Macadamia Professional is known internationally for its salon-quality hair care, treatment and styling products that address the unique moisture level and styling needs of every woman. Its products contain an exclusive Pro Oil Complex, a blend of therapeutic Macadamia Oil and Argan Oil, rich in Omega 7, 5, 3 and 9 fatty acids, which deeply yet weightlessly nourish and repair hair from the inside out. Macadamia’s new The Sun Surf Collection also includes products with Olive and Coconut Oils, Sunflower Seed Oil and Shea Butter.
To learn more about Macadamia, Downtown caught up with Andy Rah, Vice President of Global Marketing for Macadamia Beauty. More on Macadamia can be found at www.macadamiahair.com.
Were you always in the beauty industry? Or did you start out on a different path?
Andy Rah: I started out in management consulting out of college, and I spent about eight years doing that. I realized that it wasn’t what I wanted to do in the long run, though, so I went back to business school to get my MBA.
How did you get your start in the hair care industry?
AR: I actually got my start in New York City, interning for L’Oreal USA working on the Garnier Fructis brand. I loved the industry so much that I took a full time job there, working on the L’Oreal Paris haircare brands for three years before moving to Texas to be closer to my future wife. From there, it just kept going as I spent five years with TIGI before ending up here at Macadamia Beauty.
Do you think that there are any misconceptions about proper hair care?
AR: Some people are trained to think that just because a shampoo is sulfate-free, it’s safe for their hair color. That’s not always the case — the surfactant system, which creates the lovely foam in a shampoo, whether it’s sulfate-free or not may be unsafe for color. There are a lot of variables involved; Macadamia Professional shampoos are all tested and proven to be great for color-treated hair. They do happen to be free of sulfates, parabens and gluten as well, but consumers should be careful and do more research to make sure they aren’t washing their expensive hair color down the drain!
What is a typical day like for you working for Macadamia Professional?
AR: I wish I could say it was all photo shoots and New York Fashion Week glamorous, but a lot of my role is making sure all of the details are covered. Working on budgets, in-store merchandising, promotions, social/digital/PR campaigns, e-commerce, planning for the future and trying to figure out where to take our brand next. We’re always looking for the next big thing to wow our salon and retail customers as well as bringing something innovative to our consumers.
What is coming up for Macadamia? Any new products? Partnerships? Promotions?
AR: We are coming up on summer, so we always feature our Endless Summer collection of products. We also have our liter-sized shampoos and conditioners for sale through our independent salon partners and premium retail partners like Ulta and Beauty Brands; definitely a great time to stock up! We just launched our Foaming Root Boosting Spray and our Thermal Protectant Spray earlier this year. Definitely more exciting products coming out in the second half of the year as well.
What is your favorite Macadamia Professional product?
AR: I think the Tousled Texture Finishing Spray is a must-have. You just spray it into the hair — not on it, but into the layers — shake your head, and voila, instant volume and texture! Gives you big Texas hair, without a lot of work.
When not busy with Macadamia what do you like to do for fun?
AR: I like traveling, playing sports and most of all, cooking and eating. I have a six-year old daughter, Delaney, and four-year old son, Tristan, and they both make homemade pasta with me already. They love cooking because they see how much fun I have doing it. I was definitely an aspiring chef in a past life! Plus, I just love to eat.
Do you have tickets to any upcoming concerts or events?
AR: Whenever I am in New York, I try to stop in and see whatever show my niece, Ellie Kim, is in. Right now, she’s a swing playing seven roles in School Of Rock on Broadway. Her and the other kids are so amazingly talented, it’s unbelievable what they can do as a group of 10-year olds. I think my sister has been to the show about 30 times already!
Do you have a favorite restaurant in New York?
AR: This is an easy one: Wolfgang’s Steakhouse. I used to live a few blocks from the one on Park Avenue. The bacon appetizer and the Porterhouse steak are two of my favorite dishes anywhere. Wolfgang’s was started by someone who was with Peter Luger’s for a long time, so you know his restaurants are born out of one of the quintessential, original New York Steakhouses.
Finally, any last words on why you love New York?
AR: That’s pretty easy for me; being able to get anything I want to eat, whenever I want to eat it! Of course, the energy, vibrancy, diversity and the variety of things to do is unparalleled, but when I’m in New York, it’s all about the food.