The most ironic thing about Chris Rock’s 2009 documentary, Good Hair, is the scene in which he goes around asking people if they want to buy natural kinky black-girl hair in comparison to Indian or Malaysian hair. From his vantage point, our hair texture was rejected.
Oh how the tables have turned.
These days, natural hair extensions are a hot commodity for black women. So much so, it’s become a mission to decide which brand to go with. Last week I tried Xotica Hair Extensions, a company owned by Canada based entrepreneur, Kimali. After installing the Afro Kinky Hair clip in extensions, I was immediately sold. (The product was sent to me for review. Read my honest take on it)!
I caught up with Kimali recently to find out what makes her product so amazing, what inspired her to launch the brand, and what advice she has for other women entrepreneurs.
What inspired you to start Xotica Hair?
Five years ago after I big chopped my waist length locs, and after a couple years of wearing a TWA, I wanted a different look, I missed the versatility that came with having long hair which I did with my locs. Weaves were not foreign to me so I thought that I could start weaving my hair. As far as I knew there was no weaves out there that matched my own natural kinky hair texture and I didn’t want to wear silky straight weave because I thought that it just simply looked unnatural on me. I knew that from a consumer standpoint that finding a good quality, long lasting weave at an affordable price was difficult to come by, so I started doing my own research into developing a natural looking hair extensions that blended with a black women’s hair texture. I wanted to provide Black women who wore their hair in its natural state and wanted to experiment with extensions the opportunity to wear hair extensions that actually blend with their natural hair seamlessly. Xotica Hair was launched in 2013
There are a few brands that offer natural texture hair extensions. What sets you apart from other companies?
We believe that our hair bar non best replicates the various hair textures or black women from 3C to 4C. Our hair extensions are of the highest quality and we do our best to keep our prices affordable which in itself is difficult to do because of the extensive process it takes to manufacture these textures compared to other European silky textures which are cheaper to produce.
I think also that being a black woman producing products for black women has given Xotica hair an edge as I have an eye for detail for what we want that other companies may not have.
I like to think that our product empowers black women and WOC by encouraging them embrace their authentic natural beauty. For too many years hair and beauty options for black women were set to the European standards and we like to think we are leading the black is beautiful revolution in our own way.
Talk about your products. Which are the most popular?
Our Afro texture clip ins are no doubt our most popular product. With the rise of more and more black women and WOC rejecting the European standards of beauty Afro haired women who wear extensions are naturally gravitating towards extension textures that closely resembles their own natural hair texture.
It seems that in the last few years clip ins have taken off for Black hair extension wearers. Many Black women are now turning to DIY styling when it comes to doing their hair instead of visiting their usual stylists. With clip-ins, women are able to change their looks within minutes (on a daily basis without having to be committed to a certain weave pattern), save time and money for sometimes costly weave installations.
Do you have advice for rookies looking to purchase natural hair extensions?
My advice to rookies looking to purchase natural hair extensions would be to do your research, figure out the look that they want, read reviews, watch YouTube videos, know your hair texture. If you don’t know your hair texture contact the company and ask questions about the textures they offer. At Xotica Hair we are very happy to engage with potential customers helping them to find and select the right texture extensions to match their hair. Many natural hair companies including Xotica Hair offer sample textures for purchase which enable you see what texture matches yours before you commit to buying a bundle. Feel it, test it and do just about anything that you would do to your natural hair to the sample pieces.
What advice do you give other aspiring women entrepreneurs?
Have a clear vision of what you want. This doesn’t mean that you have to know all the minor details, but the ability to look beyond the minor things at the bigger picture and figure out details as you go along.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help, know your strengths and weaknesses and surround yourself with people who know how to do things you may not know. Surround yourself with people “who are for you”.
Believe in what you are doing; whether it’s a product or concept that you are selling, if you don’t believe in it wholeheartedly, there is no way you can successful sell it.