Meet Rolf Heidrich, Mastermind and CEO of Hech and Dr. Steffen Wegener, Food Chemist and Head of Product Development

How and when HECH was born and what is the brand background and DNA?
Rolf:  Our company's roots go way back, long before my time. It all started with my great-grandparents, who were initially classic farmers. Their deep interest in herbal farming laid the foundation for what we are today. My grandmother was particularly passionate about it. Although my parents didn't innovate much in the field, they did start developing products aimed at health benefits, largely inspired by our own family's nutritional challenges. That was the beginning of our journey into what you might call the modern supplement industry. Initially, our focus was on products that supported active lifestyles, including sports nutrition. Over time, we ventured into specialized nutrition, like our collagen-based products. Interestingly, my father didn't initially intend for these to be beauty products. However, we soon realized that these supplements didn't just support the body's ligaments and connective tissues; they also enhanced skin strength and elasticity, which are essential for beauty. So, while we didn't set out to create a beauty nutrition brand, it naturally evolved from our commitment to excellent nutrition that supports both sports performance and overall body maintenance. That's really at the core of our brand's DNA.
What people don`t realize about HECH? What would surprise them?
Rolf: Well, what might truly surprise people is the meticulous attention to detail we put into our product development. My father has always emphasized that being a family business is not just a privilege; it's an obligation. Even now, in his mid-80s, he closely follows what we do. He often compares our work to that of a family of wine growers in France or textile weavers in Italy. It's a craft rooted in tradition and passion. We argue, we refine, and we never compromise. We're always striving for the best, just as a tailor seeks the finest fabric. My dad likes to call it "handwerk," which is the German word for craftsmanship. It's far from just mixing a few ingredients and giving it a fancy name. Every product we make has to be something special—like buying a silky blouse for a loved one or a beautifully tailored suit that not only looks great but also supports your posture. In a world full of loud brands and mass production, I think people would be genuinely surprised by how much care goes into each of our products. It's not just about creating something functional; it's about crafting something exceptional.
Can you give us more details about HECH's scientific approach?
Rolf:  A fundamental aspect of our approach is recognizing that we don't have all the answers ourselves. We are committed to collaboration and expertise. Historically, even my grandmother consulted with a variety of health experts, including local country doctors, to understand the functionalities of different herbs and their selection. We continue this tradition by engaging with a range of experts. It's not just about having conversations with these specialists; it's about diving deep into the science of our products.
For example, when we discuss beauty, we look beyond the superficial aspects and delve into how things function at the cellular level. This is because we understand that to develop a product that truly fosters beauty, we need to start from the fundamentals within the body.
Our team is in constant communication with medical professionals and researchers who help us understand the latest scientific developments. Just as the textile industry uses modern materials developed through extensive research, we invest in scientific inquiry to ensure our products are both innovative and effective.

This dedication to developing the most effective scientific approach comes from our amazing team. A significant portion of them come from scientific backgrounds—biology, chemistry, and food chemistry. Their passion and expertise are what really differentiate our approach. It's this blend of traditional wisdom, expert collaboration, and modern science that defines our company.

What Longevity means to you?

Rolf: Longevity, to me, means supporting the body's functions in such a way that they can operate optimally. It's not about relying heavily on supplements as a cure-all; rather, it's about ensuring the body receives what it needs based on various factors like geographic location, cooking habits, and personal health. In different regions and cultures, nutritional needs can vary significantly, which means our approaches to diet and supplements must adapt accordingly. For me, longevity is fundamentally about understanding and providing the right nutrients tailored to individual needs. Everyone is unique, and deep down, most people have a sense of what their body requires, though sometimes they might choose to ignore it. It's important to listen to our bodies and avoid things that are detrimental, like excessive sugar, which is a major concern today. Ultimately, longevity is about helping the body maintain itself and supporting the natural renewal of cells. It's a holistic approach that considers both external inputs and internal processes.

Steffen: Longevity, to me, represents the fusion of lifespan and healthspan. It's about more than just increasing the number of years we live; it's about enhancing the quality of those years so that we can fully utilize our genetic potential. This concept might sound somewhat idealistic, but consider the current trend: people are living longer due to advancements in healthcare and technology, yet this increase in lifespan often isn't accompanied by an equivalent enhancement in life quality. Many age-related health issues still persist, highlighting a gap between living longer and living well. At HECH, where I focus on product development, we often confront this dilemma. The beauty industry typically concentrates on the cosmetic aspects of aging, but during my doctoral studies, I delved into human physiology, which offered profound insights into aging from a scientific perspective. The real question isn't just about masking aging signs but rather about how we can enable the body to maximize its genetic and metabolic potentials. Creating products that support cellular longevity and vitality means addressing a wide array of factors: oxidative stress, mental balance, nutrient intake, hormonal balance, physical activity, and emotional well-being. Each of these represents a lever we can adjust to not just improve lifespan, but also life quality. Our goal is to develop interventions that enhance both visible conditions and fundamental health, guiding our customers on their personalized paths to longevity. This holistic approach ensures that when we extend years to life, we are also adding life to those years.

We`re launching two revolutionary and pioneering products that our Muse community can`t find anywhere and I’m so proud of this exclusive Launch collaboration.

Can you share more details about these two products?

Rolf: Our first product builds on our longstanding expertise in the collagen industry. We're not just continuing with traditional collagen; we're enhancing it. We call this innovative product "Triple Woven Collagen." It's akin to weaving a perfect piece of cloth, combining beauty, sustainability, and durability. This product includes two types of collagen and collagen peptides, plus elastin. Science has shown that these types are known to hold specific roles: supporting connective tissue and enhancing elasticity. In terms of scientific integration, we're very careful about how we combine ingredients. It's not just about mixing; it's about ensuring compatibility to prevent any potential damage to the collagen. We include carefully chosen polyphenols that interact effectively with the collagen.

As for our newest product, it's based on NADH, a vital coenzyme in cellular energy production. This product is particularly exciting but still in the developmental phase, but just like our collagen product, it reflects our commitment to science-backed health solutions. Our experience—forty years with collagen and over twenty in beauty collagen—really sets us apart in our ability to innovate effectively in this space.

Steffen: Ruby Advanced Collagen Elixier is designed to optimize the body's use of collagen during periods of rest and recovery. Unlike the common practice of consuming collagen indiscriminately, our research underscores the importance of timing. Consuming collagen in the evening, or during downtime, aligns with the body's natural repair cycles, enhancing skin health and strengthening connective tissues. It's crucial to avoid taking collagen with high-protein meals to prevent the body from converting excess protein into fat, rather than utilizing it to rejuvenate tissues. We exclusively use fish collagen, steering clear of the more common but less sustainable bovine or porcine sources.

This choice is not only ethical but also driven by quality, as fish collagen is renowned for its bioavailability and must be explicitly labeled due to allergen concerns. Unlike other brands that might use generic "collagen" without specification, our commitment is to transparency and quality. Moreover, HECH has pioneered the Woven Collagen System, which integrates three distinct types of molecular collagen peptides with elastin peptides. This system is crafted to address the complexity of the body’s needs, moving beyond simple supplementation to provide a foundation for more robust and resilient connective tissue.

Emerald Green Elixier, on the other hand, embodies a holistic approach to longevity, grounded in the principle that true beauty stems from internal health and metabolic balance. This elixir supports cellular longevity through a rich blend of micronutrients and NADH, a critical component in cellular energy transfer. NADH is like a biochemical battery, essential for numerous biological processes including cell division, DNA repair, and growth. This focus on cellular energy is especially relevant in aging and neurodegenerative research, highlighting the potential of NADH in clinical applications. At the tissue level, marine peptides in the formula bolster connective tissue strength, which is vital not just for skin integrity but for the overall structural support of the body. The blend also includes potent plant extracts like saffron, spirulina, and monk’s pepper, known for their anti-oxidative properties and their roles in hormonal and mental balance. These ingredients are particularly effective in combating the underlying causes of aging and physical degradation. To ensure the efficacy and stability of these complex interactions, our Emerald Green Elixir utilizes a sophisticated bi-phase system. This technology separates sensitive ingredients into different phases, with some housed in the lid and released just before consumption. This meticulous design safeguards the ingredients from oxidation and degradation, ensuring that their full potency is delivered effectively. Both products represent HECH’s dedication to pushing the boundaries of health and beauty products, not merely through superior ingredients but through a profound understanding of biological processes and innovative formulation techniques. These efforts reflect our deep commitment to not just enhancing beauty but enriching health through

science-backed solutions.


Steffen:  Working on the NADH & Saffron Bioactives and Triple Woven Collagen & Elastin products has been an extensive and rewarding process. Much like parenting, which I can relate to as a father of two, developing a product requires immense passion and commitment. The journey often spans over nine months to a year and involves meticulous research, laboratory testing, regulatory reviews, and sourcing the right ingredients. Occasionally, we might even need to start from scratch if certain aspects, such as an unusual taste from a key ingredient, don't align as intended.

For the Triple Woven Collagen & Elastin, our major challenge was sourcing the right ingredients. We aimed to create an innovative connective tissue and skin formula by combining various types of collagens and connective tissue proteins, which required us to establish unique partnerships. This was a pioneering effort, especially in an industry predominantly focused on type I collagen. It took over a year to compile all the necessary components of the formula, including collagen types I and III, collagen tripeptide, and elastin peptides, all derived from marine sources.


Regarding the NADH & Saffron Bioactives, the biggest obstacle was perfecting the production process. We chose a bi-phase system to maintain long-term stability and efficacy of the active NADH.
This required numerous test productions to achieve the right formula balance, with a powder in the lid that was non-hygroscopic, non-sticky, compressible, yet still dissolvable when mixed with the liquid phase. Achieving this, along with incorporating a playful interaction of colors between the powder and liquid, took considerable effort. After numerous trials and overcoming various challenges, we finally succeeded in creating a product composition that I am genuinely proud of, akin to the pride of a father.

NADH is so important in terms of Longevity – can you exactly explain why and what are the benefits?

Steffen: As I mentioned earlier, longevity involves enhancing both lifespan and quality of life. NADH stands out in the realm of nutrient supplementation due to its robust scientific backing. This compound is crucial for cellular energy production and impacts aging, particularly benefiting neurological functions and overall cell life cycle. Naturally produced by our bodies, NADH production declines with age. While physical activities can enhance mitochondrial function—boosting NADH production—the aging process often outpaces these gains. Supplementing with NADH has shown significant benefits at the cellular level, helping maintain the energy needed for the body’s natural repair, regeneration, and growth processes. Disruptions in cellular energy can lead to various aging symptoms and health issues. At HECH, we recognize the potential of NADH as a scientifically supported anti-aging tool and are pioneers in making it accessible for everyday use to help combat aging effectively.

There are too many Collagen products out there and clients are often totally lost. You formulated the highest-dose collagen I have ever tried and even much more than that. You go beyond Collagen, can you explain what was your motivation and what are the key benefits?

Rolf: Yes, the market is totally saturated with collagen products, but our approach is fundamentally different. We're not just following trends; we're leading with innovation. Our motivation stems from a commitment to quality and efficacy. Unlike some brands that may source any available collagen, we meticulously curate our collagen sources. For example, all our collagen is derived from fish—specifically the thin layer just beneath the skin of a fish, which is a very pure and effective source. Our products go beyond standard offerings. We combine different types of marine collagen. Collagen Types that science has shown to be akin to those found in human skin or connective tissues. We enhance these with peptides and elastin to create a more potent and specialized product. Each formulation is carefully thought out. Regarding dosage, we've always prioritized efficacy over cost concerns, which is why our liquid collagen products are exceptionally concentrated—up to 1300 grams per bottle. This high dosage ensures that the body receives enough collagen to be effective, especially important since skin renewal cycles are about six weeks.

Our doctors recommend this approach, particularly for patients undergoing skin treatments like enzyme peels or laser therapy, to support skin recovery. Our driving force is to create products that are more than just a supplement; they're a comprehensive health solution. Even as we launch a product, our team and scientists are already advancing to the next stages of development. This continual innovation is what truly sets us apart in a crowded marketplace.


What is your personal mantra?

Rolf: My personal mantra is "trust is my currency." I firmly believe in never deceiving a customer or compromising on the quality of our products. We always aim for the best ingredients, regardless of market fluctuations or supply chain challenges. Even a couple of years ago, when costs surged, we maintained our standards because our customers deserve premium quality. If you ask anyone on our development team, they'll confirm that our mantra is to aim for the highest point of entry in quality. We never debate over using cheaper ingredients just to cut costs. Our customers can feel the difference in quality, and their feedback is a testament to this. We build trust by consistently delivering something special. Ultimately, if you think about what luxury truly means, it's not about handbags or clothes—it's about your body. Your body is your only true luxury, and that belief deeply influences both my personal approach and our company's ethos.

First thing you do when you wake-up and last thing you do before going to sleep?

Rolf: The first thing I do every morning for more than 30 years is drink a glass of water with lemon and unpasteurized apple cider vinegar. It's a simple habit, but it really helps kick start my day by hydrating my body after a night's rest. As for the last thing I do at night, I always spend some time reading. It's a great way to unwind and relax my mind before falling asleep.

What´s your favorite travel destination?

Rolf: That’s an interesting question. I've had the privilege of living in several dynamic cities around the world, each playing a unique role in my life and career. I refer to New York City as my mentor, Hong Kong as my lover, and Tokyo as my mysterious friend. These cities have inspired much of what I do today. However, my favorite place is actually closer to home—Westerwald, similar to the Black Forest but less known. It's a forest-driven area where I grew up, nurtured by grandparents who loved nature and a grandmother who treated me with herbs whenever I was unwell. This upbringing instilled in me a deep appreciation for natural wellness and the importance of roots. These experiences have shaped my understanding of people’s needs in different cities. Nowadays, I see a shift in what people seek—balance, good sleep, digestion, and mental focus. While not all needs can be met with nutritional supplements, understanding these emerging needs informs our product development. Something that is really important to me is giving back to communities, which is why we support various charities focused on mothers and children. This connection to my roots and my global experiences is what truly makes the region where I grew up my favorite destination.

What´s your holy grail supplement?

Rolf: While I might hesitate to single out just one, if I had to choose, I would say NADH currently holds that title for me. It’s incredibly effective for cell replication, cell health, and boosting cellular energy. Additionally, I place great value on zinc. It's a fundamental mineral that I believe in deeply because of its numerous health benefits. Both NADH and zinc are crucial to maintaining my health and


Life Changing book you read?

Rolf: There have been many – but perhaps a first eye opener into deeper health was sometimes in the 1990s, when I picked up Deepak Chopra’s earlier books, especially "Perfect Health." It had a profound impact on me and really changed the way I think about health and wellness. It’s one of those reads that sticks with you long after you turn the last page.

Favorite meal to eat?

Rolf: I truly enjoy a variety of foods from different countries, but nothing compares to the meals I grew up with. My favorite has to be the home-cooked meals from my childhood—balanced dishes with homegrown vegetables, some potatoes, and a bit of meat. It’s not just about the flavors, but the connection to my upbringing. Whenever I return to my home country, it’s like returning to those roots. I think it’s similar for anyone, whether they're from Japan, Mexico, or anywhere else. There’s something deeply satisfying and right about enjoying the food from where you grew up—it just feels like it’s what your body needs.

What is the best piece of advice you`ve ever received?

Rolf: The best advice I’ve ever been given is to be kind to strangers. It’s about investing in the world, in others, and providing opportunities without passing judgment. This idea of the kindness of strangers has been a mantra in my family for generations. We've always maintained an open-door policy at home, symbolized by a special plate at our dinner table. This plate, passed down from my great-grandparents, was always reserved for any guest who might knock on our door. I still have that plate, and it continues to remind me of the importance of hospitality and kindness.

What we can expect for the future of company?

Rolf: That’s probably the question that excites me the most, and ironically, it’s also the one that might involve me the least. I’ve committed myself to listen more to the next generation—to really understand what they're looking for in terms of products, ingredients, application, and even packaging. I’m genuinely curious about where they will take us. The future for our company looks very bright.

We are learning constantly, not just from our longstanding customers but from emerging ones and from advances in science. Yet, we never forget the lessons we’ve learned from nature, which is fundamental to our approach. Our goal is to continue providing solutions that support and enhance lives through superior nutrition. We're also focusing on sustainability, exploring high-caliber topical solutions, and maintaining a consumer-focused approach. This will ensure our products remain unparalleled in the market. The world is tough enough, and if our company can make it a bit easier and healthier for people, that’s a future worth striving towards.