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BB Man Q&A: David Alfonso, Hanz de Fuko Co-Founder

When David Alfonso and Christopher Zent started Hanz de Fuko in 2009, they launched with a single versatile hair styler fit for any guy's mane: Scheme Cream, offering medium hold and shine. Five years later, their haircare assortment teems with unusual and niche formulations, from dry shampoo-styler hybrids to conditioning hair serums. We caught up with co-founder Alfonso (pictured above right, with Zent) to discuss Hanz's unique and ever-expanding lineup, and to get the story behind the brand's even more unique name.

BB Man: Where does the name “Hanz de Fuko” come from?

Alfonso: The goal was to create a name representative of the culturally diverse backgrounds of ourselves and San Francisco—where the company was founded. Each word is ethnically opposite from the others yet they’re together and born as one. If Hanz de Fuko were a real person, he’d be a renowned raconteur, cultural chameleon, and walking contradiction. You might find him sipping rum in an Irish bar, regaling patrons with tales of his childhood in Japan, while composing an email in German.

BB Man: How did you go about developing the durable, grainy Quicksand?

Alfonso: Funny you ask! Quicksand was actually a botched formulation. It was never approved for mass production, much less introduced to the public. But since our manufacturer had over 75 gallons of the stuff and we had a high-profile trade show to attend at the time, we decided to turn it into sample giveaways. We dubbed it “purely experimental”—a formulation providing “amazing gravity defying texture with zero weight.” After handing out over 400+ samples to random attendees, the end result was a hit! It became the ultimate go-to product for achieving “sea salt spray,” “dry shampoo,” and “root volumizing” effects all at the same time.

BB Man: Cocktailing—mixing at least two products together—is big with your customers. Which do you recommend for modern styles?

Alfonso: The Quicksand + Modify Pomade cocktail is definitely the best for high and tight or undercut styles.

BB Man: Do you have any new stuff currently in development that you can discuss?

Alfonso: Absolutely! We’re going into the final stages of approval for a coconut and hemp oil pre-conditioning elixir for the hair and scalp. It’s a pH-balancing root stimulator that will not only moisturize, and detangle the hair, but promote blood flow as well. We think it’s going to be a huge hit for those seeking stronger, thicker, healthier hair.

More on Hanz de Fuko:

BB Man Test Drive: Hanz de Fuko Claymation
Video: How to Style Your Hair with Hanz de Fuko Claymation
Video: Quicksand + Modify Pomade Hair Cocktail

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