Who doesn’t love to know how a beloved and successful brand got started? It’s interesting and heart-warming to learn that many of our tried-and-true brands started in a kitchen or from a setback. I have to say I am especially fond of women-owned businesses and for obvious reasons, and I am even fonder of the minority-owned ones. It makes me realize how an idea backed with passion and hard work are more than enough to turn a dream into reality. 

Many of us know how the staples in the natural hair world like SheaMoisture and Carol’s Daughter got their start but what about others that have kept maintained quality products and committed to their consumers? We love our curls, coils, and waves and they do too, so sit back and learn how these wonderful women manifested their dreams and gave us stellar products to keep our tresses gorgeous!

Eden BodyWorks

Mission: EDEN BodyWorks provides natural products that integrate wellness and beauty inspired by nature to restore and maintain the hair and body’s original design.

Founder Jasmine Lawrence was frustrated at the tender age of 11 when her hair was damaged and breaking badly from a bad relaxer experience. Her hair began to fall out, which was an embarrassing and traumatic experience for the pre-teen. From there she vowed to never use chemicals again on her hair and she began researching for creations she could make for her hair because she could not find products without harsh chemicals. At the age of 13 she became CEO and founder of hair care brand EDEN BodyWorks.

That was almost 11 years ago and EDEN BodyWorks is flourishing with the same founding principles of using natural ingredients that have been used from the start. The products are formulated without petroleum oil, mineral oil, and sodium sulfates. The focus of EDEN BodyWorks is to “strengthen and repair all hair textures – whether relaxed, natural or somewhere in between.”

Jessicurl

Mission: To help curly heads everywhere learn to love their curls!

Jess McGuinty, founder and CEO of Jessicurl, had straight hair until her coming-of-age at 14. She was at a total loss for what to do as her hair began growing coarser and eventually curling. As her curls grew so did the mean comments from other kids and she began to truly dislike her curls and how hard it was to manage. Desperate for tips in 2002 she did a simple curly hair search on Google and came across NaturallyCurly.com. From there her life began to change!

She was immediately enveloped in horror stories from curlies with similar issues. After trying many products from recommendations and not finding any that truly worked, Jess came across a DIY with flaxseeds and gave it a try. It was less than ideal but after some tweaking with other natural ingredients she came up with concoction that gave her the hair she has always wanted. After sharing her newfound recipe she found many who would rather just have her make it up and they buy it from her. From there the Jessicurl Rockin’ Ringlets Styling Potion was born in September 2002 right out of her own kitchen. She says, “The path to loving our curls is not easy, but many of us have made it and many are in the process. I’m honored to be a part of that journey.”

OBIA Natural Hair Care

Mission: To produce pH balanced, non-toxic, herbal-based hair care products for women and men with natural hair.

Founder and formulator Obia Ewah is a trained chemist with bachelor degrees in chemistry and biology along with a master’s in public health. During her third year of medical school she became sick and as a result became cautious about the foods and products she ingested and applied to her body.

After she did the big chop in 2010 she was hard-pressed for hair products that worked great for her hair and aligned with her need for health-conscious ingredients. She began tinkering around with formulations and came across concoctions that worked wonders for her hair and OBIA Natural Hair Care began in 2012. The entire collection is vegan and does not contain mineral oils, petroleum, sulfates, artificial colors, drying alcohols, silicones, or gluten. 

Curl Junkie

Mission: To offer effective alternatives to the hair care products currently available for curly hair types.

Marsha Coulton, the owner of Curl Junkie Hair Products, LLC, is a licensed cosmetologist and the product developer for the line. The line was inspired by a suggestion from a student back in her beauty school days. She was annoyed with the lack of options for herself and her clients because of their textured hair, and with only $100 Coulton bought essential oils, base ingredients, and began mixing up products at home. Many of her clients were asking if they could buy her custom-blended conditioners and in 2005 she realized she had the beginnings of a product line.

In 2006 she quit her job, started creating her hair care products full-time right in her home with only $5,000 in start-up expenses. With her marketing major and her computer savviness, she was developing products, mixing, packaging, and even shipping right from her house. Curl Junkie promises a “development of unique and effective, naturally based hair products that can answer the needs of anyone who wants easy to style, beautiful, & healthy, wash and go hair.”