If you’ve been on CurlTalk recently, you’ve probably heard the buzz about the Flexi-8.

“It doesn’t pull at hair the way the clips and barrettes did,” Windflower said.

I love my Flexi-8s! Every time I wear one I get several compliments that day,” says Magoo.

The Flexi-8 is a unique, flexible barrette that is especially adept at holding thick, curly and coarse hair. It uses an ingenious, patented locking mechanism to secure it in your hair and comes in a seven sizes and wide variety of styles. It is made out of stainless music wire, which creates enough tension to hold the hair and keeps it lightweight.

The Flexi-8 got its start 17 years ago, says creator John Dorsey. Originally, he created and sold beaded chop sticks, and that evolved into the unique figure-eight design with a sliding, locking pin. He launched his web site eight years ago.

“Friends say I created the Wonder Bra for hair,” says Dorsey. “Nobody had ever done anything like it before.”

Although he did infomercials and got his Flexi-8 into the top chain stores in the United States, craft shows have been the key to the Flexi-8’s success, Dorsey says.

“When people see it, they love it,” Dorsey says. “Now we get most of our business through referrals.”

There 275 different Flexi-8 designs available on the site, and Dorsey says he is always coming up with new designs and styles. He gets the beads from around the world.

“We wanted to create a wide variety of designs to appeal to different tastes,” Dorsey says. “You have to design, design, design. You need to give customers a reason to come back.”

The most popular design is the Celtic knot. Other popular designs include hearts, butterflies and dragonflies.

The Flexi-8’s popularity with the curlies of the world comes from the ability to customize it to different textures. Unlike many hair accessories, which have a one-size-fits-all approach, there is a Flexi-8 for every hair type and length, Dorsey says. The site provides information about how to find the right size for your hair type.

“It bends around the hair and is fitted based on the thickness of the hair,” he says. “It’s almost like a pair of shoes. Hair is such a personal thing for women.”

Now for a limited time, when you buy four Flexi-8s, you get one free.”

Michelle Breyer

As co-founder of NaturallyCurly.com, a website for curly hair she began with her business partner and friend, Gretchen Heber, Michelle Breyer helped create the leading community and resource for people with curly hair. Frustrated by the lack of information on curly hair and the limited products available in the marketplace, the duo launched the site in 1998 with the help of a 14-year-old web designer. When Procter & Gamble called three years later to advertise to the NaturallyCurly.com® audience, Breyer knew they had indeed created a force in the industry, providing helpful information and unparalleled expertise for what was then considered a niche market.

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