in ancient mesopotamia, the acacia tree is a centuries-old source of nourishment and beauty. our scientists discovered that the gum of the acacia tree is also a natural thickener, perfect for fine hair. aveda purchases acacia gum to help thicken and volumize fine hair.
learn more in our ingredient glossary »
argan from morocco
moroccan women are saving the argan tree from the encroaching desert. we help them determine their future, and protect the trees upon which they depend.
learn more »
cistus from spain
spanish cistus extract is essential to aveda—like the people who harvest this certified organic plant. our relationships with local andalucian village inhabitants have helped create an earth-friendly cistus practice.
learn more »
full circle recycling program saving packaging from landfill
Now you can bring back your unrecyclable Aveda packaging and accessories to Aveda Experience Centers in the United States.

We are excited to offer a new way for you to help keep Aveda packaging out of landfills; our Full Circle Recycling Program. Aveda has partnered with g2 revolution®, a leading recycling innovations company, to provide guests the chance to return Aveda packaging and accessories not accepted by municipal curbside recycling programs to all Aveda Experience Center U.S. retail locations.

learn more »
collection guide »
find a location »
animals and aveda
Our commitment to animal welfare is one of our founding principles. We care for every living creature. We do not conduct animal testing, nor ask others to do it on our behalf, except when it is required by law.

Our commitment to caring for animals and wildlife reaches far and wide.
changing lives in Nepal
(now that's a reason for joy)

2,400 families can buy food and clothing, repair their homes, send their children to school and save for the future because more than 4,900* people were hired to make more than 1,400,000** sheets of paper for our gift sets. That's a lot of lives changed. And because it protects 34,000 acres of forest it also fights climate change, which could change all our lives.

learn more >>

help support breast cancer research
Every year during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Aveda releases a limited-edition of our bestselling hand relief™, and donates a portion of the purchase price from each sale to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation® (BCRF) for cruelty-free research. This year, for the month of October, Aveda will donate $4 U.S. from the purchase price of each hand relief™ to the BCRF.* BCRF is a nonprofit organization founded in 1993 by Evelyn H. Lauder and is the only national organization strictly dedicated to funding clinical and genetic research on breast cancer at medical institutions across the country. For more information about BCRF, visit

learn more >>
breast cancer health tips >>
donate >>

Ayurvedic Roots of
Turmeric and Amla

Watch how our partnership with the Indian firm that supplies our organic turmeric is helping the Earth, the farmers-all of us. watch video »
earth month 2014 
want to help? here's how
In honor of Earth Day, Aveda has set aside a whole month to love, celebrate and raise funds to protect the earth and its peoples. We've raised more than $38 million since 1999. Over the last 8 years, $32 million of the funds supported clean water projects at home and around the world. Thank you to all of you who joined us in April - to help you helped us reach our goal of $6 million.

learn more about aveda earth month »
visit an earth month leader salon
If Earth Month activities are close to your heart you might want to find a salon that shares your values. Simply click find a location; enter your zip code and state and check EM for Earth Month Leader. We'll find the name of an Earth Month Leader salon near you. What a beautiful way to help.

connect with your local earth month clean water partner all year long
Interested in learning more about clean water issues in your area? Find your localEarth Month Partner organization and stay involved all year. To see a map of projects supported by local partners
Click here

make every month earth month
an outpouring of water tips
Small changes can make a big difference. Find a tip that works for you and start saving water today.

Save electricity—and water
It takes about 2 gallons of fresh water to generate each kilowatt-hour of traditional electricity. So turn it off if you’re not using it!

Prevent pollution
Buy organic produce—because runoff from traditional farms can pollute water. Also recycle electronics, appliances, fluorescent light bulbs, silver batteries and paint—to help keep pollutants out of the water supply.

Shower smart
Get wet, then turn off the water. Apply shampoo and give yourself a little scalp massage. Rinse and turn off the water again. Condition your hair and cleanse your skin. Rinse. Save 5–10 or more gallons of water a day!

Make meals meatless
Skip meat one day a week and save thousands of gallons of water! It takes up to 5,000 gallons of water to produce just one pound of meat.*

Compost to conserve
Compost fruit and vegetable peelings and waste instead of using the garbage disposal. You’ll save gallons of water each time!

Brush better
Turn the water off when brushing your teeth. Save 4–10 gallons a day!

Fill up to cut down
Fill your washing machine and dishwasher before running them—to cut energy and water use. You can save even more by air-drying your clothes on a clothesline.

*Eating well: “6 Reasons to Eat Less Meat.”

make a donation to protect clean water
You can support your local Earth Month Clean Water Partner efforts.  Click here to make a donation.