A few weeks following Frédéric Fekkai’s launch of his very first clean, plant-based product line, he made it aware that every new product he puts his name on will be free of sulphates, parabens and silicones.

“It’s not [happening] slowly,” Frédéric said when asked if he was going to gradually phase out his previous product lines. “We’ve stopped already. We’re going to get right into it. There’s no compromise. We’re getting rid of the old. The old is not what I want (my brand) to be.”

The New York-based hair care impresario, who bought back his brand in 2018 in partnership with Cornell Capital from Designer Parfums and Luxe Brands, was in Los Angeles last week for an official celebration of the launch of FEKKAI. The breakfast event preceded a beach clean-up and a dry styling bar set up at Santa Monica Pier. The FEKKAI offering includes 15 products packaged in pastel, repurposed and recyclable packaging. Items rolled out January 8 on fekkai.com, Target, Walgreen and CVS. All items are $20. Products contain ingredients such as mirabelle plum seed oil, French cold-pressed olive oil and camargue rice water.


Now that the line is out, Frédéric said he’s on to the next innovation.

“We are focusing on only sustainable and clean formulas, and will use the intelligence and feedback we are getting now,” he said. He is looking at bio-resin packaging, which is made from biodegradable ingredients, such as corn sugar.

“And yesterday, I heard from a friend that a French laboratory has come out with another substitute for silicone,” he said. “Silicone is hugely important in the hair. It’s what makes it shiny and soft. But it’s bad. A few years ago, you couldn’t do hair care without it. But today we’re lucky enough to have labs that are listening to the demands of customers, and the supply is much more affordable. So finding a substitute, for me it’s a delight.”

In addition to researching non-toxic and effective ingredients, Frédéric said he is also focused on eliminating waste. For upcoming product launches, he is working with a lab at MIT that has developed a technology called LiquiGlide, an all-natural coating that goes inside containers to facilitate the release of every last drop of mayonnaise, toothpaste, ketchup—and shampoo.

“You know when you can’t get to the last bit of shampoo in the bottle, it’s annoying,” he said. “And it’s wasteful. But technologies like this, they are great for the environment, and great for your money.”

Frédéric, who switched to a plant-based diet a couple of years ago, now views environmental issues almost from a place of urgency.

“A few years ago I realized that we’re out of hand with the way we’re mistreating our planet,” he said. “It’s not a trend. It’s a real threat. And I wasn’t going to go out there to produce products that would harm the planet more.”

Frédric said that his single-minded focus on evolving in the clean hair care space is partly driven by wanting to redress the misconceptions around non-toxic shampoos and conditioners.

“Clean formulas have been discredited because in the eyes of consumers who have tried them the experience and the results were not good,” he said. “I have promised myself that they have to be amazing, that these formulas are equal to or better than anything. And I’m not going to put my name and credibility of 40 years of hairdressing on a product that won’t perform.”

From left to right:
Pierre Lampert – CEO at Frédéric Fekkai
Chad Wood – Brand Stylist Partner
Shelley Luce – President & CEO at Heal The Bay
Frédéric Fekkai – Founder