FEKKAI Founder Returns to Hair Care for Clean and Sustainable Beauty

Caitlin U.
ByCaitlin U.

Frédéric Fekkai, legendary hairstylist and advocate of environmentally conscious practices, has taken his passions and channeled them into his haircare range - FEKKAI. The high-performance salon-tested collection includes shampoos, conditioners, and treatments. With the changing seasons affecting our hair care routines, we sat down with Frédéric to learn a bit more on whats happening in the industry, his company, and current trends. 

Can you tell me a little bit about the start of FEKKAI and the brand’s evolution over the years?

In the mid 90’s, I realized that the hair care market was solely focused on low price offerings which was very frustrating to my customers and my staff. I knew that my clients would use skin care products priced at $300+ for 3-4 ounces. Taking note of this, I launched the first ever luxury hair care line incorporating skin care technology and innovation. This was an unprecedented launch and gave me the opportunity to enter prestige retail channels such as Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and Sephora. I had a groundbreaking salon at Bergdorf Goodman in 1989 which was my very first salon. After a long and storied career, including national salons and my successful product lines, I sold my brand.

After a few years, I woke up one morning and realized that the beauty industry hadn’t yet caught up to the rest of the world in terms of clean product formulations and sustainability and I was reinvigorated to bring innovation to the beauty category. I reacquired my brand in November 2018 and put into motion my vision for clean and sustainable haircare. I am proud to be one of the first to launch a sustainable hair care collection with clean formulas but most importantly, high performing. A couple years ago, it was very difficult to come to market with this type of offering without compromising performance. It feels good to take care of our customers and ourselves while pampering the planet. 

With the pandemic and quarantine, we have seen that the time and money spent on makeup has shifted to skin care. Would you say that a similar trend has happened with hair? Less time and money spent on style and more on hair health and care?

We are experiencing the same thing in hair care. Sales for deep hair and scalp treatments are outpacing styling products. Since there are no parties or events, customers are focusing on care rather than styling.

I have seen that FEKKAI is making a move to clean beauty, from the ingredients to the packaging, why was this an important change to make?

It was very important to me, after acquiring my namesake brand, to bring to my customers products that are relevant to our way of life. With today’s technology and resources, we are able to bring to market clean formulas and sustainable packaging— our bottles are made out of 95% recycled plastic and are 100% recyclable. 

In your opinion, what is the best at-home hair care regimen to follow when you can’t make it to the salon as much as you would like?

This depends on your hair type. For medium to coarse hair, shampoo your hair 3x a week followed by a treatment mask from 3 inches off the scalp. For fine hair, shampoo your hair every day, followed by a light conditioner. Don’t forget to dry your roots before styling your hair to boost volume. 

What are some hair trends you love right now?

I love the timeless bob haircut: short by the neck, plunging a bit longer in the front. I also love curtains bangs with long hair.

What hair care or style would you like to see more people embrace?

My philosophy about hair is to enhance anyone's beauty and hair. Therefore, I love hair style that personify each individual. I love the pixie haircut that Michelle Williams and Halle Berry used to have, long and short shaggy bobs, curly or straight, and Afro hair such as that worn by models Imaan Hammam or Zendaya, and musician Alicia Keys.

About the Collection:

The high-performance salon-tested FEKKAI collection includes fifteen new shampoos, conditioners, and treatments, across five ranges addressing various hair types and concerns: Baby Blonde, Full Blown Volume, Brilliant Gloss, Super Strength, and Technician Color. The salon-grade products are formulated with a wide range of natural ingredients, including green coconut water, vegetable-derived polymers, cold-pressed olive oil, and rice proteins. Every bottle is made with 95% high-grade repurposed plastic and is 100% recyclable. Each product is free of parabens, sulfates, silicones, phthalates and 100% vegan and gluten-free. $20 each, available at Fekkai.com, Target.com and select Target stores.