Entrepreneur Is “Naturally Smitten” With Her Textured Hair

By Kelsey Husnick
The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) After being dissatisfied with the hair products on the market, Tasha Branham started making her own hair creams, using shea butter, coconut oil, vitamins and other natural products. First her friends took notice, then, strangers too!

The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio

Tasha Branham couldn’t find hair products she liked that were designed for African-American women like herself with natural, textured hair.

So she decided to make her own.

That led the Blacklick resident to create a business, Naturally Smitten, to sell her creations.

Branham transitioned from chemically straightened to natural hair in 2007. She quickly learned that her hair would need a lot more moisture and more specialized products.

“My hair was so unhealthy. It was damaged, it was shedding, it was just a mess,” she said. And the products she found in the store weren’t helping.

She started making her own hair creams, using shea butter, coconut oil, vitamins and other natural products. Her friends took notice.

“They were asking me, ‘Your hair looks so healthy, what are you using?’ and I began to give out these jars,” she said.
Branham formulated the products in her own kitchen.

Like making culinary creations, using mixers and other tools found in a normal kitchen, she began working with various ingredients, combining them carefully to make sure the components kept their consistency and fragrance. Oils have to be heated to specific temperatures and natural ingredients, such as marshmallow root, have to be handled carefully so they don’t ferment too quickly, she said.

The line includes products that sound like they were made in a kitchen, too: moisturizing hair butter, hydrating hair custard and tangle-free pudding. They range in price from $12 to almost $16.

She launched an Etsy page in 2010 to broaden her sales and created her own website for Naturally Smitten. In addition, her products earned shelf space in July of last year at certain Wal-Mart stores. While most of the Wal-Marts carrying her products are located in Southern states, two local stores, on Morse Road at Easton and Main Street in Whitehall, carry the line.

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