Feature Interview with Dr. Farouk Shami

Feature Interview with Dr. Farouk Shami

Listen to others and observe the world around you. Inspiration comes from both and has never failed me.

Dr. Farouk Shami, an immigrant and son of a Sheikh and Chief of the olive farmers in Palestine grew up exposed to the trials and tribulations of war, migrated to the US with only $71.00 in his pocket. His career path of hairdressing resulted in illness from the harmful effects of ammonia which led him to create the first ammonia-free hair color.

Known for many firsts, Dr. Shami went on to create award-winning hair care and styling tools (including 23 patents) that have revolutionized the beauty industry. Today, his company Farouk Systems, Inc. is in over 144 countries with over a billion dollars in sales. His passion for being an American success story has resulted in his humanitarian efforts and appointment as Special Representative and Adviser for International Affairs for the NDUF (National Defense University Foundation) and a frequent speaker on leadership at Harvard University. He has recently partnered with LG H & H that will bring new technological advancements and distribution to both companies.

His many firsts include:

  • 1st hairdresser to receive a Doctor of Beauty – Honorary Ph.D. of Arts by SeoKyeong University in Korea
  • 1st hairdresser to invent the first ammonia-free hair lightener and coloring system
  • 1st hairdresser to utilize primary colors in a lightening system called SunGlitz
  • 1st hairdresser to utilize NASA technology in the development of professional styling tools and hair care
  • 1st hairdresser to obtain a patent for hair care: Farouk owns ten patents in chemistry and physics.
  • 1st hairdresser to use ceramic and revolutionize styling tools with the introduction of the CHI Ceramic Flat Iron. Farouk Systems invented and launched the very first ceramic hairstyling iron, the original CHI, which has grown to become a leader in the tool industry.
  • 1st hairdresser to run for Governor
  • 1st hairdresser to use Silk in hair care: the idea for BioSilk Silk Therapy came from a phrase his clients used to say about their hair, “it’s like silk.”

Where did the idea for Farouk Systems, Inc. come from?

I always loved making women feel beautiful. My mother was my inspiration as she used olive oil and herbs from our homeland to create her own skin and hair care. Plus, her knowledge of natural dyes helped to create beautiful baskets. I came to America for college and then realized that I wanted to be a hairdresser and colorist. After becoming ill, I learned that I was allergic to ammonia found in hair color. Since I wouldn’t give up the profession I loved, I began to incorporate my mother’s knowledge of mixing products to create the first ammonia-free hair color. As I learned more about the harmful effects of ammonia, I realized that other hairdressers and their clients might be experiencing the same reactions. So, in the back of my salon, I started to mix color, fill bottles and started educating and selling my color. In 1986 I started Farouk Systems, Inc. and the rest is history.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

Each morning I wake up and have a swim (exercise is key to a healthy body and mind), I pray each day to thank God for all my blessings and then get ready for the office. I don’t waste a moment, between keeping up with my chemists and researchers, meeting with my Executive Staff, speaking with my distributors to checking on my aloe farm which grow directly across the road from our main headquarters. We also have olive orchards. Our goal is to become an organic haircare company by growing our own ingredients.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I travel all over the world and it has been through the most natural occurrences that I have gotten an idea for a new product or tool. On one trip, I was in a restaurant where they cooked the food on a lava stone. My curiosity in learning the benefits of lava resulted in a whole line of styling tools using lava. Sourced from some of the most effective heat-conducting materials found on earth; volcanic lava combined with the power of CHI ceramic creates smooth, sleek results without the damaging effects of high-heat styling. We refer to it as healthy heat.

What’s one trend that excites you?

It doesn’t really take a trend to excite me, I prefer to be the trendsetter with our products. I do not want to be a copy cat but instead, let others copy me. That is the highest form of achievement and flattery.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

I never stop. If you stop, you don’t have the passion. And, if you don’t have passion, you will never grow.

What advice would you give your younger self?

My best advice to my younger self would be to start sooner.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Listen to others and observe the world around you. Inspiration comes from both and has never failed me.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

I have always taken any profits and re-invested them into better equipment, property, and technology. Also, surrounding yourself with people who have the same goals. My dearest friend John McCall is not only my business partner but is a visionary. Together, we share ideas and concepts and how they will come to life.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

It isn’t a failure as long as you learn from it. I never let anything hold me back and view it as education on what not to do next time.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

I am currently working on a color machine with my LG Household & Healthcare partnership. Together, CHI and LG H&H have been trailblazing new color technologies that have been in research for two years and will take the guesswork out of hair color. It will revolutionize the professional salon industry and help colorists around the world create the ideal formulations.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

I would have to say rose bushes. My home is landscaped with rose bushes and I gather the petals to create my own tea. I mix the rose petals with herbs, spices and stinging nettle from my homeland. Stinging nettle has many health benefits and nutrients. When I have guests over, I brew them my tea so they can experience not only the benefits but the beautiful aroma.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

Facebook, Instagram and YouTube – social media has revolutionized advertising and reaching your audience.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

I actually wrote a book about my life in hopes of inspiring others to overcome hurdles that we each endure. It is my story of loving this country and how fortunate we all are to be American. It is called American by Choice.

Key Learnings:

  • It is important to listen to others and observe the world around you in order to grow
  • Success is not just measured by numbers. It is measured by the footprints of your legacy
  • Never fear the unknown or taking a chance. Go after what you believe in.
  • Surround yourself with people who have the same ideals and goals that you do
  • Expand your horizons, never stay stagnant



Farouk Shami Interview – Trump Peace Efforts not Hair-Raising

Farouk Shami Interview – Trump Peace Efforts not Hair-Raising

Farouk Shami, a Palestinian-American beauty industry mogul, says he has known US President Donald Trump for nearly two decades,and he uses his products to sculpt his iconic hair

In a time of intense Palestinian anger toward US President Donald Trump, at least one Palestinian-American remains optimistic that the US leader can offer hope.

Farouk Shami, a beauty industry mogul who said he has known Trump for nearly two decades, says the US president uses his products to sculpt his iconic hair.

He says the “great man” genuinely wants to achieve an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, despite a series of measures which have caused Palestinian fury.

“I believe that he is committed to peace in the Middle East, and especially in Palestine. There is a commitment,” Shami, who lives near Houston, Texas, told AFP during a visit back to the occupied West Bank, where he was born.

“I am still hopeful that one day we will have peace, even while Trump is in position.”

The multi-millionaire 76-year-old moved to the United States in 1965 and eventually set up Farouk Systems, which offers a range of high-end hair products.

He says he became friends with the future US president when sponsoring the then-Trump-owned Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants.

He eventually featured on Trump’s Celebrity Apprentice reality show.

“We are still friends, although I don’t agree with his political views concerning Palestine and concerning Jerusalem,” Farouk, wearing a suit and cowboy boots with a dragon on them, said at his newly opened institute for hairdressers in the Palestinian town of Beitunia.

The White House did not respond to a request for comment.

– ‘Peace in Palestine’ –

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas cut ties with the Trump administration in December 2017, when the US leader broke with decades of international consensus and recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Palestinians want the eastern part of the disputed city as the capital of a future Palestinian state.

Trump is expected to release his long-awaited plan for Israeli-Palestinian peace in the coming weeks.

Palestinian leaders have already dismissed it, saying they have no doubt it will be blatantly biased in favour of Israel.

Shami ran as a Democrat for governor of Texas in 2010 but says he has maintained a good relationship with Trump.

He says he had dinner with him and a group of American politicians a few months ago in Houston.

Farouk said Trump asked him how he was, to which he replied “business is good, but we need peace in Palestine”.

“He said ‘me too, I want peace in Palestine’.”

Trump then asked after the health of 84-year-old Abbas.

“I said Abbas is wonderful and he wants peace and we all want peace. I said we love America and we want to be free like America. Then he switched the subject, asking me about Miss Universe.”

Shami, who has both Palestinian Authority and American passports, says he has met Abbas and other Palestinian politicians in recent years.

But he said he doesn’t want to become a political mediator between Palestinian and American leaders.

– ‘Beautiful hair’ –

Shami, who was visiting the West Bank to launch two new projects to train Palestinians in hairdressing and cosmetology, says both Trump and his wife Melania use his company’s products.

The US leader’s comb over hairstyle is globally famed and sometimes mocked, but Shami thinks it suits him.

“I think he has a beautiful hairstyle. He combs it and sprays it and it looks good on him,” he said.

“Of course because his colour is light … sometimes it looks orange” because of the reflection of the light, he said.

“But his hair looks good, believe me.”

Born in the village of Beit Ur near Ramallah, he visits the West Bank twice a year.

He says he has spent tens of millions of dollars on projects in the Palestinian territories, including in the education and business sectors.

“My body is in America, my heart always in Palestine. I cannot get freedom to Palestine at this point but I think we need to build our economy.”

In Beitunia, close to the city of Ramallah where Abbas is based, Shami last week opened an institute to train Palestinian hairdressers.

He is also funding a new beauty academy in Abu Dis, on the outskirts of Jerusalem.

“We are not here to sell them products,” he said.

“We are here to give them more education and more training so they can improve their income.”

Farouk Systems Promotes Farah Faulkner

Farouk Systems Promotes Farah Faulkner

Farouk Systems promoted Farah Faulkner to President of Professional Sales.

She brings over 22 years of experience in the professional salon industry, holding numerous positions throughout her 12-year tenure with Farouk Systems. As the former Vice President of Chains, Farah oversaw the day-to-day sales needs for the company’s professional chain accounts.

As President of Professional Sales for Farouk Systems Farah’s goals are to direct her entire sales team in the US and Canada for both professional distribution and chain accounts. She will continue to develop the deep relationships with our partners that Farouk Systems was built upon and exceed sales goals by keeping the company strategy and focus on key initiatives for 2019 and beyond.

With her ability to take charge, great sales background and innovative strategies she quickly ascended into the professional side working with distributors and franchise accounts. After 11 years with Farouk Systems, she was promoted to Vice President of Chains.

Credit: www.happi.com

CHI Hosts 4th Bi-Annual Education Symposium

CHI Hosts 4th Bi-Annual Education Symposium

Farouk Systems, Inc. hosted its fourth Bi-Annual CHI Education Symposium for cosmetology instructors across the US. Over 80 instructors from CHI Partner Schools traveled to Houston for the three-day educational event.

To kick off the event, each instructor was invited to attend the official welcome party held at Bella Vetro. That evening, Circus du CHI gave attendees a vintage circus theme that included inspirational art work supplied by the Mosque Art Gallery. The entire Farouk Systems Team dressed in circus style costumes with an official Ring Master portrayed by Dixie Russell, CHI Schools Director, who helped orchestrate the experience. As an added highlight, CHI students were mentored by CHI Elite International Artist Andrew Guerra. He helped the students with finished models in true carnival fashions and hairstyles that complemented the art work. CHI Elite International Artist Efrain Liave also created a styling show on Friday and conducted a hands-on updo styling class that afternoon that focused on the Royal Treatment line.

Over the next three days, attendees participated in educational classes including,V A VA Violets with CHI Chromashine by CHI Elite International Artist Andrew Guerra; The Tailored Man by Esquire Barber Anna Perkins; a Milady Class by Patti Wannabaker and Creating a Higher Income by Hollie Lillie and Assistant, Dixie Russell. The symposium also included a tour of Farouk Systems and a special welcome by Dr. Farouk Shami and Lisa Marie Garcia.

To learn more about CHI Partner Schools, please visit our CHI Schools Page

Farouk Shami Interviewed – CHI Lava Tapered Wand – Innovative High-Tech Tools That Are Changing the Hair Game

Farouk Shami Interviewed – CHI Lava Tapered Wand – Innovative High-Tech Tools That Are Changing the Hair Game

Hair tools are stylists’ trusted ally, enabling them to achieve the impossible—making even the most unmanageable manes appear sleek and shiny. Tools certainly have come a long way over the years, and there are always new innovations being launched by companies to keep the industry at the top of its game.

Some even find inspiration in unexpected ways: “I’m constantly working with our research and development team to bring our customers the most advanced tools,” says Dr. Farouk Shami, founder and chairman of Farouk Systems. “I’ve been inspired by how elements are used outside of our industry. While traveling, I saw ceramic technology used in pizza ovens and lava stone used for cooking. We have incorporated them into our tools, both serving as excellent conductors of heat. I have also worked with NASA to incorporate their technology into our tools.”

Made with volcanic lava and ceramic, the CHI Lava Tapered Wand allows styling at lower temperatures than is standard, which produces less damage to hair while offering smooth, shiny results and multiple curl patterns.

CHI Lava Tapered Volcanic Lava Ceramic Hairstyling Wand

Specially designed 3/8”– 3/4” extended versatile wand creates flawless, shiny curls for medium to long hair lengths. Made with Volcanic Lava and Ceramic the extended wand provides gentle consistent heat during styling. The combination of volcanic lava and ceramic allows styling at lower temperatures than normal which produces less damage to the hair while offering smooth, shiny results. Using only this tool, multiple curl patterns such as coils, curls and waves are possible.

Farouk Systems Inc. helps during Hurricane Event

Farouk Systems Inc. helps during Hurricane Event

Hurricane Relief Palooza – helps parents while entertaining kids

NEW BERN, NC (WITN) _ The halls of Two Rivers Church in New Bern was packed Friday evening with parents and kids alike taking part in the first of the two day Hurricane Relief Palooza.

The event was organized by Carrie on NC, a local Craven County Non-Profit that focuses on a number of issues surrounding kids, with the goal of helping parents and giving kids a fun experience just before Halloween.

Those who attended walked away with a free gift bag provided by Farouk Systems Inc., with like a hairdryer, shampoos and hairspray. “We’re just trying to bring some relief efforts and to bring joy. That’s our big thing, bringing joy to kids lives, we’re trying to bring more than just the normal basic needs, we’re trying to bring things people don’t think about,” said Brittaney Ratzlaff, the founder and President of Carrie on NC. Parents were also given the chance to look through donated clothes to help replace things lost during the storm.

“It shows you that you have a lot of good people with good hearts, because a lot of people who do these things are volunteers and they don’t have to do it, and a lot of donations are given, which people don’t have to do, so it shows me that there are still good people in the world,” said Andrea White, who attended the event with her family.

Hurricane Relief Palooza continues Saturday at the New Life Church in New Bern off Old Cherry Point Rd. Volunteers and organizers will be there from 9:30 AM to 4:00 PM, and will be giving out more free and donated items, and will provide fun and games for children.

Credit: witn.com