It’s a beautiful time to be an entrepreneur.
Black women, now more than ever, have been able to launch their own businesses and build their own brands using social media to market their product. Many women of color are leaving the traditional work life behind and exploring what it means to be their own boss, which is why it is extremely important to support our Black women-owned businesses.
Black women have made lucrative strides in the hair care industry. Black haircare is a cultural staple we are committed to as a people. We take our weaves, braids, and natural hair very serious. Along with each personal statement exuded with every style, we feel a pride in our healthy, natural (or permed) tresses. In honor of Women’s History Month, we interviewed three entrepreneurs who started their own business in the haircare industry. Each woman will be featured for the duration of March.
Hairstylist Talibah Stewart has been doing hair for over 20 years. If she is skilled in anything, it’s how to maintain a head full of healthy hair. Traveling between New York City and Colonial Park, Pennsylvania, Talibah uses her Alwayz Pretti Hair Care products on every client she comes into contact with. They’ve all become a walking billboard for her growing hands.
As an entrepreneur, it is important to have several streams of income. With styling hair being Talibah’s primary source, she recognized the need to dig deeper. “My inspiration for launching my hair care line was wanting more for myself. I knew I wasn’t interested in having a salon, but still wanting to be in hair care. I genuinely love healthy hair and want it to be affordable for women no matter there financial background.”
Although Talibah has been styling hair for over 20 years, she’s only been developing her products for the last two years. “I’ve been researching what works best on all hair textures to grow and nourish your hair follicles,” she said. “My products help strengthen and grow textures by nourishing the follicles and and hair shaft. It’s what goes in your hair will eventually transform the outward appearance of your hair. Keeping your hair moisturized will prevent breakage as well. Hair to me is in a category of healthy or not healthy. This is why I made a product that can be used on both chemically treated and natural textures. Back to the original way of how we take care of our hair. Those days of when we sat between our grandmother, auntie or mommy’s legs to get our scalp greased!”
Talibah is a hair chameleon. She switches her look up practically every other day. “I am 100% natural. Up under these wigs and weaves I have all my edges. I love the natural movement, but I also see nothing wrong with wearing protective styles,” she said. “To me the natural hair movement is just going back to your roots and childhood. The healthy simple way of taking care of your hair. Watching what you’re putting in and onto your body. Your scalp is still an extension of what goes into your body. What is applied on your skin, enters into your body. So just being more healthy. I love it but I’m not into categorizing what women want. Whether natural or not.”
The Black hair care community is not at a deficit when it comes to products. Fortunately Talibah doesn’t feel there’s a blow when it comes to the over-saturated market. “I don’t deal with it as far as a saturated market is concerned. What is for you will be. I firmly believe in that. Stand by a true product that delivers results. I don’t want to put out anything I wouldn’t use. There are a million companies doing the same thing and all selling so why not be true and learn from one another?” she said.
If you’re interested in starting a business, Talibah wants to offer some words of wisdom. “My advice to anyone wanting to start a business is to just start! Dont wait till things are perfect, start where you are, there are so many thing that can help you. Be the first to believe in you and the rest will follow. People love sincerity. Put a product out there that you believe in. Once you start, you can always build and become better.”
Supporting black-owned, women-owned businesses create a blueprint that empower the rest of our peers. It’s great to highlight entrepreneurs who are already in target, but what about the ones who are on their way there? You can follow Talibah on Instagram @AlwayzPrettiHairCare, and you can learn more about her business at www.AlwayzPretti.net.