The child of a white French Canadian mom and a Black Guyanese dad, Stacey Canfield was born with a head full of tight ringlets.
When she was young, Canfield was routinely turned away from several salons because nobody knew what to do with her hair. With no resources available to her and no experience with this hair type, Canfield's mother cut her daughter's hair short.
'My mother had such hardships with my hair,' said Canfield, who resides in Brantford, Ontario, Canada. 'I don't think either one of us realized just what this was doing to me inside. I felt that my hair was ugly, and that it made me ugly too.'
After years of texturizers, braids and extensions, she decided to cut off all the damaged hair.
'I felt like I was meeting my hair for the first time -- completely natural in both texture and color,' Canfield said 'I couldn't believe I used to think I had ugly hair!'
Now the challenge was to find products that worked with her natural hair texture -- a challenging endeavor that eventually led her to create Blended Beauty, a line of natural haircare products for curly and kinky hair.
'After realizing which ingredients gave me the effects I needed, I tried to find these ingredients on their own to make my own concoction,' Canfield recalled. 'But I never thought I would make my own hair product line. I thought only large companies do these things.'
It wasn't until a neighbor introduced the stay-at-home mom to some natural handmade body products that 'it hit me like a ton of bricks!'
'I already knew what I wanted in a product and I realized that I had everything in me to create my own line of products,' Canfield said.
Once she decided to embark on the venture, she researched ingredients for months, searching for the perfect mix of moisture, definition, frizz-fighting and soft hold. She found her education and background in chemistry and biology were well-suited for this kind of work. Her favorite ingredients are aloe, soy and murumuru butter.
The line, which has been an overnight success, includes cleansers, conditioners, spritzes, lotions, butters, masks and puddings. Canfield designed it with her own moderately textured hair. but after sharing the products with others, she found they also work on finer wavier hair as well as the kinkiest Type 4 hair types.
All Blended-Beauty products are made in small batches for freshness. They contain no heavy greases, irritating chemicals, silicones or alcohol. They are almost 100 percent natural.
'My cream shampoo is so unique and perfect for all hair types,' Canfield said. 'I've been told it's addictive.
Stay tuned for more new Blended Beauty products in the coming months, including a light lotion for fine hair and a pure butter -- shea butter softened with avocado and sunflower oils -- product for Type 4 curls called 'Butter Me Up!' She plans to launch a body care line with the same 'SBlended' scent -- short for splendidly blended -- as well as a facial line. She also wants to create a clothing line for curlies.
'I believe that everyone should be fully comfortable and content with their hair and the total 'package' they were born in,' Canfield said. 'I know know there is no such thing as ugly hair! Blended is beautiful.'
Canfield's products are available at CurlMart and www.blended-beauty.com