Hello Ehsane, you are the founder of Hygée, a brand of food supplements based on adaptogenic plants. Can you tell us a little about your background?
I grew up surrounded by pharmacists, and my parents are entrepreneurs in cosmetics. I am also of Indian origin, functional food has always been part of my daily life without me really realizing it (thanks to my grandmothers!). So I have been immersed in the world of wellness since I was a child.
When I started my professional life, I began to have small imbalances. I couldn't really find a solution in traditional medicine which often treats symptoms more mechanically than the root causes. By adding some discipline to my lifestyle, as well as some food supplements in support, I quickly noticed increased well-being. By talking to people around me, I realized that many of us were in the same situation, with stress being the main source of the various imbalances (sleep, energy, skin/hair, digestion, etc.). It was from these observations that Hygée took shape.
Can you tell us about the influence of your grandmothers on your choice of business?
I especially made the link when I started to explain my project to them, which is when I realized that they are the ones who have been passing this influence on to me since we were children, through Indian gastronomy and what today is called “functional nutrition”.
At La Bonne Brosse, we are passionate about alternative medicine and in particular Ayurveda. You must have been immersed in it all your life. Can you tell us more about it?
I had the opportunity to travel to South India, and my interest for alternative medicine evolved from there. This trip was a great source of inspiration for our Hygée products, especially La Sérénité and La Concentration. Furthermore, I got to know myself and my needs better, and I wanted to bring this philosophy and these values to Hygée.
I want to make the perfect transition onto the subject of hair... In Indian traditions, hair is very important. Can you tell us more about this? Did this influence your work on your new hair product?
Hair has always been one of the most symbolic parts of Indian culture. I'm not an expert in hair but I know some beauty rituals of Indian women to keep their hair long, strong and shiny, especially from my travels: I remember the vegetable oils, henna, the Amla adaptogenic plant.
Let me come back to Amla! We designed La Chevelure with this key adaptogen for hair. Anti-stress and antioxidant, it has always been used as a poultice on the hair. At Hygée we offer it in oral form for a targeted action from within.
In Indian medicine, massage, body and diet are intimately linked. How do you see hair brushing in this context? What is its role compared to nutrition?
Diet will always be linked to everything else, and the health of the hair is closely linked to it in terms of having healthy, dense and strong hair.
The nutrients to focus on are healthy proteins. Vitamin C, because it protects the capillary microcirculation and is important for the assimilation of iron (non-haem). It is true that the first cause of hair loss in women is an iron deficiency.
It is also important to pay attention to zinc intake. Indeed, a zinc deficiency can lead to a slowdown in hair growth and a risk of increased dandruff. Omega-3 helps moisturize the scalp and hair. Other fat-soluble vitamins such as Vitamin A and E help prevent dryness and sun damage to the hair.
Brushing will also "feed" the hair in its own way by activating circulation and helping it to evolve. I think you know what I'm talking about, you are the experts!
I have one burning question: how do you recognize a really good supplement? We hear a lot about ingredients that are only partially assimilated by the body, etc. How do you know which one is the right one?
At Hygée, we select the different adaptogens contained in our products for their specific benefits but also and above all for their capacity to magnify when used in synergy. We always select the highest quality ingredients available on the market.
We look for natural and organic ingredients when possible, with no or few excipients, well sourced, documented and no controversial ingredients. The less the product is processed, the more the active ingredients are preserved. This is why we offer plants reduced to powders, which is THE least processed version. We also favor synergies of active ingredients over mono-ingredients and ingredients that facilitate assimilation. It is also necessary to verify that the product respects the regulations of food supplements (deposits, claims, etc.).
We often find formulas on the market that are very low in dosage. These do not allow for the ingestion of the sufficient ingredients necessary for rapid and lasting effects. At Hygée, we offer powders, drops or capsules to be taken alone or combined. We have a multi-galenic (multi-use) catalog to target broader needs and produce increased effects.
How are dietary supplements and hair brushing "complementary" habits?
I think that stress has a strong impact on hair and dietary supplements. Our product La Chevelure in particular can help to cope with this and regain capillary well-being. In addition, brushing your hair will have a beneficial effect on your scalp and will also help you to regain balance. It's a good combo! I often say: "when I feel good, I look good!” It's a bit like inner wellness combined with outer wellness!
Are there any dos and don'ts with supplements?
You should favor long courses of treatment and be regular. We often talk about loading doses and maintenance doses. There are certain treatments to be taken at certain times of the day, hence why you have to read the label on the supplement, the indications and contraindications. I ALWAYS advise consulting your doctor or practitioner if you have any doubts, especially in the case of pregnant women and children.
A treatment can be repeated for up to 3 months. Afterwards, it is recommended to take a break of a few weeks to help the body build its cellular memory. I often repeat, but a food supplement is not a medicine and you need to have a healthy lifestyle for lasting effects.
What supplement do you take? What’s your wellness routine and what are your anti-stress tips?
I take almost all of them and I alternate. At the moment, I combine La Sérénité and La Détox. This duo helps to soothe anxiety and have a more restful sleep while detoxifying the body. We have a new product coming out very soon, on June 29th, and I am testing it too. Feedback soon!
As for the rest, it's very simple, I work out, travel, share good times with my loved ones and work on myself to learn to manage my stress. Consistency is key!