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For Kechi Agbasi, the wakeup call came while browsing through some photos of herself at a conference.

'The photographer had taken the photo of the presenter, so of course the back of my head was photographed,' she recalls. 'I was so shocked at what I saw. I had no idea that my hair was in such bad condition. It was broken all over the place. It is at least three different lengths and if you looked closely, you could see my neck through my hair.'

Agbasi, a Web developer, vowed to change the condition of her hair, and began taking a closer look at the products she was using on her texturized hair. What she learned was that her hair products were loaded with chemicals, some of them harmful. She began making her own products, using her own knowledge of aromatherapy and essential oils to craft them from natural ingredients.

Her dry, damaged hair now is thick and healthy. And her product line, Long Lovely Locks, now is available for sale (click here).

'I did an extensive amount of research, and challenged myself to create products that were above and beyond what's currently out there,' Agbasi says. 'I'm hoping the public will feellike I do about my products.'

Her line includes 12 products, such as Ginger Gel-O, Honey Silk Pre-Shampoo Hair Masque, Curly Custard, Braid Out Boyaux and Coconut Hair Milk. The products contain natural ingredients such as aloe vera gel, cocoa butter, olive oil, cranberry oil, jojoba oil, mango butter, grape seed oil, macadamia nut butter, rosemary essential oil and honey. One of her goals was to take the guesswork out of haircare. Too often, she says, people have to combine several products to get the desired result. All of her shampoos, for example, are cream-based to clean as well as condition. This month, she is coming out with Curls de Light, a light gel that moisturizes as well as enhances curls.

'I'm constantly creating things,' she says. 'I'm using what I've learned from the products I've made to create other products. My mind is always working.'

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