At the time when Gwen Jimmere invented a new haircare product, she didn’t know it was going to be a success. She also didn’t know she’d be the first African American woman to hold a U.S. patent for a natural haircare product.
The natural hair industry is estimated to be a $2.7 billion industry, and it’s under a resurgence. For Gwen, when she saw the documentary Good Hair by comedian Chris Rock, she quickly realized how unhealthy most hair products were to use. She also learned how the industry was often led and owned by those not purchasing the product.
All of that is changing, and Gwen is helping to lead the way.
“I grew up in a household where if you can’t find it, you can make it,” she says. “I created the Moroccan Rhassoul 5-in-1 Clay Treatment out of necessity. Having natural hair can be very time consuming and expensive, taking two or three hours to complete your haircare regimen on what we call wash day and costing hundreds in haircare products each month.”
As a new mom, she didn’t have time anymore for two to three-hour wash days, so she developed something that would allow her to cut time. Gwen was also troubled that many products labeled as natural actually didn’t appear to have many natural ingredients. So she invented her own, and when friends of friends -- and strangers -- started to buy her product, she knew she was onto something. In 2013, she formed her company NATURALICIOUS.
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