Basim Shami on Next Generation Innovation
Basim Shami, CEO of Farouk Systems, is not only the “next generation” in terms of following his father, company Founder Farouk Shami, into the business, but an innovator focused on taking the company to new levels. A hands-on executive, Shami’s passion for the industry and for salon professionals is evident in the company’s ever-evolving product technologies and an exceptional new school program. Shami spoke with MODERN SALON recently to outline what’s new and next at Farouk Systems and what it means for beauty professionals.
MODERN SALON: WHAT ARE SOME OF THE NEXT GENERATION PRODUCTS AT FAROUK SYSTEMS?
BASIM SHAMI: We have always been product innovators from adding silk to our hair care products to creating the first ammonia-free hair color. We created touch-screen technology for our dryers and currently, we are very excited about our CHI G2, the next generation flat iron. We were also among the first to introduce ceramic flat iron plates, and now we have enhanced the CHI G2 plates by adding titanium to make them smoother and more durable.
The G2 is designed to style three distinct types of hair: fine and fragile, medium to wavy and coarse to highly textured. We developed a color-coded LCD digital screen display that changes color as the iron heats up so there is no danger of using the wrong temperature for the client’s hair. The iron has dual voltage so it can be used anywhere in the world. The next generation of curling iron is the CHI Arc, which features a unique rotating barrel.
MS: IS THERE A NEW GENERATION OF LIQUIDS AS WELL?
BS: Our BioSilk line has a large and loyal group of users, but it also needed a face-lift. The BioSilk therapy Collection is targeted to specific hair needs. We do not believe in just putting out products-- each line addresses a particular need. We launched a BioSilk volumizing line and most recently, the Color Therapy Line with shampoo, conditioner, mask and leave-in treatment. We have others launching later in the year and by the end of the year we will have improved packaging in beautiful designs and colors to look great with any salon décor.
MS: FAROUK SYSTEMS IS KNOWN FOR ITS EMPHASIS ON EDUCATION. WHAT’S NEXT ON THAT FRONT?
BS: Education is at the heart of our company’s success and innovation. We are still family-owned and proud to be a company that is “by hairdressers for hairdressers.” We are exploring the next generation of cosmetology education by partnering with Lone Star Community College, one of the area’s largest community college systems. Through this partnership, cosmetology students can expand their education to earn an associate’s degree with classes in business, marketing, science and management to expose them to every aspect of the beauty business. We are building the CHI Lone Star College School of Cosmetology adjacent to our Houston headquarters and our goal is to partner with community colleges in other parts of the country. Our school program is also about mentoring and with the CHI connection to celebrity stylists, the entertainment industry and our official hair sponsorship of the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants, students get to work behind the scenes at shows and beauty events. We offer job opportunities within our company, with our distributors and at professional stores. We immerse them in the product knowledge and techniques that will build Farouk Systems and CHI loyalty when they enter the industry. Our education mission is to make students love hairdressing, show them all of possibilities available to them and keep them in the business.
MS: WHAT’S NEXT AT FAROUK SYSTEMS?
BS: An exciting new venture for us was to sponsor several runway shows at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. We had guest artists and many of our stylists working backstage in this exciting environment. It is a logical extension of our long partnership with the beauty pageants and Celebrity Apprentice. These are great opportunities to be involved in all aspects of the beauty industry.
At Farouk systems, there is always something new in the works. We are constantly updating our products, packaging and technology. We have a wonderful young and energetic education department and we will continue to work to expand opportunities for the salon professional.