I was born in One Country of Palestine, where people of many faiths and many cultures live in cultures live in the Holy Land.
I came to America, which is a blessed experiment in international living, enriched by the ideals of the American Revolution and American Constitution.
I dedicate this book to the quest for peace and justice in a free Palestine, and to the everlasting American Dream.
Dr. Farouk Shami
This is synonymous with each reflects the core philosophies of Farouk Systems, and the company founder, Farouk Shami.
Farouk Systems - Pennbright Location
Farouk Systems Richey Location
Farouk Shami founded Farouk Systems, Inc. in 1986. He defied the odds by creating the world’s first ammonia-free hair color. In doing so, he created a safer work environment for stylists, customers, and the environment. Farouk also developed a system to triple process hair in a single salon service--something that had never been accomplished in the professional hair industry. And these are just some of the “firsts” accomplished by this beauty industry legend, lovingly referred to as “The CHI Man.” Farouk’s trademark red boots and broad smile are recognized instantly by stylists in every country of the world. They represent his passion for life and for his profession, his artistry and his colorful personality.
The legacy of Farouk Shami is firmly rooted in color. It’s in the red, white and blue of his joyful embrace of the American Dream, and his book of the same name. It’s woven into the tapestries of his native country and his ongoing love affair with the color wheel that hair colorists use to create wonderful works of art.
Farouk was born in mid-October in 1942 in Palestine, the son of a sheikh and the chief of the area olive farmers. Growing up, he experienced the trials of war, and at the same time, learned the importance of hard work and sacrifice from his father. Long talks with his father also opened his mind and his ambition with stories about the possibilities of life in America.
His mother, Jamilah, often served as both mother and father while the sheikh was forced to be away from home, fighting for liberation. In Arabic, Jamilah means “beautiful,” and she lived up to the name in every way. A creative woman, Jamilah created striking embroideries and baskets, and she taught Farouk how to make the natural dyes to create her pieces. She also taught him to love nature and beauty.
In 1965, Farouk decided to leave his home in Palestine and move to the United States. He arrived in the country with $71.00. But he knew what his parents taught him about artistry and hard work would be his destiny. He obtained his cosmetology license in 1966 and took a job in a salon. This was the beginning of a career that would have far-reaching impact on the professional hair industry as we know it today.
In 1978, Farouk moved to Houston, Texas. There he began experiencing severe health issues, which, he discovered, were caused by the ammonia found in hair color—the very thing that made his career possible. After diagnosing his ammonia allergy, his doctors told him he must leave the hairdressing profession. But Farouk is not a quitter, and he refused to give up on the profession he loved. Instead, he decided to fight for his career, and for the safety of his fellow stylists. Many, many tests and trials ultimately yielded the result he sought: the world’s first ammonia free hair color. Farouk called it Sunglitz®, and it launched him on a lifelong quest to develop safe products for hairdressers and salon customers.
In 1981, Farouk and a partner opened Le Salon, his first salon in Texas. Here he thrived as an owner, colorist and stylist. Here he also pursued his passion for science and product development. By 1986, he was so immersed in the satisfying work of creating safe, environmentally friendly hair care products, he decided to take it to the next level. Building on the success of Sunglitz, he launched Farouk Systems. In short order, he created BioSilk Silk Therapy®, the first professional treatment oil. Today, there are many dozens of products based on the original BioSilk® concept and technology. Committed to what he refers to as Advanced American Technology, he went on to develop the revolutionary CHI® Styling Iron, which has led to a full CHI® line of products and tools.
Today, Farouk Systems employs more than 2,000 people, and distributes products to more than 133 countries.
Diving into the science of color, Farouk recognized that sunlight is not a single color—it’s actually a combination of red, yellow, orange, blue, green and violet. He also noted that when hair is exposed to sunlight, the light reduces and neutralizes the natural pigment, causing it to become lighter. The degree of lightness depends on the color of the natural pigment and the amount of sunlight exposure.
Farouk set out to recreate this natural lightening process, in which hair becomes lighter without the addition or deposit of pigments. He studied the color wheel, noting how certain colors neutralized others—violet “cancels” out yellow, blue neutralizes orange. His goal was to eliminate the ammonia that exists in name in permanent hair color to expand the hair’s outer surface or cuticle in order to allow the hair dye to penetrate. It was the gas emitted by ammonia that led to his severe allergy. With Sunglitz®--a system that lightens and brightens hair using non-oxidizing pigments—he succeeded. Sunglitz® became the stepping stone to the full range of ammonia free systems, including CHI Ionic Color and Lighteners, and the BioSilk and CHI Texture systems.
First marketed as Repair and Shine, what we now know as BioSilk Silk Therapy is a care, styling and treatment line infused with natural silk to hydrate, replenish and repair the hair. BioSilk Silk Therapy contains 17 of the 19 amino acids that occur naturally in hair. The innovative, original, leave-in treatment led to the development of BioSilk Hair Color: an ammonia-free line that contains the highest grades of dyes and organic pigments with an oil base for smooth, artistic application. BioSilk continues to be one of the company’s strongest brands, with line extensions like BioSilk volumizing, BioSilk Color Therapy, and BioSilk Hydrating.
These collections provide consumers with products that leave hair feeling silky and smooth.
In 1997, Farouk Shami discovered the benefits of ceramic heat while visiting Italy. There, he observed that a pizza crust stayed moist when baked with ceramic heat. Why not apply the same technology to hair, he wondered. So he returned home and hit the lab. Ultimately, he created the CHI Ceramic Flat Iron—the first professional tool to employ ceramic heat. Since that time, the CHI brand continues to grow and expand. At one point, Farouk turned to NASA, incorporating space-aged, advanced Nano technology into his tools and products. Since then, innovations like the CHI Touch—the first touch screen hair dryer; the self-rotating ARC curling iron and the CHI Escape—the first cordless flat iron, have established the brand as a pioneer that bridges beauty and technology.
In addition, CHI offers an ammonia-free color line, plus a well-respected care and styling line that incorporates many aspects of the core CHI technology.
Farouk likes to say, “I was born in Palestine, but I was made in the USA.” He has made enormous strides in manufacturing products that are safe for the environment and for the people who use them, earning him the distinction of “The Father of Environmental Beauty.”
But for Farouk, it doesn’t end with products. He has distinguished himself as a leader, a humanitarian and a spokesperson for people’s rights.
He believes it’s his duty to share his knowledge and expertise with others, and he loves doing so. He contributes his educational skills to his students at the CHI School of Cosmetology in Houston, TX and at more than 500 CHI partner schools across the country. His goal is to impact the growth and development of future hairstylists, influencing their lives globally with his Advanced American Technology and passion for hair.
Success happens when you dedicate yourself to be the best in your work in order to accomplish your goals. If you ask Farouk about how to determine your future he would say, “It is what your heart tells you to do that matters. When your mind and heart work together, you complete a circle that satisfies your mind and your emotions. This is true happiness and this is how I have to live my life.”
As a highly renowned businessman, John McCall began his career in the beauty industry by owning and operating one of largest and most successful professional distributorships in the United States. His keen insight into what hairdressers and salons needed, garnered him the reputation for knowing which brands could make the difference in their earning potential. It was through this that stylist and salons sought out Armstrong McCall for all their needs, trusting that each product they purchased would deliver the results they needed.
John’s trusted intuition and in-depth knowledge of the industry helped to build many top brands though distribution channels as well as providing customers with some of the finest education both at his distributor shows and through in-salon trainings. It was during one of his distributors’ shows over 30 years ago that he was introduced to a newly formed haircare company called Farouk Systems Inc. It was here that John McCall met Dr. Farouk Shami. Together, these two innovative geniuses became not only best friends but business partners that have worked tirelessly to grow the company’s top brands such as SunGlitz, Biosilk and CHI. Today, Farouk Systems Inc. is proud to have him as a partner. Together, Farouk and John continue to grow and create brands, always putting the hairdresser, the environment and education at the forefront.
Farouk Shami credits much of his success to the values and ethics shared with him by his parents. Now the next member of the Shami family is bringing his unique perspective to the company. Farouk’s eldest son, Rami Shami, has been named CEO of Farouk Systems, Inc. Rami has spent many years working alongside his father to broaden the company’s reach internationally, and to streamline the company’s operations at home.
With 30 years in the salon industry, he is well versed in all aspects of the business—from distribution and manufacturing to education, marketing and sales. He and his family share the same passion and mission for the company—namely, Education, Environment and Ethics.
Rami is keenly aware of, and ready to shoulder, the high standards set by his father. What’s more he is deeply committed to preserving and extending the family’s work of serving and bettering the hairdressing profession through innovation and vison.
The next generation. Farouk’s oldest son Rami Shami is now serving as CEO, committed to expanding the company while preserving its heritage as a company dedicated to the health, success and well-being of hairdressers worldwide.
I have spent 30 years in the professional salon industry
watching my father’s goals and accomplishments come to life.
It will be an honor to continue this legacy that he has laid out while
also having the opportunity to serve and improve this great industry.
"We are a family-owned and operated company. If you do business with us, you become part of our extended family. This is true happiness and that is how I have to live my life.”