#BeautyBoss: Richy Kandasamy, Cofounder & Creative Director of Rikoko
This week’s #BeautyBoss is Richy Kandasamy, Cofounder & Creative Director of Rikoko—a line of hair care products rooted in the exotic Seychelles islands. Along with brand visionaire Renee Cascarina and a team of next-generation chemists, Kandasamy set out to create a line of professional beauty products that are designed to work in harmony with all beauty rituals, hair textures, and global cultures.
Kandasamy’s impressive career spans more than two decades and has taken him across the globe as a hair color expert and educator. He has a disciplined mastery of color technique, trend forecasting, product development, and education implementation. We recently sat down with the hair expert to chat about the origins of his innovative line, secrets to success, and more:
What inspired the creation of Rikoko?
Rikoko was inspired by the holistic way of Seychelles culture—we live off the land. Coconut is our miracle tree—the oil is healing, protective and nourishing for skin, hair and body. Of course, this combined with my love for hair color, technology and professional education coupled with my wife’s background in design and branding laid the foundation for a truly authentic collaboration and the birth of Rikoko.
What does “Rikoko” mean?
In Creole we use the “K” instead of “C”, so “Koko” is for coconuts. The “Ri” is for Richy, and a nod to the idea of recycling and reusing nature’s bounty.
When did Rikoko launch?
Two years ago, but the first year was really a soft launch to a select group of salons in the U.S.
What makes your line unique?
Rikoko is a luxury hair care line based on rich natural ingredients from the Seychelles, like our matured coconut oil, cinnamon bark, vanilla extract, vetiver and wild ginger. The concept is to heal the hair from the inside and accelerate repair post color. Our products work in harmony with all hair types—as in the Seychelles we are a true mix of Indian, African and European, so we represent global culture and all hair textures.
Do you have a hero favorite product?
Wheat’s your favorite product from your line?
The Prism Opal Leave-In Conditioner and the Kokobalm are the perfect combination. The Opal is for prepping, and the Kokobalm is a finishing product to smooth frizz, add weightless shine, and heal while you style.
Where are your products sold?
Rikoko is available in professional salons in the United States and United Kingdom, as well as online.
Who inspires you?
Nature is what really inspires me.
Secret to success?
Passion and consistency. And of course you must enjoy the process!
Taking care of your scalp is as important as your hair. The scalp is the soil and your hair is the plant…if you do not care for the soil, the plant will not be healthy.
Your hair color is a luxury service, so you need a true luxury product to maintain it.
Embrace your natural texture, and less is more when using hair products.
[Images courtesy of Rikoko]
Kamala Kirk is a University of Southern California graduate and has been an editor/writer for more than a decade. She has written for E! Online, Total Beauty, TravelAge West, Malibu Times Magazine, and many more. She resides in Los Angeles and is a proud pug mom. Follow her on Instagram: @kamalakirk