Position: Research + Product Development
At the beginning of July 2021, I found myself stepping foot into London for the first time in my life. Born and raised in Chicago, IL USA, I have always dreamed of coming to Europe but I never imagined that hair would be the reason my dreams of travelling to London finally came true.
As I go through my experience as a Cosmetic Development Intern at Curly by Nature, I will use this blog to highlight my whole internship experience giving way to everything that I have learned and been through as a Black female in STEM. But first a little about myself…
As an African-American, I spent most of my childhood struggling to “tame” my hair. Twisting it, braiding it, straightening it, relaxing it, all so that it would “behave”. However, as the natural hair movement began to rise, I found myself swept up in the unabashed self-expression that came with accepting my natural hair. I began to embrace my curls and instead of trying to tame them, I started to protect and define them. Many individuals with natural hair have probably gone through a similar experience, however, not only did I gain an appreciation for my hair and culture but I found my passion for cosmetics and hair product formulation.
While there are many products for naturals to use, they come with a plethora of contradicting information that is very hard to sort through. I found that making my own products can be easier than looking at the laundry list of ingredients and trying to determine if they are harmful or not. I found that I really enjoyed making and formulating products and since I was going into university for Biochemistry and Chemical Engineering, I seriously started to consider that this may be a possible career path in the future.
Fast forward to the beginning of my fourth year in University, where I accepted the opportunity to work at Curly By Nature and not only to produce quality hair products but inform and educate customers in all that is natural hair. Bringing us back to the purpose of this blog. I hope this series can be used as inspiration for those who may be frustrated or tired of working with their natural hair, those who just want to learn more about the process of creating hair products, or even those who just want inspiration to go out and work for their dreams.