Image: Creative Soul Photography
Lexie P., Teenpreneur, Author, & Founder of Curlanistas, started her hair journey much like all of us, unsure of what to do with her hair and how to love her curls. But through finding hair mentors, practicing all kinds of different styles, creating her own hair products and having the support of her family. Lexie has created a curl empire and she is just getting started! Learn more about this brand founder as she shares insight on how she got her start and where the Curlanista BO$$ Network is going next!
What has your natural hair journey been like? Most memorable moments? Most challenging moments?
It has been a real journey learning to love my natural hair. It was a struggle at first because I was bullied and teased about my hair when I was younger. My mom would make me wear my hair out natural and the kids would call me a bushy tree. I wanted my hair long and straight like the girls on TV. But now I love it, just the way it is. It’s like magic! I can blow my hair out and with rain or water it will curl up. I think in that way it’s really cool.
I also learned that like anything else when you show love, love will love you back. My mom hasn’t done my hair since I was 8, so I learned a lot from doing my own hair. The most memorable moment in my natural hair journey is the first time I styled my hair and wore it out to the mall. My older cousin who I really look up to and also has really curly hair came over and encouraged me to wear my hair out like her. I did and when we went out, I was really nervous, but that day I actually felt like a star, everyone complimented me on how pretty I was and how much they loved my hair. My family all said see we told you. Ever since then I’ve worn my hair out curly and wanted to help other girls to love their natural hair too.
The number one thing I learned is that my hair needs moisture. If I fail to moisturize my hair it will show and will start breaking off. I must say learning what works for my hair was the most challenging thing. I use my Curlanista Magic Detangler daily as a moisturizer and leave-in conditioner it keeps my curls happy and I love it. To achieve your BEST hair, you really have to love and care for your hair in order to get it healthy.
Lastly, a major challenge that I've also had to overcome was learning to turn off the negativity. No matter what you have to love yourself and own your look. I believe God made us all beautiful, you have to learn to love your beauty. Confidence is key!
Describe your natural hair in 3 words. . .
Big, Magical, Powerful
How would you define self-love and how has it played a role in your personal journey?
Self-love to me means loving the skin you’re in and being confident in who you are. I believe we all have a gift and purpose the world needs. Loving yourself doesn't mean you think you're the smartest, most talented, and most beautiful person in the world, but that you know you matter. Learning to love and value myself helped me create my brand and what I know to be my purpose. I believe my purpose is to spread the message of self-love around the world. I call myself a self-love advocate. If I help one girl learn to embrace her natural hair or find the courage to chase her dream, I know I did my job.
Image: Creative Soul Photography
Tell us about Curlanistas hair care and why you decided to create this line...
I saw the need to share my personal lessons about learning to love myself and wanted to help other young girls. In my first book, Curly Girls Love Your Curls, I did just that. I shared a positive message about how loving your natural hair reinforces the importance of self-esteem. I was teased about my hair and I just wanted to help girls going through the same things. I wanted to make my hairline because with my books I taught girls how to love their hair now with Curlanistas I want to teach them how to care for it.
My products make caring for your natural hair easier. I would often get in trouble for making hair lotions which I was inspired to make from youtube and Instagram. My mom saw that I kept using her coconut oil and she said you really should make your own products. People would also always ask me what I used in my hair. I love playing around with ingredients to see how my hair reacts to them. I started sharing some of my concoctions with friends and wanted to just grow Curlanistas even more.
What are some key ingredients? What's your go-to regimen?
Some of the key ingredients found in Curlanista hair care products include coconut oil, aloe vera gel, and my Curlanista Magic secret sauce.
My go-to regimen is to refresh my curls daily with a water bottle and my Curlanista Magic Detangler. My detangler is magic in a bottle! It is also a great leave-in conditioner, which helps to keep my curls soft all day long. I also love using my wide tooth comb to help me with styling my hair. Lately, since school has me busy, I’ve been doing a lot of ponytails and wash and go styles. With my wash and go I use my diffuser and Magic Curl Cream to help define my curls and keep them popp’n.
What made you want to be a mentor to other young women? Who are some mentors that have helped you along your journey?
I wanted to mentor other girls because I know in order to be successful it's important to have a mentor. I know I would not be where I am without the help and guidance of my mentors. I also love helping other girls dream BIG. It's really a passion of mine to see other girls WIN. My mentors are my mom, my grandmas, aunts, big cousins, and Ms. Sharon Page from The Harvey Foundation, and Ms. Rochelle from Alikay Naturals. I owe so much to these women for believing in me.
What do you want young girls to know about caring for their natural hair?
I want them to be patient and moisturize, moisturize and moisturize. Show your curls love by deep conditioning your hair at least once a week and don’t be afraid to have fun and try out new styles.
What is one of the top lessons you've learned as a young entrepreneur that has helped you be successful?
The biggest lesson I learned is to never give up. I faced rejection with an opportunity to be featured on a TV show and wanted to quit my business and just crawl under a rock. My mom wiped my tears and showed me many successful people who also faced rejection, but never gave up. We prayed together and I promised myself to never let rejection shut me down. No matter what obstacles you face just keep going. If I would have stopped two years ago when I faced that rejection I would not have launched my hairline or have experienced all the amazing things I have. I have worked with Instagram, flown around the US, been in Essence Magazine and so many amazing things. You can experience all you want in life if you decide to never give up.