The main event: Fable & Mane

We’ve covered many a journey in this series so far so, just in time for their third birthday, let’s have some Fable & Mane energy on here!

Nikita Mehta’s own history with hair fall led her to revisit traditional methods of haircare. Akash Mehta was tired of the South Asian toxic beauty standard of fair skin and wanted to instigate change. Pain points combined with a passion to create Fable & Mane. These siblings took the internet by storm with their take on ayurvedic hair products. They meshed old traditional knowledge with new-age needs to create a haircare brand like no other. 

The brand made six-figure sales within a week of launching in India and has changed the game in the rest of the world, from New York, where Fable & Mane hosted an all-out launch, to the UK, where I have now had the chance to try their products out. You’d wonder where Nikita and Akash gleaned their haircare knowledge from and the answers lie in multiple places — perhaps their grandparents, who passed on Ayurvedic traditions to them, their father, whose drive to build a fragrance empire could have inspired them to venture on their own business debut, or Nikita and Akash’s dream to share their heritage with the world. Perhaps a little of it all!

The newest launch ‘MahaMane’ has turned heads and smoothened hair left, right and centre. We asked the founders a couple of questions about it, and dove a little more into the Fable Fund, the way that Nikita and Akash want to give back.

MahaMane is taking the internet by storm, and the pop-up at Selfridges is a part of that. Why did you decide to take this launch a step further with the head massage?

Our Selfridges hair oiling bar was all about showcasing our much-loved HoliRoots Hair Oil and the new MahaMane Smooth & Shine Hair Oil; to show our customers how to use both oils together for double the strength, and double the shine. The ritual of head massage is an intrinsic part of Fable & Mane, and it’s been passed down through generations in our family, which is what inspired the brand. We believe that all hair care should start with a ritual: head massage being the first step to relax and ground yourself in the present moment, followed by your cleansing, conditioning and then styling.

Can you tell me a little about the Fable Fund? How did it come to be and what do you hope to achieve?

The tiger, and what it represents, is weaved throughout our brand — from the packaging, to where our fable starts: in the heart of India, going back 5,000 years, with the tiger as the guardian of harmony between the forest and life on our planet. The tiger stumbles across nature’s beauty secrets, using herbs and plants to heal wounds. Despite the harsh environment of the forest, the tiger’s mane is strong, healthy and thick. The tiger is an important emblem of India, but also an animal that we’re passionate about so in 2019, we set out to create the Fable Fund Trust to support conservation initiatives in India and Africa to reduce human-wildlife conflict and restore the habitat of wild tigers. To date, the Fable Fund has donated over $100,000 (with a goal of $1m) to wildlife big cat protection charities and provided education, employment, and training to over 50 communities to support its big cat mission. We are truly passionate about this initiative; this year, we’re looking to film a documentary in 2023 to raise awareness of our Fable Fund and the work we’ve been doing since its inception both in India and Africa, and our inevitable exit in several years will be going to our Fable Fund predominantly, and not our pockets.

What is the best part about being a founder of Fable & Mane?

The best part of being a founder of Fable & Mane is that every day is different; it’s a fun adventure! We get to travel the world, share what we love, and see our passions come to life with the brand. One of the biggest highlights is helping the wild; to see a tiger in the wild is just an incredible experience, and that experience has also made what we’re doing with the Fable Fund that much more critical.

What’s next?!

We’re working on some exciting new products to extend our MahaMane ritual range. Expect to see more leave-in hydrating products soon… Watch this space!

What did I think?

I got to try a few of Fable & Mane’s products, including their newly launched MahaMane Smooth & Shine hair oil. Before I begin waxing on about how soft it left my hair feeling, I’ve got to talk about the SahaScalp Wild Ginger Purifying Scrub. I live in London so my scalp is coming out of winter feeling a little worse for wear. I’ve always had a problem with dandruff that topical fungal shampoos helped ease (might be TMI but a lot of us have been there), but the dry skin winter leaves behind is a different issue entirely. I won’t say the problem’s gone and that I can start wearing black again, but the scrub definitely exfoliates my scalp. And when I follow it up with the SahaScalp Cooling Scalp Mud Mask, I almost feel like a new woman again. Both of these products get a five-star review for me, especially because they don’t have an anti-dandruff promise attached to them — they simply overperform, much like the other products I’ve tried from Fable & Mane. The HoliRoots Hair Oil now has a permanent place in my very complicated hair oiling routine (it’s a form of self-care for me). The HoliRoots Hibiscus Hydrating Hair Oil Mist smells SO FREAKING GOOD and I feel like Cleopatra wafting her sensual scents as she walks on by. As promised, the new MahaMane hair oil locks in moisture after a good long hair bath, and a little bit really goes a long way. If it wasn’t obvious already, I’m now a Fable & Mane fan — a huge one.

To shop Fable & Mane’s existing collection, head to their website. Don’t forget to check out their Instagram page to stay updated with what they have going on.

Aishwarya Viswamitra

Aishwarya is a science communicator with a keen interest in lending words to diverse voices. When she's not got a Google Doc open, you can find her window-shopping on Instagram or playing with her cat (Diwali).

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