Urban Girl Magazine spoke with natural hair product line pioneer, Taliah Waajid about what sets her line of products apart from all other natural hair product lines, how practicing as a hair stylist has shaped her into the hair care business owner she is, how loving her own natural hair has taught her given her an advantage and how you can become successful at the hair business yourself.
Waajid says her products are unique because she’s the customer, hair stylist, and the owner of her own hair products.
“The products are based on my many years of experience as a natural hair care professional and a professional hair stylist that has always educated my clients on the benefit of chemical free hair care. Also I have several different brands we have Curls, Waves and Naturals, and the ingredient base there is Shea butter and coconut oil. And also we have the Kinky, Wavy, Natural for Children, which focuses on great de-tangling conditioners and moisturizers that help moms to really de-tangle the hair on contact.”
What was once a line for products for women with natural hair has expanded to a line of products perfect for the entire family. Waajiid has something for everyone, even the men! She explained her men’s line and her newest and most natural line of products to date.
“…We have a men’s care line called Uncle Jimmy’s which are different items that range anywhere from beard to body, to facial, to skin products. We also have the Shea Coco which is our most natural line, it’s over 98% natural ingredients. And my newest line is protective styles, which was formulated to take care of your hair underneath your protective style. That would be underneath your braids, your wigs, your weave, because we often neglect that hair under there.”
Taliah Waajid’s products are different because she is not only the owner of hair products but the customer as well and her line of products specializes in all hair types.
“What makes my brand different is that I really know the customer because I am the customer and I’ve been that customer for years and I have something for everybody. Any texture of hair you may have any curl pattern we provide that product and we provide it chemical free and its healthy.”
Natural hair was always something Waajid was knowledgeable of because her mother didn’t allow her to relax her hair until she was well into high school.
“My mom would not let me have a relaxer in my hair until I was 16 or 17 is when she finally gave in [and allowed me to relax my hair]. Having natural hair for so long forced me to learn how to deal with my own hair. I had to learn how to comb this coily, kinky hair, and shampoo it and create styles because I was a teenager and all of my friends had relaxers, so if I wanted to be cute too I have to figure out this hair thing and through that I learned to really like my hair and I stopped trying to imitate so much and embraced what I had and came up with creative ways to style my hair, and I thought I was cute.”
As we know although natural hair is becoming more and more popular daily some women are still hesitant to reveal their natural hair in corporate work place settings. Waajid shared why she thinks that is and what will help women to become more comfortable with their natural hair in the work place.
“A lot of women are ready, they have the confidence and they really want to [wear their natural hair in the work place] but there are a lot of conflicting information out there in terms of what their hair will do so its really a matter of learning your hair texture and what will work for your hair…. They need to have to right information as in what will work for them and then they’ll just go ahead and do it because the confidence is there. There are so many different natural hair styles that are beautiful but if you don’t know how to achieve them that can be a challenge.”
Knowing the customer’s need is what has kept Waajid so driven to expand her product line over the years.
“For me since I’ve always been close to the consumer, like I said I am the consumer, and then I spent years of servicing those consumers as a hair stylist I just feel very connected with them and I just understand the struggle I know what women are going through. I keep coming up with these product lines to try to fulfill that need and to give them what I know they need. I know what they need because I’ve done the hair, I’ve listened to the stories, every product line that I come up with is based on: What does the customer need? What’s missing in her hair care regimen? Coming up with new product lines is always based on the customer.”
For women looking to break into the multi billion dollar hair industry Waajid says to always keep the customer in mind.
“If you want to be successful you have to keep the client in mind, you have to keep their need in mind, and of course come to my show the World Natural Hair and Lifestyle Show,” Waajid said with a chuckle.
For more information on the Taliah Waajid World Natural Hair and Healthy Lifestyle Show 20th Anniversary happening on April the 22nd and 23rd, visit naturalhairshow.org.
For more information on Taliah Waajid hair products visit naturalhair.org