1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I have resided in Florida for most of my life (my hometown is Lakeland, FL). For 2 years, I lived in the Washington, D.C. area. I graduated from the University of South Florida in May 1989 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Marketing. I also hold a Project Management Professional Certification. After working 26 years in the utility industry, I launched CurlyCoilyTresses®️! I have always been a Fashionista, genuinely loving all things fashion and beauty. And, I sincerely love the creativity my relatively new role affords me.
2. How long have you been natural and what would you say influenced your decision to go natural?
I began transitioning from chemically-enhanced hair to naturally-textured hair in July 2013. I completed the ‘big chop’ in March 2014 and have been completely natural since. I decided to transition to natural hair to enhance my overall hair health and to mitigate allergic reactions occurring post-chemical treatments. And, I also wanted to pursue overall healthier living and nutrition.
3. What inspired you to create CurlyCoilyTresses®️ Hair Care?
Beginning in mid-2013, increased allergic responses caused a repeat of allergy and patch testing that had previously been completed in 2003 and 2004. My September 2013 allergy and patch testing results identified fragrance as an allergen (as well as several other allergens). While I was able to identify suitable alternatives for other cosmetics, I had great difficulty identifying hair care options for my naturally-textured hair. Ninety-eight percent of conditioners, 96% of shampoos and 97% of hair styling products contain fragrance. Given how ubiquitous fragrance is, it is almost impossible to find a fragrance free product that works with your hair, skin, and other needs. In addition, studies have shown that even some fragrance free brands contain fragrance allergens (i.e., masking agents -- chemicals (including fragrances) used to alter or neutralize an unappealing odor). (Source: WomensVoices.org Is Your Favorite Company Holding Out on You?).
Almost 20% of the general population is sensitized to at least one allergen, and fragrance is one of the most frequently identified substances causing allergic reactions. Fragrance allergy affects 2 to 11% of the general population. This translates to tens of millions of people globally affected by fragrance. Women are disproportionately impacted by fragrance allergies, and the rates in children have been rising dramatically in the last few decades. (Source: WomensVoices.org Secret Scents).
After spending considerable time evaluating fragrance free hair care options in the US, Canada and the United Kingdom, I started crafting hair care products for my own use in March 2014. Then, in January 2015, I offered my products for retail purchase. As I have spent a significant amount of time researching ingredients and formulations, I feel I have crafted an amazing product offering beneficial to both women and men. All of my products are fragrance free, unscented and without masking agents. I have chosen recipes with the fewest ingredients needed to accomplish optimal results on fine to coarse natural and chemically-enhanced textures while minimizing chances of other allergic responses. My products are pH balanced, deeply moisturizing, and hydrating. I avoid synthetic ingredients, parabens, dyes, chemicals, harsh preservatives and phthalates. My initial three products are available now: Enrich Moisturizer, Nourish Treatment and Organic Pumpkin Seed Oil. Other products are forthcoming!
4. What makes your brand different from other natural hair brands?
The CurlyCoilyTresses®️ difference is to only craft products that are: Effective, enriching, ultra-nourishing textured haircare in minimal-ingredient, carefully-curated formulations. Clean, plant-based, ageless, genderless, cruelty-free, vegan formulations. Rejuvenating to chemically- and physically-damaged hair restoring its youth-like luster while calming porosity. Organic, wild-harvested, thoughtfully-selected ingredients. 100% fragrance, scent and masking agent free. 100% guaranteed.
5. Where can your products be purchased?
6. What advice would you give to someone considering beginning a natural hair journey of their own?
Be open, creative and willing to step outside your comfort zone. Natural hair is quite different from chemically-enhanced hair. It will take trial and error, and trial and success to identify your ideal products and styles. Be patient. Focus on hair health, rather than length. Not every product will be successful. Not every style will be successful. Learn and cherish your hair uniqueness. Understand your hair porosity, width and density. Porosity is a measure of how well your hair absorbs and retains moisture. Width is a measure of the thickness of your individual hair strands. Density is a measure of the number of hair strands within a 1 square inch section of your scalp. All hair textures require moisture and hydration. Moisture is derived from water-based products that can be absorbed and retained by your hair. Hydration is derived from products that simultaneously reduce moisture loss and increase moisture content (i.e., from products containing hydrolyzed proteins, silk amino acids, hydrolyzed oats, clays, humectants, etc.). You will need to identify your optimum moisture and hydration levels. Network with other Naturalistas and share successes and failures.
7. Are you currently working on any new projects or endeavors? If so, please tell us about them.
I am working on a few different projects and initiatives that will enhance my brand awareness and reach. I am also working to expand my product offering. Additional details will be forthcoming soon!
8. Where can we find you on the web?
Facebook: CurlyCoilyTresses and Curls, Kinks and Conversations