We often hear from readers who like a certain product, but wish it had more of certain butter or didn’t have certain oil. They are frustrated mixtresses who wish they could create their ideal product. That’s why Mala Rhodes opened the 1-year-old Gourmet Hair Café in Los Angeles Rhodes, owner and CEO of the AfroVeda line of haircare products, wanted to create a place that would make it easy for people to concoct their ideal product. The Gourmet Hair Cafe is the first of its kind, blending and customizing conditioners on the spot just for you and your hair and scalp needs!

Being product junkies at NaturallyCurly, we couldn’t wait to ask her more about the Gourmet Hair Café.

NC: How did you come up with the idea for the Café?

Mala: The Gourmet Hair Cafe™ opened last year as part of AfroVeda's retail boutique in Grand Prairie, Texas, and is a brand new concept in hair care.

We had been customizing hair conditioners for ourselves and staff members for a few years simply because we could. Then, with our customer base becoming more conscious about the ingredients in their hair products, and our own promotion of conscious hair care, we decided to take it to the next level and offer it to walk-in customers only. It was a huge success and our customers enjoyed the whole experience. We knew we had just ventured into something great!”

Now located in Los Angeles, we currently operate at pop-up shops throughout the greater Los Angeles area while we prepare our permanent location.

NC: How does it work when a custom comes in?

Mala: A consultation with an AfroVeda professional will help determine the exact needs of your specific hair/scalp, not just what your hair type is, but what YOU need for your specific hair/scalp and for your preferences. Then your product will be made "on-the-spot" and given to you to take home. Only those ingredients that YOU select and want will be used. The customers can choose from such botanicals as:

  • Licorice Root for combatting chronic dry scalp issues
  • Amla and Marshmallow Root for hair conditioning
  • Sea plant extracts for conditioning and moisture
  • Hydrolyzed proteins for strength
  • Ancient Ayurvedic herbs that help promote hair/scalp health, as well as combat hair thinning & hair loss
  • Curry Leaf and Bhringaraj for hair growth

NC: What is the benefit of a custom blended product?

Mala: Studies show that custom-blended skin/hair care products may be up to 400% more effective than traditional off-the-shelf products. That’s because they’re blended on the spot and never sit on the shelf, losing their potency. Off-the-shelf products can sometimes be months – and even years – before you finally buy them. That means the custom-blended product will contain the highest level of active ingredients and the lowest practical level of preservatives. Also, since it’s made only for you, it will contain only those ingredients you need and only those that will benefit you.

NC: Has the Café helped the AfroVeda brand?

Mala: Creating these custom conditioners has been an incredible asset to our business. Customers love the idea of choosing their own ingredients with the knowledge of what each ingredient will specifically do for their hair and scalp. And then they get to watch me make it for them while they enjoy a cup of tea or just browse the store for other hair products. It’s a great way to make lasting connections with customers and build relationships, and I personally love the chat time!”

NC: When can we expect to see a Café near us?

Mala: AfroVeda plans to expand the Gourmet Hair Cafe™ to a few major markets in Los Angeles, New York, Texas and Georgia in the next five years.

This post is sponsored by AfroVeda.