Kelly Foreman, center, didn't want her daughter to dislike her curls as Kelly did when she was a girl.
When Kelly Foreman created the MopTop line of products four years ago, she wanted help her daughter embrace her curls in a way she hadn't as a young girl.
But Foreman's enterprise has become so much more, connecting her with people from California to New York who share a common bond and enabling her to have an impact on their lives. She has heard heart-breaking stories from women of all ages and ethnicities about the emotional scars they've suffered because of their curls and kinks. In one case, she met a woman who shaved off her curls and wore a straight-haired wig.
She has spent hours meeting with stylists who want advice about how to work with curly hair and has done mini frizz interventions at people's homes.
"I am exactly where God has called me to be right now," Foreman says. "I'm so grateful for this opportunity. I set out to create products and I'm changing lives. It's truly amazing."
Growing up with tight, corkscrew hair in humid South Carolina, Kelly Foreman was called "Fuzzy" by her classmates. She dreaded rainy weather and swimming pools, and subjected her curls to the ravages of blow-dryers, hot rollers and chemicals. Combs broke in her hair. Nothing she tried could tame her mane. Even her own mother struggled with how to manage Foreman’s frizzy curls, cutting it so short she looked like a boy.
Now a mother with three daughters of her own, Foreman launched the Mop Top line of products – a sulfate-free, alcohol-free, silicone-free line specifically designed for curly, frizzy hair. Fuzzy Duck, a children's line of products for curly, frizzy hair, followed. She has since added a Pomade and a Deep Conditioner to the line.
In April, Foreman plans to launch her Leave-in Conditioner. She enlisted the help of NaturallyCurly members to name the product and got dozens of suggestions. She said the product already is getting rave reviews from testers, including a former Miss Texas who has begged her for more after trying it.
As Foreman has added new products, she continues to tweak the existing line to make the products more eco-friendly as well as compliant with European Union standards.
"With three daughters, I want to have the best, safest products out there, as close to perfect as they can be," Foreman says.
While she works to expand her MopTop and Fuzzy Duck lines, Foreman has not lost sight of why she started MopTop in the first place.
She was 30 before she began to accept her curls. Looking at her damaged hair, her hairdresser encouraged to wear her hair natural. He suggested she use moisturizing products to get it back into shape.
So over the next five years, she tried a wide range of products — from inexpensive drugstore brands to exclusive salon brands. She also became a student of curly hair, reading everything she could on the subject. As she struggled to find the ideal combination for her curls, she began concocting product in her kitchen. One day, she called up a friend in the cosmetics industry and said, "Hey, I have a wild hair. Do you know anybody that could help me make some sample products?"
She said she had added incentive because her middle daughter had hair just like hers.
"I want my daughters to embrace how they were created," she says. "If you were created with straight hair, that's great. But if you were born with curly hair, that's not something we should struggle with. I want people with curly hair to embrace this wonderful blessing we have."
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