Your favorite pen. A paper clip. A metal pick fist comb. They all have been used quite commonly to provide relief to the woman who often gets that itchy, nagging feeling underneath her protective style or extensions.
While Beyonce taught us all how to “Pat Our Weaves” years ago, Girl and Hair, home of under hair care products and luxe hair extensions, is here today on a mission to educate women, particularly those with textured hair, about the importance of taking care of your natural hair underneath. With it’s 100% All Natural Remy hair extensions imported directly from a trusted Indian supplier to the very first natural hair care line formulated for treating natural or relaxed hair while wearing protective styles, Girl and Hair is building it’s own hair empire.
I spoke with the Founder of Girl and Hair, Dr. Camille H-Verovic (YES, she’s also a medical doctor) on how she became a hair extension guru, if there’s really a such thing as exotic weaves and why protecting your real hair is a major key.
UB: How did you go from graduating medical school to starting your own hair business?
Camille: I didn’t go to medical school directly after my undergrad. I graduated with a degree in Marketing and I worked in advertising. My mom became sick and I decided to apply for medical school. I applied thinking I wasn’t going to get in. It was actually the last year my medical college admission test was going to expire. I only applied for one school and God works in his own mysterious way because I got in! I’ve always been a beauty girl. I’ve always loved make-up, hair and skin care. When I was in college and had summer vacations, I worked at beauty counters. I wore weaves all of the time. I was paying so much for extensions, but they weren’t quality extensions. I would be so annoyed that I would pay $300.00 and find out they were horrible. Around that time, I decided to go natural. I was in my first year of medical school and so much was going on. I met my husband Josef around that same time and told him about my goals and dreams in regards to starting a hair company. He (Josef) and I were on the phone one day and he happened to be in India and I was like ‘this is going to sound really weird but… can you find me some hair in India?’ He said no he didn’t get it. However, when he flew back home, we talked about the idea even more. He got it then. We came up with a plan to find a supplier in India. We were so naïve at first. We thought it was going to be such an easy process to just go to a temple or something and find someone. It took us a year and a half to find a supplier and a place where the working conditions were impeccable. It is the truest, rawest, purest form of Indian hair from one supplier.
UB: How were you able to communicate the exact kind of quality of hair you wanted with the supplier in India?
Camille: There are two main suppliers when it comes to the hair business. There is India and China. There is a lot of processed hair that comes from China. When you go to India, it’s easy to communicate because a lot of them speak English and it’s easier to navigate India. It’s important to be close with your supplier. You can’t just order something from online and have it shipped to customs. You have to go there yourself, all the time. You have to go to the factory. You have to be there when they are putting the hair on the weft. It’s a cold process when you place orders online. It’s really hard to articulate what you want and what your customers are looking for. For anyone entering into the hair business, you need to know your supplier and where your hair comes from.
UB: What are some common myths regarding hair extensions?
Camille: One of the biggest myths are that there are so many hair types: Malaysian, Filipino, Russian, etc. That’s a big myth. The Indian society is the only society that has thousands of people who go to a temple to cut their hair off for religious purposes. Temple hair is raw Indian hair that comes from one donors head. All of the cuticles are kept together. A big industry in India is the non-remy hair and the Chinese come and purchase a lot in bulk. They ship them to huge factories in China and Korea to process the hair. When they have these huge factories process the hair, they have to have something that makes the hair seem different. That’s where the whole ‘Malaysian, Brazilian, Peruvian’ comes in. It’s changing the texture. However, it’s all marketing and some customers may like it. It’s not necessarily bad or good its just a texture.
UB: Tell us about your UNDER HAIR CARE™ line and why you developed it.
Camille: Everything we do has a purpose. I’ve always worn wigs and weaves. I wore a sew-in weave with a net and I use to get so annoyed when I couldn’t get to my scalp. I would use a comb, I would unfold paper clips, to try to get to it. I would use shampoo and water to put on my scalp, but always have the ratios mixed up.What would annoy me even more is I would go to the hair dresser and she wouldn’t even be able to wash it properly. One day I thought, why isn’t there something I can use that was easy and I can stick it under to wash my natural hair properly. The Under Hair Care line was birthed a solution to a problem.
UB: How is your product line different from other shampoo and conditioners available on the market?
Camille: It is the first line that is specifically formulated, meaning it’s highly concentrated. So, the normal thickness you would see in a shampoo is not there. It’s very liquidy. When you stick it under your net and under your braids you feel the product working instantly moving down your scalp like it is water. That is a special way of delivering a product that no one has ever done before. I really want to get across to a lot of people, you may see that kind of bottle tip on a lot of other models, but the product is formulated to move a certain way to get underneath those braids and in the smallest of crevices to clean properly. The balm is not runny. It’s very thick. It’s a castor oil based balm. It’s non-greasy, so it’s not making the weave oily. There are other ingredients including abyssinian oil, shea oil, wonderful botanical ingredients that are good for your hair.
UB: Do you have a favorite product in particular from the line?
Camille: I like the balm and the leave-in conditioner because I’m the girl that likes the cream. I like an oil, water based product. I mix the leave-in-conditioner with the balm and use it as an everyday product. When I take out my weave, I don’t like for my hair to feel brittle. This product helps to defend against that.
UB: Are the products available in stores?
Camille: The products are sold at www.girlandhair.com. They are also sold at major store retailer, Ricky’s, in New York. We have a lot of stores throughout the southeast and northeast. When you order online the product ships fast within 3-5 business days.
UB: Currently you have the shampoo, the conditioner, the balm. Do you plan on expanding the line even more?
Camille: We have something coming down the pipeline that is going to be a game changer!
UB: Excited to hear that! Your Instagram page is centered on celebrating women of color and natural hair. How important is this for your brand?
Camille: It’s very cliché to use the term “black girl magic” but, it is! It’s showing all types, whether you are a weaved up girl, or you wear your curls all the time, or you like your natural weave, or you like a long Beyonce weave, I feel like it’s important to embrace that for you. Whatever you like to do to make you feel the best you, I’m all about that. I’m all about girl power. I have a daughter and I’m all about making her feel really empowered. Part of that is aesthetics. It’s about how you look and feel. The more you’re willing to be more successful the better you feel and our Instagram reflects that.
UB: What’s next for Girl and Hair?
Camille: In the next couple of months, definitely one more new product. We want to continue to expand the product line. Create a new line. The more I am inspired, the more products I want to put out there. I want to be in more stores. I want to be more accessible. I want to be in the Targets, The Sally’s. I want people to be able to hop in their car and go get the product.
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