As a kid, I dreaded my wash days. My long, thick curls were too much for my mother to handle. By age six, my mom had enough of trying to comb my hair and introduced me to the creamy crack, thus, starting a long journey to learning how to love, accept and manage my hair.
Thanks to entrepreneurs LaTrice, LaToya & LaTasha Stirrup, they are redefining wash days with their innovative hair tools, Kazmaleje (pronounced cosmology). The Stirrup sisters launched the brand to limit the breakage and knotting of Black hair, and elevate the wash-day experience. “We developed these products for the consumers who were frustrated because they were tired of long wash days, breakage while detangling, and hair tools that just didn’t work. Instead of waiting for a big brand to create something for us, we decided to do it ourselves,” LaToya explained in an exclusive interview with HelloBeautiful.
Kazmaleje works on all hair types, but it thrives in textured hair. Not only is it designed to eliminate breakage, but it is also made of sustainable plastic that is tender to your hair and the planet. “Many of us combed/brushed our hair and have broken the teeth off the comb or found the teeth of the comb stuck in our hair. We dealt with these pain points because that’s what was on the market. We felt we could address some of these things in our product design to create a better wash day experience that allows us to feel good about our hair and not fall down that rabbit hole of good hair, bad hair,” she continued.
As far as sustainability goes, Kazmaleje is certified Plastic Neutral by an organization named rePurposed Global. “It’s a major accomplishment,” LaToya said. “What that means is that with every hair tool, we donate a percentage of the proceeds to the organization because they help fund other companies or organizations worldwide that are doing innovative things regarding waste management. We offset our plastic use by removing an equal amount of environmental waste, which allows us to be plastic neutral. So while there is a huge focus on the environment being clean beauty, even as a small brand, we have taken measures to make sure that we are doing what we can in this space to lessen our carbon footprint and consider the environment.”
“That level of sustainability has been a part of our ethos from the beginning because, again, we prioritize our hair tools’ sustainability, sturdiness, and durability. We wanted to ensure we weren’t creating something cheap, fast, and something that wouldn’t break easily and cause you to go back and repurchase it. We wanted to create something that was quality, that was thick, that could stand up and comb through dead thick, luscious hair without you being in a position to replace it frequently,” she continued.
Wash Day as Self Care
Our wash day experience is something that begins from a very young age. Depending on how your parents did your hair, you either developed a love or disdain for the weekly routine. My mother’s impatience with learning how to care for my mane is the reason I got my first perm at the age of six. I know many Black women who share that experience, causing them to take time to learn their child’s hair. Because Kazmaleje hair tools are so gentle, the wash day experience feels more like love and less like a chore.
“We’ve had moms come up and hug us because they’re like, ‘oh my gosh, you have completely changed wash days with my kids and me because now I’m not running behind them.’ They’re not crying. It’s just a completely different experience. We’ve had moms send us pictures of them combing their daughter’s hair, and she’s falling asleep. How many of us had experienced that as moms, or even when we were little? Think about what that experience was like growing up. And for some, it was traumatic. For some, it was very painful. I think that ties into how we relate to hair. Especially within the black community and the story around hair care, the importance of hair, and our crown, There’s a lot to unpack, and being innovative in this space is huge,” LaToya explained.
“We often say the brand is turning pain points into moments of self-care. Our products aim to reconstruct wash days by elevating the experience and removing the things that make you feel bad about it or make you not want to do it,” she continued.
Welcome to Target
Want to know where you can find Kazmaleje? Besides visiting the brand’s website, you can now shop them in your local target.
“We launched in target this past January, which has been amazing, and we’re also now available in Salon Centric’s marketplace online. That allows us to connect with hair stylists nationwide, and we’re continuing to innovate and develop relationships with other retailers. That way, we can get our hair tools in as many hands as possible,” LaToya said.