Congratulations on winning the Best Natural Hair Brand Award at BBFA! How did it feel to win?
Thank you! We were completely humbled to be shortlisted as finalists and then go on to win! It’s amazing that our hard work is recognised.
How would you describe your experience in the hair industry so far?
It’s not news that the UK Afro hair industry is run by people who are far from African-Caribbean women but this is changing and is largely due to the consumer driven natural hair movement. When we started Afrocenchix in 2010, the natural hair scene was non existent in the UK. There were very few British hair bloggers and natural products for Afro hair were elusive. Now the movement is in full swing and there are a lot more British bloggers and women around the UK wearing their hair natural, we think this is fantastic!
Last year, Whole Foods Market UK became one of your stockists, how did you accomplish such an envious feat?
Being stocked in all UK Wholefoods stores was a huge achievement for us, we worked hard for almost a year to get on shelves. The buyer at Whole Foods had been looking for products for Afro hair for five years but couldn’t find suitable products that didn’t contain materials listed on their ‘unacceptable ingredients list.’ Whole Foods take their ingredients seriously across all suppliers so it’s a tough job getting in.
What’s your personal favourite product out of your ranges and why?
Joycelyn: I LOVE Smooth, our moisturising cream. It melts into my hair and makes it super soft! I just know that if I am having a dry hair day, Smooth will come to my rescue.
Rachael: It has to be Seal our hair oil. Absolutely love how soft it leaves my hair and my husband is a massive fan of the scent. I use it after washing my hair, for Bantu-knot outs, twists, on everything! I’ve even used it on my skin.
What products would you recommend for transitioners and the newly naturals?
We have a Newly Natural set which contains a shampoo, moisturising cream and oil. In addition to the set we also recommend a conditioner (we are launching one later this year).
We also have a blog packed with tips that transitioners and newly natural ladies will find useful.
Which good and bad ingredients would you advise people to look out for in hair products?
We advise avoiding products with parabens, sulphates (usually found in shampoos and are quite drying to the hair), parfum (also known as fragrance -is an irritant and can cause allergic reactions) and silicones. Most people with Afro and curly hair will struggle with retaining moisture so using natural hydrating products is essential. It’s important that the moisturising product is water based so always read labels and look out for water as the first or second ingredient.
What can we expect to see from Afrocenchix in 2018?
We launched a crowdfunding campaign TODAY to help scale our business. Demand has increased so we are are having a hard time keeping up with orders! We are a small team of three and we manage everything including manufacturing the products. The campaign will allow us to outsource manufacturing and launch two new products — our long awaited conditioner and our styling butter. This will put us in good stead to achieve our long term goals — we want to expand our team by hiring more black women from STEM backgrounds and build legacy within our community. You can support us here