A notice posted on Aveda's website says Horst Rechelbacher died in Osceola, Wis., on Saturday after an illness.
Rechelbacher was an Austrian immigrant who founded the company in 1978. He started with one salon that he turned into larger company that he eventually sold to Estee Lauder Cos. for $300 million.
Aveda sells hair-care and skin-care products for men and women.
Aveda Global President Dominique Conseil says Rechelbacher will be remembered for his vision and leadership. She says in a statement he brought holistic beauty to the industry, "connecting hair, face and body as one."
The St. Paul Pioneer Press says Rechelbacher was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2011.