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Artículo: Legs Talk: Dan Hodgdon

legs talk

Legs Talk: Dan Hodgdon


Vegamour is the most phenomenal success – you cover everything for hair from supplements to conditioner and regrowth serum. It’s a truly inclusive hair care line. I'm interested to know what inspired you to bring it to market. 

I set up sustainable supply chains all around the world with these beautiful botanical actives from Africa, Madagascar, Australia and South America, and I was getting frustrated with the fact that people would use our active ingredients more for marketing claims than for real efficacy. So I started Vegamour more just as a case study that proved that if you formulated for efficacy, if you use the right proportions of these active botanicals, and made the extra effort of making them bio available, you could produce real results that people will be happy with. Yes, it might cost a little more, but people will be satisfied with the results and willing to pay the extra money for a product that actually works. So it was meant to be a proof point to the people I was working with in these places – and often disenfranchised parts of the world - that they could have a higher demand for those raw materials. And the proof was in the pudding, as the approach worked really well, better than I anticipated, and as the brand really took off it’s given us a larger platform to talk about the stuff we care about - sustainability, efficacy, authenticity and real marketing claims based on real science based on plant efficacy. I just wanted to prove that you could do the same things, in fact better than what chemicals and synthetic things were doing.

“It might take more work, it might cost a bit more money, but at the end I felt it’s better for the people using the products and for the environment”. 

I know you work very hard but you’re also in brilliant shape, and I know you won’t mind me saying that because we were talking about it earlier. So do you walk or is it yoga that keeps you in great shape? 

I do walk. I do a slightly modified version of walking called ‘rucking’. It’s basically taking yourself to a place where you can still have a carry-on conversation but you’re slightly out of breath. It’s really great for your overall physiology, but primarily for mitochondrial health. So what I do is take a 25k rucksack and our little dog Bodie up to Griffith Park and we do a 45-minute rock hike or walk four times a week. 

No music? 

No, because I’m trying to connect with nature and just be present as much as I can. There’s deer in the hills, there’s coyotes, there’s all kinds of wildlife and it’s the sounds of the forest park and the smells. And actually, here in my backyard, is where I get all the inspiration for the Vegamour scents. The GRO Plus scent came to me from the eucalyptus and hyacinth up here.  

How did you tell the fragrance house or the person who made your fragrances, how did you tell them that, how do they interpret it? 

I do my own blends and write down how many grams of this and this many grams of that and the perfumers make it at large scale. Blending wellness fragrance is one of my favourite things to do. Our body is like a drugstore. If we’re stressed our cortisol levels rise and this can be offset with botanical aromas - eucalyptus and hyacinth, for example, are very calming. That’s why we use a lot of essential oils. We also use bergamot, it’s very uplifting.  

I know that you love regenerative agriculture. How do you practice that here? 

Well to the degree that we can. Everything here is all native plants; it needs very little and so we don’t use fertilizers - they’re synthetic, artificial and chemical anyway. We go to farms, and we buy manure, and spread that. You know true regenerative agriculture is using everything that goes into the mouth of the cow to what comes out the end for growing vegetables.  

I was going to ask you where you grew up. 

My father was a pipeline engineer in the natural gas field so we lived all around the world. By the time I was 17 I'd lived in 20 different places. The place I had the most trouble with, I guess, was Australia. It was like a very British schooling system, with caning and uniforms, all that. And having been used to very liberal western American type schools I ended up getting kicked out of 3 private schools in Australia, so I was finally sent to boarding school in Maui.  

What was boarding school like in Maui?! 

 Boarding school in Maui, you wake up in the morning and go surfing. You were on the side of the volcano, and you could see the ocean and the waves. You’d go down there before breakfast, and surf, then you had papaya and mango for breakfast, then start your studies. It was pretty amazing. My school was about 4000 feet above sea level, and it’s all farmland and rodeos and cowboys and polo. It’s bizarre. You go up and feel like you’re in a pine forest in Oregon, then you go to the top of the crater and it’s just lava tubes like the surface of Mars. There are so many different eco-systems there, you can be in a different environment in 20 minutes.  

All the time I’ve been here, you have not had a mobile phone out. 

No, I want to be present, I mean I find it hard to be. Not having it keeps me from being tempted because it’s one of those things you know.  

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