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Horst Rechelbacher Passes Away Today at the Age of 72

It's a sad day for the professional beauty industry and the planet, which have lost a passionate friend: Horst Rechelbacher.

Rechelbacher, who passed away today at the age 72, was the founder of Aveda and Intelligent Nutrients. To know Horst was to wake up the world around you. He ushered in a new way of thinking in our industry that made an indelible impact on salons and stylists--one that lives on to this day. If you'd like to share your memory, story or thoughts about Horst, please email

According to Rechelbacher’s family, he passed away peacefully on February 15th, surrounded by family members at his home in Osceola, Wisconsin. A lifelong environmental activist and crusader for safe health & beauty products, he fought pancreatic cancer just as passionately. We know many will mourn Horst along with us.

Rechelbacher founded Aveda in 1978 and later sold it to Estee Lauder in 1997. He then started Intelligent Nutrients, a company that specializes in organic, nontoxic health and beauty products. His vision, commitment and creative genius were legendary. He forever changed the beauty industry, yet his commitment to creating a better, more aware world through sustainable products never stopped.

About the Author

Kelley Donahue

As Editor in Chief of American Salon, Kelley Donahue reports on all aspects of the professional beauty industry, including salon business-building strategies, seasonal hair and fashion trends, salon services and techniques, and timely issues impacting manufacturers, schools, salons and distributor principals. In addition to conducting photo shoots--one of which was the recipient of an ABBIES Award for Best Magazine Cover--Donahue also travels extensively throughout the U.S. and abroad, sourcing out new trends and representing American Salon at major industry functions and educational events.