These Siblings Turned the Ancient Indian Hair Rituals of Their Youth Into a Cult-Favorite Haircare Brand

For Akash and Nikita Mehta, haircare is a family affair.

The sibling founders of Fable & Mane turned the Indian tradition of hair oil massages from their childhood into an Ayurvedic haircare brand that's quickly become known for efficacious products that strengthen hair and promote growth.

The brand launched during the pandemic with one hero product: HoliRoots Pre-Wash Hair Oil Treatment, a treatment with ashwagandha and dashmool that promotes scalp circulation and strengthens the hair. Through word of mouth and customer reviews, the Pre-Wash Hair Oil Treatment has quickly become a cult-favorite product.

"In India, people pretty much oil their hair daily. But in the Western world, many people had never oiled their hair in their life," Mehta says of scalp care's rise in popularity. "It's wonderful to see people open their minds to the importance of taking care of your hair and scalp."

Here, Mehta shares the importance of Ayurveda har rituals to the Indian community, his tips for incorporating hair oil massages into your routine, and more.

What inspired Fable & Mane?

Growing up, my sister and I were surrounded by Ayurveda hair rituals. The name Fable & Mane comes from the rituals my grandma used to do to our hair while reading us incredible fables. Unfortunately, our grandparents passed away, and we started looking to our roots and traditions. My sister and I realized the market didn't have any Ayurveda haircare brands, so we wanted to create products we could still enjoy with our busy schedules while celebrating our childhood memories. 

What are the haircare benefits does Ayurveda offer?

The main thing to know is that Ayurveda is a 4,000-year-old ancient science that's been passed down for generations. The benefits of being time tested and proven. The ingredients are natural herbs and oils that have been proven to help hair growth and provide essential nutrients to the scalp. It can be especially effective to pair the ingredients with a head massage because it increases the blood flow in your scalp. This is really what we're trying to bring to the haircare industry: incredible ingredients that are proven to provide essential vitamins and nutrients to your hair, along with the ritual associated with them.

With scalp care rising in popularity, what do you think is one misconception people have about hair oils?

First, it's important to understand your hair type and the condition of your scalp. Once you have your foundation, next comes figuring out what oils your hair and scalp needs because there are different types. One differentiation is pre-wash versus leave-in oils. Finally, you need to factor in your wash days, because sometimes less is more. As a rule of thumb, I say use a pre-wash treatment once a week. For leave-in treatments, listen to your hair type and recognize how easily your hair absorbs oil. If it absorbs oil easily, you may be able to top off your hair throughout the day as needed, whereas hair that doesn't absorb oil as easily may only use it once every few days. 

What product from the line do you think is an essential in any haircare routine?

Definitely the Pre-Wash Hair Oil Treatment. It's the hero product and it has all of the best Indian Ayruveda ingredients in it. Ashwagandha is an adaptogen that encourages hair growth and dashmool is a blend of 10 roots that promote calmness and wellbeing, and it also smells really good because our scents are created by the same perfumer as Dior. We've seen the best consumer feedback through word of mouth and consumer trials. It's a product I feel confident giving to anyone without knowing the history of their hair and scalp. Also, it's an easy way to incorporate a ritual into your haircare routine. 

What do you hope to see change in the haircare space?

From a business perspective, I want stores to increase shelf space for haircare brands. I want haircare to get the recognition it deserves through retail, online, and social media. With COVID, salons were closed and people started looking beyond styling and how to actually fix their hair at the root, so the category has seen a lot of growth. Personally, I want to see more collaboration less competition. My mission isn't for everyone to have a full Fable & Mane ritual, but to have at least one Fable & Mane product in their cabinet. Together we grow stronger, so more collaboration is my personal goal in the haircare industry. 

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Shop Fable & Mane’s Haircare Products

Related Items

HoliRoots Pre-wash Hair Treatment Oil

Powered by Indian adaptogen ashwagandha, Fable & Mane’s pre-shower oil strengthens hair from the root and nourishes the scalp to create optimal growth conditions. It’s designed for all hair types, including color-treated hair. 

HoliRoots Hair Mask

Coconut cream, mango butter, and banana sound like the recipe for a delicious smoothie, but they’re also the hero ingredients of Fable & Mane’s hair mask. Together, the fruits treat dry, damaged, and frizzy hair. 

HoliRoots Shampoo

Dry, dull hair has met its match in Fable & Mane’s daily shampoo. Tiger herb and coconut moisturize and strengthen strands, while aloe soothes the scalp.  

HoliRoots Conditioner

The companion to the brand’s shampoo, this conditioner works to smooth hair and support scalp circulation. 

SahaScalp Wild Ginger Purifying Scrub

As satisfying as a body scrub, this physical exfoliator removes product buildup, balances the scalp, and stimulates the hair follicles without stripping skin. 

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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