Natural Spotlight: Curls Of The World

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Meet Rhian, the proud owner of Curls Of the World, a natural hair care company located in Atlanta, Georgia. Here's her story...

1 month post big chop
Congratulations on starting your company. Can you tell us a little bit about how you came up with the idea for it?  
Thanks for the congrats!  It has always been important to me to use products that are 'pure' (i.e., natural ingredients including natural preservatives) but when my kids were born (my son is now 5 and my daughter is 3) using natural products became even more important.   When I went natural, I knew that I wanted to use all natural products; however, I could not find any on the market. I became disheartened, as I would find a product that claimed to be natural, and then I would read the list of ingredients and find that there were sulphates, parabens, phenoxyethanol and other harsh preservatives.  I grew up on the island of Trinidad and I remember my mom talking with me about not using relaxers and using products that were natural. I decided to formulate my own natural hair care products. I thought it would be good to share my products with others like me who have naturally curly hair and wanted to use 'pure' products.  Additionally, since my family is multi-ethnic, I thought it would be important to have a name that captured all of us 'curlies', hence the name "Curls Of The World".   

What’s your natural hair story?   
Rhian's beautiful kids
Believe it or not, I wore weaves for over 15 years!  I would go to the salon, have the 'sew-in' taken out, have my hair relaxed, braided, and then the weave would be sewn in again.  I've lost so much hair and money using hair extensions it's just criminal.  Kids can have a magical impact on a person's life.  I would have NEVER thought about going weave-less.  One evening I was looking at my kids playing happily and I just loved how free they were, they were carefree and happy and I noticed their hair, their curls were different, unique, and beautiful.  It was at that point I understood that it was important to be comfortable and accept uniqueness.  I realized that maybe natural hair might be a good thing.  I knew with certainty that the weaving and relaxing had to stop.  I took the weave out, cut off the relaxer, transitioned with braids for about 7 months then I set my curls FREE.

 Many of us in the natural hair community are finding that our natural hair regimens constantly have to be altered due to environmental/health/general reasons. Do you have an established hair regimen? If so, what is it? 
The entire COTW product line
This is a great question Monique.  Here is what I've observed and what I've learned from my research:  Hair (curly or straight) is dead (sounds harsh I know) and the follicles are alive (most of them).  In order to ensure healthy hair growth, we have to take care of our bodies (exercise, drink lots of water, etc), use the right products and be gentle to the 'dead stuff' on our head.  I wear my hair out most of the time (even in winter), so I moisturize every night (a small amount of water on my end followed by a small amount of Caribbean Carnival).  I then braid my hair into 2 or 4 large braids and tie with a satin scarf.  I rinse my hair about 2 times a week (I'm a runner, so I must get the sweat out), and I deep condition once a week. I do not use any products with ingredients that I cannot pronounce.  I only use products from my line.  In the winter, I usually do a monthly hot oil treatment.

Of all the products in your line, which one is your favorite and why? 
I love "Caribbean Carnival".  People have told me that the smell makes them hungry so it's like aromatherapy and hair care all-in-one.  Many of my customers who like to wash and go and have defined curls really like "Just The Flax".  I use 'Gypsy Magic' as my monthly 'hot oil' treatment (great for winter months).  I am a type 4a curly so I need my “Tahitian Detangler” as well.

The focus of my blog is for the newly natural or those considering going natural, do you have any advice for someone who may be on the fence about whether or not to do it? Any advice for those who may have just big chopped and feeling unsure? 
Rhian and her husband
I like this question too!  If I can be natural after 15 plus years of weaves, anyone can. I was emotionally attached to my hair weaves; I thought it was what made me attractive.  I was so nervous and worried needlessly about what people would think if I did not have the long straight hair.  I have actually received more compliments about my hair now than ever before.  For curlies who have just "BCed" and are worried about if their hair will grow, I would say to: learn to love your hair now, treat it gently, learn about what products work and which ones don't. Talk to other naturals, understand and accept that your hair is unique and beautiful, and most of all know that in just 1 year from now you'll have more hair than you'll know what to do with.

The natural hair community has a huge internet presence with a plethora of resources. Do you have any favorite sites that you like to visit? 
I love Youtube!  There are so many cool vids on there.   I'll be checking out your blog now too Monique!

You have an upcoming launch party in March! Congratulations! Can you tell us a little bit more about the event? 
The event is going to be FREE and FUN.  I have invited two curlies for a company called Bee Well Life.  These ladies are licensed natural medicine experts and will share information about the ingredients in many commercial products currently on the market.  Many commercial products out there actually prevent hair growth and are dangerous to our health.  We'll also have product demonstrations and FREE Curls Of The World product give-a-ways.  Not to mention, we'll have FREE cupcakes. [Note: The event was held on March 27th. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend due to being sick.]

What would you like to see Curls of the World accomplish?
Natural and curly hair is my passion.  I want Curls of the World to be a vehicle for creating awareness.  It is still surprising that there are little girls who have been relaxing their beautiful curls since they were 2 years old!  My hope is that Curls of the World products can help little girls, women and men love their curly hair again. 

 Who do we stay abreast of events and information with Curls of the World? 
Please visit us via http://curlsoftheworld.com and click on 'contact us' or you can email me via curlsoftheworld@gmail.com.