Finding the right braiding hair is essential for a long-lasting style. Thanks to Nourie’s Plant-Based Braiding Hair (Nourie.com, $70+), our journey to achieve a comfortable style from installation to the take-down process has just become easier.
Yes, you read that correctly! Plant-based braiding hair is the newest innovation on the protective style block, courtesy of Nourie CEO and founder Osahon Ojeaga.
Like most of us, Osahon has had her battles with traditional braiding hair — from itching, swelling, redness, and more. In case you didn’t know, some braiding hair types are made with chemicals that can wreak havoc on your scalp, no matter how much you wash them pre-styling.
After Oashon became tired of the options on the market, she decided to turn her pain into power with Nourie. Like many Black beauty bosses, Osahon’s career didn’t start in the beauty world. The talent actually started her journey in the tech space.
Source: Courtesy of Nourie / otherOsahon spent four years in Silicon Valley working for startup companies. And while the experience was enriching and insightful, growing pains persisted. For many Black women, it can be a struggle to navigate industries where inclusivity is an issue and support is few and far between. Unfortunately, this became Osahon’s reality.
With that in mind, Osahon put the tech industry behind her and focused on traveling. And after running through the common problems with using faux extensions for protective styling, Nourie was born.
Nourie’s plant-based braiding hair is made of high-quality, renewable biomaterials designed to look and feel like natural hair. The brand’s innovation delivers a balanced nutrient complexion with botanicals and oils that release over time with wear. As a result, scalp irritation becomes a non-factor.
In honor of Nourie being the first Black woman-owned brand (and overall beauty brand) to create sustainable plant-based braiding hair, I was elated to speak with Osahon. We discussed her game-changing creation coming to fruition, the funding process, her love for protective styling, and more.
HB: How did Nourie come to fruition?
OO: Nourie came to fruition as the result of countless hours of trying to solve a problem. I was triggered by frustration with every aspect of obtaining braids – from going to beauty supply stores with zero customer service to the concerning way the product was packaged in profuse quantities of plastic, the dermatological consequences of braiding hair, even the countless times I’ve paid to sit on a person’s floor to get my hair braided. Nourie stands for elevating the entire experience of hair braiding. We connect with licensed braiders who go beyond just installing braids. They strive to deliver a bespoke standard of full hair care service, but they need a product that matches that level of care.
HB: How has the development of plant-based hair made you fall more in love with protective styles?
OO: I have been wearing a future version of our materials in knotless box braids for almost two months. I have never loved my hair more being in braids than with Nourie hair. Psychologically, it’s an entirely different wear experience – knowing I’m treating my coils and scalp to something great. Moreover, the nourishing function of our fibers is very apparent, from the moment you open the packaging and experience an herbal aroma reminiscent of a day at the spa to when you run your fingers through the fibers and trigger the release of the nourishing complex.
The best part is the weeks after when you touch your braids and can feel how nourished the hair and scalp are, with little effort on the wearer’s part. Each of those experiences with braiding hair is unprecedented. The reality is that we have been getting braids installed for a long time, wishing it was great for our hair and scalp, but deep down, knowing that it’s not as great as we’d like it to be. With Nourie, you can kiss that deep-down worry goodbye.
HB: What did the process for funding Nourie look like?
OO: The funding process for Nourie was a journey. We started fundraising in very founder-friendly conditions. We were blessed to have completed a rather prestigious accelerator program that opened the door to many conversations with investors. By the time we finished fundraising, the power had shifted back to the investors. Nonetheless, we ended up with the most incredible investors who all easily know when it is time to take off their investor hat and be the supporter, cheerleader, and partner that a venture like Nourie needs.
HB: Did the funding process change your outlook on the beauty industry? And what did the experience teach you?
OO: The funding process was interesting. We reached out to a deep tech fund and accelerator about hair extensions, and they became our first investors and cheerleaders! There is a lot of innovation happening in the beauty space. People want products that impart change in their looks. But they also want it done safely, effectively, and very fast, and at this point, it’s expected that it will be done sustainably and ethically.
Moving away from the “no-no” ingredients has taken the industry some time. And they are still prevalent in lower-quality products on the shelves today. Making that move requires a lot of research and science to make the magic of beauty happen the way consumers expect it. I’ve learned that investors see a huge opportunity to drive that innovation. They know consumers are willing to splurge on high-quality, well-engineered products, even in unfavorable economic conditions. Beauty consumers are some of the most sophisticated out there. I cannot tell you how often I have heard a woman say, “I will cut back on food or even therapy appointments, but I will wait till the very end to touch my beauty budget.”
HB:What do you want customers to take away from Nourie?
OO: I want customers of Nourie to see hair braiding as more than just achieving a look. I also want more braiding hair wearers to stop and think about what they put near their bodies. Think about the people behind the materials they put on or near their bodies. Think about if they actually get you, your hair, and your hair journey objectives. There is a huge disconnect between the producers and the consumers in this space. There is a lot of pandering that has taken place, and it has come at the cost of a lot of Black women’s crowns.
We created Nourie because it’s time to take this industry to the next level, with the consumer being seen as one that deserves to be catered to and supported. Hair is deeply personal. It can make or break our days. With that kind of impact on our lives, we need brands that will be equally deeply intentional about creating our products! Nourie proudly rises to the occasion.
HB: What advice do you have for aspiring female beauty bosses?
OO: My advice is to recognize the power of a solid team. Also know that even though you may be a boss, nothing is solely about you. It’s also about the people you’re leading and the customers you are serving! Get that team right as fast as possible. Find people who believe in what you believe in. Recognize that it is your responsibility to provide an amazing opportunity for the people on your team to stretch their legs out and grow in a safe space. I’m so grateful for my incredible team and the work they are doing every day. They are such a talented group and true innovators – I feel so blessed to be on this journey with them.
Nourie’s Plant-Based Braiding Hair is officially available to pre-order here.
Nourie’s Plant-Based Braiding Hair Has Officially Changed the Game was originally published on hellobeautiful.com
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