After seeing the documentary “Good Hair,” which showed a tub of hair relaxer dissolving a soda can, Gwen Jimmere — who used the product in question herself — knew there had to be a better solution.
“It just boggled my mind that I was putting this (stuff) that was able to disintegrate aluminum onto my body, in addition to the fact that I was pregnant,” says Jimmere, founder and CEO of Naturalicious in Livonia. “Anything you put onto your skin has the potential to go into your body and affect your inner workings.”
The documentary inspired a break from using relaxers and, eventually, Jimmere developed her own solution from natural ingredients. In addition to her horror at seeing that a hair product was able to dissolve aluminum, one of her main complaints about the other choices on the market was the length of time they took to use correctly. “How can I take that four-hour period of time and put it into 30 minutes?” she says she asked herself.
Jimmere answered that question in 2013 with the launch of Naturalicious. After starting out selling her products at Eastern Market in Detroit, Jimmere’s line is now sold globally via naturalicious.net. She says that not only do her hair care offerings help save time, but they also instill confidence in those who use them.
“I see this specifically with my customers when they first come in. Generally, they’re very hard on themselves because society has been hard on them,” she says. “Our philosophy at Naturalicious is that every woman is that standard of beauty.”
Last December, the company expanded beyond hair into full-body care. It now offers gluten-free gummy vitamins for hair, nail, and skin health; powdered greens to supplement a healthy diet; a collagen supplement; and skin care products. The goal is to care for the body from the inside out. “It’s just like the soil on the ground,” Jimmere explains. “If the soil is tainted, the harvest is going to be withered.”
The entrepreneur plans to stay busy in 2022, turning her focus from launching new products to taking the client experience to the next level.
“I find that when we’re more focused on making sure we service the customer — making sure that she loves herself, that she understands how the products work, (and) providing her with all the tools and products that we can to supplement everything that she needs — it’s much more enjoyable for us,” she says.
Jimmere is also sharing her knowledge through the recent release of her book, “Everything You Know About Hair is Wrong: The No B.S. Guide to Having the Hair You Want.” Her goal is to eliminate the guesswork that’s often involved in trying out beauty products, and giving people control over their hair.