16 beauty executives disclose the meanings behind the brand names they created. Have you ever wondered where the brands you stock got their names? The origin of most names bears a meaningful story. Some names have become so familiar to us that we’ve forgotten that they’re invented words–or that they even have a special significance.

From acronyms and places to words borrowed from other languages, where do your customers’ favorite brand names originate, and what do they mean? To find out, we contacted beauty executives and founders to see how they decided that a name was the one. For these entrepreneurs, their brand names have deep, complex histories, proving that a brand’s story really begins at the beginning. Below, you’ll discover how some of the most recognizable names in cosmetics, skin care, hot tools and hair care came to be–you’ll never look at your store’s brands the same way!

Farouk Systems

Dr. Farouk Shami, Chairman and Founder

CHI, in fact, stands for Cationic Hydration Interlink. CHI’s namesake technology signified a fundamental change in the beauty industry; we delivered the first innovation in tools using ceramic, ionic and infrared technologies–both for health and safety reasons. More than just a name, CHI means energy, which is only fitting since the Cationic Hydration Interlink technology energized sales for the styling iron and blowdryer categories in general. Thanks to that signature technology and the CHI acronym, the brand is now recognized by 95 percent of women in America.”