In You Heard It Here First, Bustle's editors introduce the coolest up-and-coming beauty brands you should have on your radar. Here, celebrity hairstylist Andrew Fitzsimons opens up about the launch of his hair care line, his highbrow taste in fragrance, and his initiatives to protect and support the trans community.
After what seems like endless — and oftentimes empty — collaborations and eponymous brands being launched by celebs, beauty lovers may be relieved to see a launch from a well-seasoned pro. With 21 years of experience styling celebrity hair (Kim, Kourtney, and Khloe Kardashian, Jennifer Lopez, and Megan Fox are just a few of his famous clients), Andrew Fitzsimons is launching his very own hair care line at Ulta.
“My agenda in hair care and for my brand is to create quality products so people can see their natural state at its most beautiful,” Fitzsimons tells me. “[I wanted] to create something for people to use for themselves and to help them see themselves the way that they really are.”
We meet in downtown Manhattan at Maesa headquarters — the beauty incubator company he’s partnered with that also helped launch TPH by Taraji and Flower Beauty — to talk about a launch that’s been four years in the making. The line consists of five inclusive collections (23 products total) that target specific hair concerns. Since inclusivity and accessibility are two major pillars of the brand’s ethos, each product is also only $14.
“If you have a big budget and everything's $40, you could literally do everything and it's very, very easy,” he says. “[But] what makes something luxury is the details being thought about and every hair type being thought about [at an accessible price point] from the inception, and not as an afterthought.”
No matter which product you reach for, each contains a proprietary protein complex, called the AF Bonding System, that is deposited to restructure and strengthen hair from the inside out.
“Hair care for a long time was trying to mask things because the technology hadn't caught up yet. One of the biggest breakthroughs is bonding technology, but before it was unattainable for so many people because it was so expensive,” he says. “To be able to put it in all of my products and to have the kind of brand that is innovative enough to be able to [make] hair health the baseline is what I wanted to create.”
Fitzsimons didn’t just stop at making sure the performance was top-notch: He wanted his line to be immersive. Each bottle is encased in bold bright colors with ’70s-esque lettering to give off fun retro vibes, and each specific collection tells its own story through scent.
“I love multiple-use products. I wanted each set of products within my brand to have its own identity, to have its own experience,” he says. “I wanted the scent to reflect what it does and what that world is.”
Prism Shine is true to its name in providing hair with a glossy finish, and its hot pink appearance and sweet scent is meant to evoke happiness. Body Volume amps up limp hair, and he wanted a soft “flirty” scent to match the red hot bottle it comes in. Virgin Repair works to revitalize damaged strands and its creamy, avocado scent is meant to smell like “technology.” (“I wanted it to smell like it’s doing something,” he explains). Fantasy Curls has delicious warm notes based on the nourishing and moisturizing ingredients found in the formula, like shea butter and vanilla. Lastly, the styling products have a muskier aroma to round out the collection.
A self-proclaimed fragrance snob (ICYWW his three favorites are Tom Ford’s Oud Wood, Nenuco’s Agua De Colonia, and Diptyque’s classic Baies, which he says makes him want to smell like a rich person’s home), Fitzsimons’ made sure each scent was intentional and elevated. The scent is likened to prestige fragrances you’ll find in today’s market — and thanks to another proprietary complex, the luxurious smells last for up to 72 hours. This collection is a natural progression of his experience and creating it came very naturally to him — up until having to come up with product names.
“Naming products is the most difficult f*king thing on the f*king planet,” he jokes. “Can I just tell you that every name has already been taken as a baseline?” (For future launches, he’d like to take this time to copyright “zhuzh” if it’s not already taken.)
Building on Fitzsimons’ Trans Cosmetic Donation Program and the brand’s support of the London LGBTQ+ Community Center, he also aims to bring awareness and create a network of community centers that will support one another and bring resources from all over the world.
“I started the Trans Cosmetic Donation Program not only to have the beauty industry come together and create a physical act of help but also to start a conversation,” he says. “‘Why do we need a Trans Wellness Center? Who does it support and why?’ These issues are vital and there's just no time to be wasted, especially now when we see things happening [on what feels like] a daily basis.”
He explains that there isn’t much structure to trans organizations nationally — or globally. With trans rights being attacked now more than ever, he stresses the importance of educating others and building a bigger support system to protect the trans community.
“I want to be able to spread that message and allow people to do what they can to support the trans community,” he says. “If it is just having a conversation with somebody, if it's just educating themselves and the needs of the trans community, all of that is positive.”
As for any other wisdom he wants to impart to the beauty world, he urges everyone to be wary of hair TikTok. “Don't trust TikTok for self DIY haircuts because it's not going to turn out like the girl who rehearsed it 70 times,” he says. “Don't cut your own fringe.”
Andrew Fitzsimons Hair Care is available now at ulta.com.
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