Photo by Caitlin Abrams
Linda Aldredge of Lulu Organics
For those who’ve seen the benefits of leaving their tresses unwashed (shiny and healthy locks, less time under the dryer), searching for the perfect dry shampoo or powder can border on obsession. One product early adopters have been relying on for years is produced in the backyard of a Victorian house in Uptown. Four years ago, Linda Aldredge, the founder of Lulu Organics, moved from New York City to Minneapolis for love, and she brought her company and its famous hair powders along with her.
“In the beginning, I didn’t focus on Lulu being (in the Twin Cities) because I had already established visibility, but now that I’m staying, I’m working on the local angle,” says Aldredge, sitting down in the lounge area of Honeycomb salon, the informal hub of her business in Minneapolis. Her powders are set up in the front of the shop, alongside her petroleum- and paraben-free lip balms and a new argan hair oil infused with olive to hydrate dry locks.
Aldredge makes and packages her products in a garage studio she calls her “tiny factory.” It’s been this way since the brand launched in 2007, with every batch of powder mixed in-house. “I love working with my hands,” she says—a pretty incredible feat considering she shipped almost 3,000 containers of hair powder last month with the help of just one assistant. Lulu Organics is sold in 150 shops and salons worldwide.
Lulu Organics began as an experiment when Aldredge, then a graphic designer, started concocting her own products to combat skin reactions and rosacea. At the time, “organic” was a buzzword, but to Aldredge it was a natural extension of her life—she was born on a commune and raised by a nutritionist mother who sparked her interest in herbalism.
Aldredge invented a line of fragrant talc-free powders—a unique blend of essential oils, white clay, horsetail powder, and other organic ingredients. Massage a small amount into your roots and it magically reinvigorates the locks, giving them the feel of a fresh wash. The powders “went like wildfire” from the moment they launched at trendsetting New York store Opening Ceremony.
Aldredge plans to continue expanding her line—a face cream and vapor rubs are in the works. “The funny thing about my story is that I’m not actually a product freak,” she says. “This was really about realizing that I needed to pare down my own beauty regimen to the very basics.”