Healthy Life, Great Looks, Healthy Hair!
Wisdome Organics is committed to crafting formulations of exceptional quality, the most advanced of any natural or organic professional line. Utilizing the synergy of certified organic extracts, botanicals and beneficial color-safe ingredients, our haircare line offers phenomenal results you can see and feel. Our products not only offer exceptional performance for your hair, but they are kind to the environment, with recyclable bottles and tubes. Most are vegan, and absolutely no animal testing ever. Our products are sulfate free and paraben free, as well as free from glutens, harmful chemicals and environmental pollutants. Everyone’s hair has the potential to become healthier, fuller, and more lush. Working with nature and science, as well as spirit, we make this change possible, offering you health, confidence, and… amazing hair!
“My most precious secrets revealed to you. I used my secrets for the greatest stars of all time -now it’s your turn. I am proud to offer you the ultimate haircare products given by nature and captured by science: my signature line, Wisdome Organics.”
All our lives are profoundly impacted and shaped by our earliest childhood impressions and experiences.
When I was four I developed asthma, along with bouts of bronchitis and the onslaught of multiple allergies. I’m certain that these issues contributed to my future interest in health and wholeness.
Many terrifying nights I lay in bed struggling to breathe, scared I was going to die before morning. Years of doctor visits, hundreds of tests, shots, pills, atomizers for breathing, and a host of other remedies and medications didn’t help my constant wheezing and gasping for air.
As the years rolled by I became an awkward, sickly teen who wouldn’t be caught dead wearing a short-sleeved shirt exposing my pathetically skinny arms. Socially I had to fake it all the way, playing a character in my own movie. I concluded that the only way to be my fantasy creation was to escape into the world of the big screen.
“I want to be in the movies!” I can still see the knowing smile on my parents’ faces as they looked at each other, rolling their eyes. As a teenager in the Hollywood of the fifties, growing up near all the major movie studios brought my fantasies closer to home. I spent hour after hour in darkened movie theaters, escaping into a fabulous world filled with images of beautiful people, costumes, makeup and flickering lights.
This was the era of Marlon Brando, James Dean, Dick Clark’s “American Bandstand,” the “Ed Sullivan Show” and the birth of rock ’n’ roll. My friends and I were in awe of our idols and were deeply into the fifties style, convinced we were the epitome of cool. The skin-tight pegged pants that looked as if they’d go on only over a coat of Vaseline, the T-shirt with rolled-up sleeves holding packs of cigarettes, and of course the gravity- defying pompadour with the ducktail back — all were part of our carefully cultivated image.
One of my buddies at Fairfax High was the now infamous Phil Spector, who wrote the hit song “To Know Him Is to Love Him.” Phil became a legend in the music industry, producing artists such as The Righteous Brothers, Tina Turner and The Beatles. His Wall of Sound still stands as a milestone in recording history, producing and creating some of rock’s best-loved music. During that time, teen idol Rick Nelson and I also became friends. I remember being driven home from a party by his parents, Ozzie and Harriet Nelson, feeling as if I was living in a TV show!
With the confidence of youth, I was certain of my destiny: I was going to be in show business; it was only a matter of time. In retrospect, I was naïve and impressionable…but the seeds were already planted and would soon be nurtured.
After graduating high school, I was hanging out one afternoon with my buddy Christian Dome, going on and on about my dream of being an actor, maybe even the next Brando or Dean. Ever the practical one, he stopped me. “Larry, the odds are against anyone being successful in show business. Why not find something else to fall back on, you know, just in case? You never know what doors it might open for you.” He suggested that I become a hairstylist, which would provide me with a solid career and also an outlet for my creativity. After resisting for a while, I enrolled in cosmetology school…much to my parents’ delight.
The education I received at the Hollywood School of Cosmetology nurtured my creative and aesthetic aptitude. Drawn immediately to all phases of haircare, from coloring to scalp massage, and learning about the incredible beauty and complexity of the human anatomy, it was hair cutting — hair sculpting and design — that fascinated me the most.
One summer day in 1959, walking along Fairfax Avenue in Hollywood as I was anxiously awaiting the results of the test for my California cosmetology license, something caught my eye. The sun illuminated a beautiful stained-glass design artfully inlaid in the window of a storefront door. As I walked in, a rustic yet chic atmosphere surrounded me: wood- paneled walls, hanging plants, shampoo bowls, muted progressive jazz in the background. A man stood atop a ladder, arranging decorative fixtures on the wall.
The shampoo bowls and hairstyling equipment reflected a salon, which in those days meant a beauty shop for women, but the décor seemed very masculine. It was then I met the man on the ladder…Jay Sebring, the creator of this avant-garde environment. After we introduced ourselves and chatted for a bit, Sebring explained proudly, “This will be the first men’s hairstyling salon in America. What I’m doing has never been done before; it’s a brand-new concept. First, I shampoo the hair and cut it while it’s still wet, so I can personally style it for each individual’s hair type and facial features. I’m also experimenting with natural shampoos, conditioning treatments and scalp massage. Larry, you should join forces with me; men’s hairstyling is the coming thing, and this is only the beginning.”
It was a brand-new concept, men’s hairstyling salons. But it quickly caught on. Jay’s concept was radical in the late fifties, but I knew that I had found my home, affording me the opportunity to evolve my craft and to participate in pioneering a contemporary art form. The shop had only been open a few weeks when I became Jay’s first apprentice, learning and practicing the Sebring method of “hair architecture.” I began by sweeping floors, answering phones, shampooing Jay’s customers and ultimately training a new breed of men’s hairstylists. Soon I was tending to my own burgeoning clientele.
By the end of 1960, Jay Sebring’s prediction had become a reality. Our success story was the talk of both coasts, and over the next several years our clientele read like a show business Who’s Who. We styled the locks of such luminaries as Frank Sinatra,
Steve McQueen, Paul Newman, Henry Fonda, Milton Berle, Tony Bennett, Paul Anka, Frankie Avalon, Marlon Brando, Bobby Darrin, Sammy Davis Jr., Kirk Douglas, Don and Phil Everly, Jackie Gleason, Dennis Hopper, Rock Hudson, Sandy Koufax, Steve Mickey
Rooney, Mort Saul, Red Skeleton, Rod Serling and many other celebrities, including Hollywood’s most prominent directors, producers and agents.
Overnight our work was viewed by millions in motion pictures and on the most popular TV shows; we were making a significant contribution to the Cultural Revolution in style and fashion of the sixties. We provided what was dubbed “the look” and developed a new awareness for health, beauty and personal power.
I soon had the opportunity to add two legendary figures in the music world to my personal celebrity clientele: Sam Cooke and Roy Orbison. Sam Cooke was one of the most influential black singer/songwriters to emerge in the late fifties, creating the early foundation of soul music. Roy Orbison’s music marked the best in rock ’n’ roll; his contribution to the music industry was unique and his voice truly unforgettable.
Soon women came to our salon, not only for our matchless way of styling, but, more importantly, for the health of their hair. One of the innovations we offered our clients soon became an essential part of people’s daily routine: the handheld blow-dryer. Before long, one of our top stylists left and opened his own salon. Soon another salon opened, then another, spreading the Sebring concept. We were witnessing a renaissance in the hair and beauty industry: the birth of men’s hairstyling as we know it today.
Early in 1964, the legendary British comedian Peter Sellers suffered a massive heart attack. I was asked to come Cedars Hospital in Los Angeles after his surgery to shampoo his hair with a special solution that didn’t require water. When Peter was recuperating at his Beverly Hills home, he invited me to visit him and style his hair. As our relationship grew, he invited me to work full-time and travel with him. A few days later, while still mulling over Peter’s intriguing proposition, I received a phone call that led to the most significant and extraordinary phase of my life and career; it also answered the Peter Sellers question, at least for the time being. It wasn’t until several years later when I ran into Peter in Beverly Hills that I agreed as a special favor to style his hair for his hilarious movie “I Love You Alice B. Toklas.”
The afternoon of Thursday, April 30, 1964, as I was styling a client’s hair at the salon, my phone rang. The voice on the other end asked if I would like to come over to Elvis’ Bel Air home and style his hair. Would I! The day I entered Elvis’ world dramatically changed my life and began an enduring friendship and working relationship with one of the greatest figures of our time.
When I met Elvis, I had been working with major celebrities for several years and was on a first-name basis with most of them. I was pretty cool about it, but my excitement driving to Elvis’ house that first time was overwhelming. He was the celebrity of celebrities.
Elvis walked up to me with a big smile, offered his hand and said, “Hi, I’m Elvis Presley.” The word charisma falls short of describing his magnetism and charm. We shook hands and he led me into his bathroom to style his hair. Not a word was spoken, but I saw his eyes intently following my every move. The moment I finished my work, he spun around and asked me a question that drew us into a deeply personal conversation that lasted over three hours. That afternoon, Elvis and I made a profound connection that would change both our lives, leading to one of the closest friendships I would ever experience, and igniting a spark that already burned within him. For the rest of his life Elvis and I shared a spiritual journey, reading and discussing books from the world’s great wisdom traditions. Together we explored meditation, healing and other pathways to self-realization.
At the close of our meeting he asked me to give up my clientele and work for him full-time. I didn’t need even a nanosecond to say yes!
The next morning I reported to Paramount Studios and began working for Elvis, traveling with him and sometimes living at Graceland. I styled his hair for ten movies, countless personal appearances, hundreds of concert engagements, multiple Las Vegas appearances and his last TV special, “Elvis in Concert,” filmed just weeks before his death. The last time I prepared Elvis’ hair was for his funeral in August of 1977.
Elvis’ classic looks and image are universally and instantly recognizable; his hair is iconic. Yet many people don’t realize that an image of perfection is simply that: an image, an illusion. Though Elvis was blessed with a beautiful, full head of hair, it lacked body and required constant attention. From the very beginning I explained my philosophy to Elvis, the concept of bringing internal health and vitality to the external beauty of the hair.
Elvis said emphatically, “Larry, you’re in charge of my hair, do whatever you think is necessary, only one thing…just make sure I keep it.” With that in mind, I created only the most beneficial shampoos and sprays to meet Elvis’ specific hair needs. I probably looked like a mad scientist, or at least an alchemist, pouring and mixing various bottles of organic ingredients in Elvis’ bathroom, making my special formulas…potions that worked wonders.
After Elvis died I received a flood of offers, but I needed time to reflect and absorb the enormity of his passing. One project I did get take on was Dick Clark’s TV movie “Elvis,” starring Kurt Russell. Along with being a technical advisor and playing myself in the film, I also styled and dyed Kurt’s hair for his memorable role as Elvis.
The revolutionary, turbulent sixties exploded upon us; the world was a far different place in 1969 from what it had been in 1960.
For me, while my professional career was really taking off, the state of my health still plagued me. I was unable to overcome the stress of my youthful asthma, medications, and years of unconscious, unhealthy dietary habits.
The times they were a’changin’ all right. One afternoon a young man walked into our salon, selling bottles of organic apple and carrot juice. The first thing that got my attention was his appearance: long hair, colorful loose shirt, sandals – exotic at that time, but soon to become the familiar hippie look of the sixties. “Here, Larry. Try this organic juice.” I took a large swig; it was if I was tasting apple juice for the very first time in my life!
Later that day I received a phone call from Ron, the soft-spoken juice guy, who said he sensed that I might be open to new ideas. Open I was – and ready. Growing up, my parents had always encouraged my twin sisters and me to search, to inquire and to think for ourselves. As a young boy, I sat by my mother’s side for hours as she read to me from her collection of health and spiritual books, quoting passages from her favorite teachers, often repeating “Change your thinking, change your life.” My father became a practitioner of a Reiki-like healing modality. My parents were certainly not typical of their generation in their openness and pursuit of deeper meaning in their lives. I’ve always felt their love and influence molded me greatly, especially when it came to my own quest for enlightenment.
As Ron spoke at his house that evening, it seemed as if the atmosphere around him crackled with vitality. “It’s unnatural for people to age and become ill as quickly as they do. Your body and its energies are innately intelligent; health, vitality and wellbeing are your given birthright.” Ron’s words that evening sowed seeds of wisdom that would change my world. Health and beauty, including the health of our hair, are dependent upon many factors including heredity, environment, diet, exercise, and our mental and spiritual attitude toward life.
Holistic health, nutrition and vegetarianism, yoga, energy balancing, mediation and self- realization – these were strange and exotic branches on the tree of life. With our first meeting, I decided to become a vegetarian: coincidence or not, since that day I haven’t had one bout with asthma.
Over the years I cut and styled many famous heads of hair, but the most famous moustache to which I ever took scissors was on the face of surrealist painter Salvador Dali, one of the most acclaimed artists of the twentieth century.
I was staying at the Maurice Hotel in Paris, down the street from the Louvre, when I spotted several of Dali’s highly recognizable paintings being brought in. I managed to find out where the exhibit was being held, and even that Dali was a guest at the hotel, in the suite one floor directly below mine.
On a lark I knocked on his door. It suddenly burst open, and out strode the artiste himself, embracing me like an old friend, symbolically kissing me on both cheeks. I accepted his invitation to step into his suite, where we had a delightful, if strange, chat. He was fascinated to learn of my relationship to Elvis and insisted that I trim his legendary moustache. “You cut the hair of the most famous singer in the world; now you can say you cut the moustache of the greatest artist in the world!”
Early in the 1980s, I became spokesperson for the London-based hair clinics Svenson International, whose salons – specializing in treating hair problems – at that time spanned the globe. During my involvement in hair care internationally, every imaginable problem has come to my attention. We all admire and aspire to hair that appears full, vibrant and shiny. Today we have more options than ever before to restore the health and beauty of our hair, but that also means there are more “magic potions” making unsubstantiated claims, often producing unsafe and even counterproductive results.
When I was with Sebring our focus wasn’t only hairstyling; our concern was equally to maintain and improve the growth, condition and health of our clients’ hair. We experimented with a variety of products and procedures, from scalp peels to ultra-violet electrode stimulation and beyond. The only technique that truly was effective to recharge the vast network of capillaries and reduce tightness was old-fashioned scalp massage using the best tool, our own fingers.
Back then we didn’t have the extensive variety of shampoos available today, which is why I had to create my own when I worked with Elvis. Later in the seventies, natural and organic products began to appear on the market. I tried them all! I even went through a phase when I would only use one or two products that were strictly organic. Despite their purity, I found them sometimes drying to the hair and scalp, and always disappointing as to their performance. I came to realize that to have in my hands the most effective and healthful shampoo possible, the natural/organic world needed to integrate with modern science and technology.
What a time to be alive! Exciting, fundamental changes — wedding the best of Western orthodox medicine with complementary, holistic approaches to preserve health, increase longevity and speed recovery from illness — have created the new discipline called integrated medicine. Increasingly becoming the way of the future, integrated medicine empowers people, allowing them to experience optimal health by understanding their individual needs for achieving balance and harmony.
Doctors and healthcare workers who practice integrated medicine know their science, yet honor the body’s innate wisdom to heal, treating the whole person, looking beyond symptoms to the underlying cause of illness. They know there are natural alternatives available, such as acupuncture, herbs and dietary supplements, homeopathy, aromatherapy and too many others to mention. They also know there are times when the best or only choice is surgery, prescription drugs or other traditional medical treatment. Many years ago a dear friend of mine went to her mentor, the renowned medical doctor and spiritual author/teacher Deepak Chopra, asking for a meditation mantra to heal her newly-diagnosed thyroid cancer. His immediate response was that she needed surgery, not a mantra!
Our body and its energies are innately intelligent, designed to preserve health and heal disease. The key to health, vitality and wellbeing can be found in the interdependence of body, mind and spirit. The aim of my holistic haircare system is to help you maintain or restore harmony by activating your own natural inner healing force, enabling your body to thrive and to generate the thickest, healthiest and most beautiful hair possible. This has been my vision and my dream from the day I began my career decades ago. I am proud and pleased that it has become a reality, and that I can now share it with you.