In 2017, Ameka Coleman received a vision from God to start her own company and operate in her purpose. As a Type 4 Natural Hair Enthusiast, Ameka felt some curly hair types were more glamorized in the media than others, so she utilized the power of social media to inspire and build a community to show the beauty and versatility of type 4 naturalistas. Now, as the CEO of Strands of Faith, she’s on a mission to teach others how to embrace their God-given natural hair while promoting self-love and community.
To start, will you please tell us about your company’s history?
Strands of Faith was launched in February 2018. It was born due to passion meeting purpose. I have always had a strong passion for embracing natural hair and went over and beyond to educate myself and others on the process of returning natural. However, God knew His plans for me all along because He led me to create the company accompanied with a strong vision to do so. In hindsight, everything that I have done in my life has led me to this moment. It is surreal when I actually think about it. My scientific background has helped me to formulate the products. My MBA has helped in the business sense of things. My trial and error hair journey has given me first hand experience to truly relate to the struggles of others who deal with the same. The only way I can explain how Strands of Faith came about is that it came full circle. It was His plan for me all along. I am simply grateful!
Have you always had a passion for natural hair and hair care?
Yes indeed! My passion stems all the way back to 2006 when I first returned natural. The freeing and liberating feeling that I felt in that moment was the driving force behind me wanting to encourage other women to embrace their God-given beauty in the way that their tresses naturally grew from their scalps.
I went on a recruiting spree and gradually converted everyone who I encouraged to eventually return natural themselves. I do understand that some people still prefer relaxers over their natural textures due to the maintenance etc. and there is nothing wrong with that choice. However, the issue that I am encouraged to get people to overcome is to actually truly love their natural texture and to not let the reason for relaxing to be solely because they hate their texture.
I have also always had a strong desire to educate women about growing their hair and letting them know that the shoulder length hair that they’ve always had their entire life is not their end story. Our hair grows when properly cared for!
Tell us about your Faith of Strands collection
Our initial collection is the Holy Grail Collection, which includes 6 products that focuses on moisturizing the hair for Hair Types 3/4. The entire collection was personally formulated by me utilizing my research and scientific background. My main focus was to create super quality products that did not have harsh ingredients such as phthalates and parabens. Our products are handmade in small batches.
Since our initial collection, we have added 3 additional products to our offerings. We have products that will get your tresses right from the start (wash”> to finish (style”>.
In your professional opinion, what are the most effective ingredients for Type 4 curls?
I believe it is the combination of ingredients that matter most. For example, our line is formulated with 4 key and awesome oils/butters including Kukui oil, Babassu Oil, Baobab Oil, and Shea butter. I have found that this combination and the percentages used are great at moisturizing type 4 curls.
However, in general, Type 4 Beauties usually have great results with heavier type of butters as they do a great job in further sealing in the moisture once the hair has been properly moisturized.
What is your favorite natural hairstyle to wear and why?
My favorite styles have definitely changed throughout the years as my lifestyle has changed. In my earlier natural days before having kids, I used to love doing styles like rod sets (flexi, perm, curlformers”>. These styles are fun and super cute but they are also tedious and time consuming.
During my childbirth years (2015-2019″> which seems life most of my life lol, my favorites leaned towards quick and easy styles such as freestyle updos, mini twists, and occasionally twist outs, or bed head lol!
Lately, surprisingly, my favorite style has been the wash-n-go! I used to despise the wash-n-go because for kinky textures like mine if they aren’t done in a correct manner they could lead to single strand knots, matting, tangling etc. However, the key to getting longevity with a wash-n-go is to style it once and then let it gradually do its own thing. No manipulation after the first set. Our styling custard has been essential in allowing me to achieve a healthy wash-n-go!
What curly and textured hair concerns does Strands of Faith address?
Our products are all about restoring the moisture balance. We believe that moisturized hair is the key to length retention. There are many products on the market that emphasize hair growth, but truth be told there are no hair oils, potions, or pills that will grow the hair beyond the length that it was already intended to grow. The caveat to this is if there are any health related issues preventing hair growth.
Otherwise, the main focus should always be “length retention”. A healthy head of hair is constantly growing at a normal speed. Most people think they have a hair growth issue when in reality they have a length retention issue. And mostly what’s happening is that the hair is breaking at the same rate it is growing. This is why our products focus heavily on restoring moisture. If your hair stays moisturized while it is growing, you are guaranteed to reach all of your hair length goals. I have proven this strategy with my own hair, as I have been able to grow it to waist length.
In your opinion, which of these factors is most important to consider when purchasing hair products: hair density, hair width, porosity, curl pattern, length, or something else?
I believe that symptoms are most important when searching for products. For example, dry hair, damaged hair, brittle hair. The first step is to identify the symptoms and then to work backwards from there. However, porosity, density, curl pattern all have their place as well. Usually, you can tweak a product to meet these specific needs if it’s a product that already works well for your hair.
For example, someone with low density may only need a dab of our twisting butter whereas someone with high density could use more. Most of our products are buildable according to the individuals hair needs. Also, most times a person won’t know how a product works for them until they try it. What may work for someone who is 4b, high density, low porosity may not work the same for someone who is 4b, low density, high porosity. It’s all trial and error!
What advice do you have for burgeoning hair care and beauty entrepreneurs?
Know every aspect of running your business. All the ins and out. In the beginning, you don’t need to be an ‘expert’ in all things, but you definitely should learn how to do all things until you’re able to get to a point of outsourcing your duties.
For example, I know how to make my product, label, package, ship them, handle customer service, all aspects of marketing including email and influencer, manage social media for all of my profiles, and the list goes on! Some of these things I’m still doing and some I’ve already delegated to others. In the end, the true goal is to be the CEO of your business and to not necessarily constantly work in it, but to continue expanding the vision!
Having a good mentor/coach is a blessing, but don’t allow the lack of one to stop you from moving forward. Google has been my biggest mentor to date! Most of the things I’ve learned while being in business came by way of simple research.
Also, no one is going to have the same passion and vision for your business as you do so you have to be willing to put in the work even during the tough times. There’s no such thing as becoming an overnight success. You don’t plant the seed today and reap the harvest tomorrow. Put in work, have Faith, and allow God to do the rest!
What can we expect to see from Stands of Faith in the next year or two?
Wow! This question has my wheels spinning hard. I’m a visionary so it’s kind of hard to not think of the endless possibilities. However, right now my main focus is be sensitive to hearing from God and the direction He wants me and the company to go. This is my true season of having “faith”.
To stay connected with Strands of Faith, follow along their journey on Instagram to see what’s new.