Welcome to the Emirates Woman weekly series ‘How I got my job as…’ where we speak to some incredible entrepreneurs and businesswomen both based in the UAE and globally to find out about their career paths that led them to where they are now; what their daily routines look like; the advice they’d give to those starting out; and the hurdles they’ve had to overcome.

This week we chat with co-founder of Fable & Mane, Nikita Mehta on how she created a modern hair wellness brand inspired by ancient Indian beauty secrets to bring stronger, healthy hair to awaken your roots and promote a healthy scalp.

Co-founded by siblings Nikita and Akash, the brand celebrates traditional familial beauty rituals hailing from India, to bring stronger, healthier manes from its root cause.

With ingredients such as potent plant roots and fruit oils, the most frizzy tresses can be tamed with these naturally vegan products, that promote healthier hair in the long run.

Fable & Mane hair scrub

Inspired by Ancient Indian beauty secrets, the brand strongly focuses on creating Ayurvedic formulas for a holistic approaching to tending to any haircare needs. What started from a massage by her grandmother has now become an effective solution for growth from within.

To understand how it all began, Emirates Woman spoke to Mehta to find out more about her journey and see what led her to launch her own haircare brand.

What was your favourite subject at school?

I loved languages – I studied French and Spanish, but Spanish was my favourite. I love the phonetics and Latin American culture. Languages are so important, and you can really access a country’s mindset when you learn their language.

What was your first job?

After graduating from business management and computer science at UCL, I joined the family business for 8 years building luxury fine fragrance brands. The role was based in NY and the company is run by my father, so I had the pleasure of learning from him as well as some of the best marketing teams on brand building and storytelling.

What first brought you to Dubai?

My parents have a house in Dubai and it’s one of my favourite places to visit. The culture is amazing, it’s such an innovative city – a visionary! Anything is possible in Dubai. I also love the food, it’s near India, it’s very safe and it’s a melting pot of different cultures. And of course – the good weather!

What inspired you to enter the haircare space and launch Fable & Mane?

When Akash and I were children, our Nani (grandma) would visit us from India and we’d sit in a hair oiling train while she massaged our heads lovingly with a blend of plants and herbs. Her healing hands would melt away feelings of stress, and she’d tell us magical fables of India’s rich plant and animal kingdom (this is also how we came up with the name Fable & Mane). During a time of stress, I experienced hair loss and recalled the power of hair oiling and head massage, so I went back to my roots and started experimenting with homemade Ayurvedic blends. We wanted to create a pre-wash hair oil that would suit the modern, everyday consumer – something lightweight with a delicate fragrance, that was easy to use and suitable for all hair and scalp types.

Talk us through the concept of Fable & Mane?

Fable & Mane is a modern hair wellness brand, founded by my brother, Akash, and me, that brings Indian wisdom to the world for strong, healthy, and hydrated hair, starting at the roots. Powered by Ayurvedic ingredients, each product is consciously crafted in vegan, lightweight and silicone-free formulas, intently balanced with fragrance blends that transport you to divine destinations in India. Fable & Mane is deep-rooted in our South Asian culture, but made for all!

What are the key elements of your role?

To develop innovative and timeless products that are true to our brand values. To provide creative direction for the brand, be the guardian of storytelling, making sure we’re always authentic to our roots, directing campaigns, photoshoots and copywriting. Essentially, making sure everything sings in harmony.

Fable & Mane Nikitha

Talk us through your daily routine.

I wake up around 6am and I do my yoga, prayanama and meditation. Then I do an hour of pilates, drink a glass of warm water with lemon, ginger and saffron which is so great for my skin, while giving my body a good detox. I usually eat a healthy breakfast and then walk my dogs, Chai and Vegas. My working day starts around 9am where I usually kick off with a few meetings, then I touch base with my team (mainly the creative and production teams). I always have three healthy, balanced meals a day and in the evening, I go for a run and spend time in nature. I usually get an early night after reading (I’m currently reading The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer). I love my daily routine and live by a balanced lifestyle.

What advice do you have for anyone looking to follow in the same footsteps?

Find your why, find your purpose. Find what makes you jump out of bed in the morning; what you’re passionate about; and what gives you grit. Even if you fail 20 times, what makes you want to stand up again and do it? Passion and grit are the most important things, and you have to make sure you’re authentic in what you do.

Tell us more about your products.

We create holistic hair care for the modern, everyday consumer. Our mission is to bring ancient Indian wisdom to the world for strong, healthy and hydrated hair, starting at the roots. Powered by Ayurvedic ingredients, each product is consciously crafted in vegan, lightweight and silicone-free formulas. We really wanted to celebrate Ayurveda and our Indian culture through our products, so we always hero incredible time-tested ingredients such as ashwagandha, turmeric, amla berry, aloe vera, and so many more. Fragrance was also so important to us to create a luxurious experience, so we’ve worked with a renowned French master perfumer to create intently balanced fragrance blends that are reminiscent of different places in India. For example, our best-selling and award-winning HoliRoots Hair Oil has a divine, luxurious scent of floral Indian jasmine sambac, red champaca flowers, cedarwood and tonka beans, to mimic the heady scents when you visit the Madurai temples.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?

The best piece of advice I’ve received is to worry less, smile more, and live in the now. Worry less is what I live by the most – not only can worrying cause hair loss, make you stress and age faster, but it’s unnecessary! As someone who used to overthink everything, this simple self-care mantra has really helped to give me more trust in life.

And what is the worst?

“You have to be the best at what you do.” I think that you have to do your best, but you don’t have to know everything, otherwise you’ll never find room for change or bring something new to the industry. Sometimes it’s good not to know all the answers so there’s room to grow, and if you think you know everything then you’re likely to fail. You should never be the smartest person in the room!


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What’s the biggest challenge you have had to overcome?

I think almost every entrepreneur can agree that letting go of control is one of the biggest challenges. But that comes with trusting your co-founder or your team and surrounding yourself with good people. I think communication has been a challenge too. It’s such an important skill for any entrepreneur, but I’m naturally introverted and at times have found it hard to communicate consistently. It’s been great for my personal growth.

What’s your future for the brand?

I definitely see Fable & Mane becoming a leader in holistic beauty; in mind, body and spirit. We have great potential to go into experiences and body care, and the go-to brand for head-to-toe oiling.

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