Rikoko: New luxury hair-care line takes 1 part Seychelles, 1 part Miami to clean and detangle hair | 08 January 2020
An idea born in Seychelles and developed in Miami, Florida in the United States is the story of Rikoko, a luxury haircare line inspired by the holistic way of the islands’ culture.
Rikoko is based on rich natural ingredients – matured coconut oil, cinnamon bark, vanilla extract, vetiver and wild ginger – found in Seychelles.
The brainchild of professional hair colourist Richy Kandasamy and his wife and brand visionary Renee Kandasamy, Rikoko started off as an idea to develop a business based on coconut oil after the couple bought a bottle of the product at Seychelles’ Victoria market.
“We had this idea to repackage the coconut oil and sell it to the tourist in hotels in Seychelles. We were going to build a family business to essentially sell to tourists. We were buying it in used water bottles, but I didn’t care because I knew the value of it,” said Renee.
Richy added that “we bought the oil in the market and I was like let me bring and test this in the lab and see the real power of the ingredient”.
This idea was transformed into something bigger when the couple introduced it to their partners in the U.S. That is when the brand Rikoko was created.
Born in Seychelles, Richy started his professional career in Italy, where he also met his wife. Through his over 20 years as a hair colourist, he has worked in London and later moved to New York as TIGI’s creative director. TIGI is a multi-national corporation which develops and support hairdressers in growing their business.
The Seychelles News Agency (SNA) met the couple during the Seychelles Fashion Week, where Richy was conducting workshops for participants in the show. Explaining the origin of the brand’s name, he said that ‘Ri’ stands for Richy and ‘koko’ is the Creole version of coconut.
Rikoko comprises three collections – Lock, Prism and Noir.
Free of sulphate, paraben, and gluten, Lock is a two-phase treatment. The shampoo, phase one, cleanse, nourishes and adds shine to the hair. Based on matured coconut oil, the product is infused with rich anti-oxidant vanilla extract and purifying cinnamon bark. Phase two – the conditioner – helps detangle the hair. This product is infused with wild ginger and hibiscus.
Prism is a range of five leave-in conditioners specifically designed for each hair. Opal, Gold, Bronze, Rouge and Violet – as each product are called – hydrates the hair from the inside, adding shine as well as the formula works its wonders. Lip-gloss for hair as Richy described them, the leave-ins are infused with a subtle hint of colour to brighten and eliminate brassy tones from blonde and grey hair.
Noir consists of a ‘kokobalm’ made from matured coconut oil. Infused with lemongrass, the balm adds shine and detangles the hair, at the same time protecting it from heat and UV light. The product seals split ends and calm frizzes, all the while restoring nutrients to one’s hair.
Products within the three collections vary in cost from $36 to $56.
“Rikoko was like the main project, now it is turning into a small project which is really good. Now I have bigger projects for Seychelles and Rikoko was just a platform to share the story of where I came from and what someone coming from a small island can do – from someone who grew up on Castor Road to owning a luxury brand in America, selling it in Asia, Taiwan, UK,” said Richy.
Upon their return to America, the couple is envisioning on working on two new brands.
“I attended the Arts Award and I was thinking about the fact that I can give more to Seychelles and change the art and fashion industry in the island nation. When I go back, I am going to work on two new brands, one of which will be based, designed and sold in Seychelles and all around the Indian Ocean,” said Richy.
He added that the brand will be beauty and skin orientated, “because I feel that Seychellois women want to feel and look good”.
“We are always in the sun and we need protection. You have to be careful about what you apply to your skin and put in your body,” said Richy.
The second brand will be another hair line care collection.
Renee’s dream is to eventually build an eco-friendly hotel or a retreat in Seychelles, “something where people come, can live off the land, can do yoga and meditation”.
As a note of inspiration to the youth of Seychelles, Richy said that “if you can imagine something, then you can make it happen but one needs discipline and passion, and you have to really believe in whatever it is that you want to achieve”.
Source: Seychelles News Agency