Derlyne's Hair Journey
Going natural, or returning to our natural roots as I like to call it can be a very difficult decision for many of us. I have heard all types of negativity towards women of color who wear their hair natural (free from chemical relaxers), and can understand why many are hesitant to make that transition. Society has always embraced European textured hair and many of us have been programmed to view our hair textures as unattractive, or nappy. My first attempt at going natural was in 2010. I had been using relaxers since age 8 and started watching a lot of YouTube videos that gave me the motivation I needed to make a healthier decision for myself. I don’t know about any of you but I never looked forward to relaxers. I loved the aftereffect which was soft, manageable hair but the burning sensation, I could do without. I would always say to myself as I’m sure many of us have “no pain, no beauty”. I look back now and just laugh because I have now come to the realization that natural hair is beautiful.
Doing my first Big Chop felt liberating but I experienced a brief relapse in 2012. My decision to revert back to chemical relaxers had nothing to do with me not loving my natural hair, but had everything to do with my inability to be as versatile with my hairstyling options. Being natural is no joke. In my honest opinion, it is harder to maintain natural hair than it is to maintain relaxed hair. Being natural requires that you maintain a strict regimen to prevent breakage and promote growth. This can be difficult if you have a busy schedule like I do. I began to experience some breakage and decided to do a second Big Chop. This time around, I was determined to keep my promise to myself and never use chemical relaxers again so I began searching the web for options for natural haired women. I stumbled upon a few sites offering clip-in hair extensions and weft extensions but I noticed a recurring theme. Though each website I visited claimed that one bundle would be to complete a full head, all the models were wearing two bundles of clip-ons which made it difficult to make a decision as to whether purchasing one bundle would provide me with the coverage I was looking for.
Journey to Launch
My decision to launch my own natural hair extension business has been met with many challenges. This is not for the faint of heart. It requires a lot of hours of research and hard work making certain all areas of your business plan have been addressed. Because of my limited budget, I could not afford models or makeup artist for the shoot. My daughter Breanna and I modeled the products and I did both our makeups. The shoot took about 3 hours, and I learned a lot during that experience which will help me make better decisions.
One of the biggest challenges I faced was designing the website. I have vested countless hours making certain that I have included every element I would want to see on a website as a customer. I worked with some amazing developers who assisted in making my vision a reality. Buyers will have access to product information, video tutorials, instagram gallery, and more without having to be re-routed to a different site. I also had to do extensive research to find the right suppliers for the hair, and packaging. In the end, I made some great connections and I am fully confident buyers will be pleased with their purchase. I wanted to make certain that one bundle of clip-ins would be sufficient, and also allow buyers to see what the product would look like with only one bundle installed. The only exception is the 24" length clip-ins. Two bundles had to be used to achieve full volume because of the length. Our bundles contain 10 clip-ins sets, comes in 16, 20, and 24 inches, and each bundle weighs between 120-130 grams for maximum fullness. In addition, we offer weft extensions, closures, and custom coloring.
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