TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Farouk Shami is officially thrown his hat in the ring, joining the race for Texas governor as a Democratic candidate. But it is what's under that hat that has helped build his empire. Shami has revolutionized the hair-styling industry with his Chi and BioSilk product lines.
"Oh my gosh, he was our hero," said Ashley Loden, with Salon Kalea Day Spa. "He made natural curly hair easy to fix!"
"The Chi flat iron is probably the most popular item on the market," said Lisa Minor, with The Rage Salon.
Shami's base of operation is in Houston, which keeps expanding, employing thousands of Texans. His products are sold around the world.
"When I go up to stock market I'll be worth about $3,000,000,000," said Shami. "That makes me the richest hairdresser in history."
His is truly a rags to riches story. A Palestinian immigrant who worked part-time as a hairdresser to pay for college, he fell in love with the art of hair-styling and eventually opened his own salon in north Houston.
But Shami was soon advised to get out of the business because he was allergic to ammonia-based products. Instead of quitting, he invented his own line.
"He does flat irons and blow dryers and products, and he's a house-hold name," said Minor.
Loden met Shami at one of his hair shows and says he seems like a true Texan.
"[I] love his boots," said Loden. "Yeah, I've heard he's pretty flamboyant. Oh very flamboyant. I love his boots, he has a red pair of boots that I'm in love with."
"Forty-two pairs of red boots only," said Shami.
Could we see those red boots in the governor's mansion one day? Shami sure hopes so.
"As the next governor of Texas, I will dedicate my life, my energy and my experience to bring stimulus economy to the state of Texas," said Shami. "We will create jobs for everybody who needs jobs for the state of Texas."
Shami says Texas needs change and that his experience in building a debt-free billion-dollar exporting company would help him run the state.