When thinking of the perfect product designed exclusively for women transitioning to natural hair, Curls Dynasty comes to mind. The ultra-hydrating Moisture Retention Collection, which is now available at Target, promises guarantee hydration, definition, and shine. Whether you are transitioning are fully natural, the line delivers on its promise.
Curls Dynasty founder, Nickie Nougaisse, started her thriving natural hair company back in 2014, officially launching in 2016. The Haitian-American entrepreneur became frustrated with her own natural hair journey in 2011 after receiving a relaxer which caused painful burns and sores on her scalp.
Nougaisse transitioned for two years, creating her own products within the comfort of her kitchen. Her biggest struggle during the journey was retaining moisture, prompting her to create a line for kinky and coarse hair types. I had the opportunity to ask Nougaisse about her experience creating a royal dynasty of high-quality natural hair products.
Check out the exclusive interview with Nickie Nougaisse below.
Photo: Curls Dynasty
21Ninety: What inspired you to create Curls Dynasty?
Nickie Nougaisse: As excited as I was about my decision to return natural, I soon became as frustrated with my struggle to get the moisture my hair craved and the inability to retain it. I noticed many other women around me, especially those with kinky and coarse hair like mine were experiencing the same. They liked the little oil mix I made (now Organic Oil Blend), the tips I shared and they continuously asked for more products geared towards tackling dryness which helped form the rest of the existing line. Our products provide real solutions that truly allow us to experience what I call "hair freedom.”
21N: As a Haitian-American woman, did you infuse any aspects of your Haitian roots into your brand?
NN: I'd say a resounding yes to this as my voice, character, and upbringing was molded in Haiti and therefore are injected into everything that is Curls Dynasty. In the future, I look forward to including ingredients that are native to Haiti into some formulas.
21N: Curls Dynasty is designed for women who are transitioning or fully natural. When did your natural hair journey begin?
NN: My journey began in late 2011. After a particular disastrous perm touch up left me badly burned from the chemicals and dealing with painful sores and unsightly scabs for weeks, I had enough! My hair was thin, damaged and breaking off. My confidence took a hit. I decided to stop the chemicals and let my hair grow out. I went to work doing research on ingredients that could help me grow my hair stronger, thicker and healthier. I spent quite a bit of time mixing stuff in my kitchen. Ultimately, I transitioned for almost 2 years until I felt ready to cut off the damage.
21N: What makes Curls Dynasty unique from other natural hair brands on the market?
NN: There are a few things that make us unique. Our customers love the fact that our collection uses Aloe Vera Juice as the main ingredient in our water-based products, which is great Aloe is for natural hair. They love that every product in the line works as intended to infuse moisture that lasts for long periods of time — resulting in users being in their hair less often! Another unique feature is that the products all complement each other. No such thing as not being able to mix this with that because you'll get flakes or stiff hair.
21N: The Curls Dynasty Moisture Retention Collection debuts this month at Target. How did you choose what products to feature in this curated collection?
NN: The customers did the choosing honestly and I just listened. Target's curated collection is the top sellers of the line and what our guests will need for an enhanced yet simple and easy wash day from start to finish.
21N: How is this line different from your other products?
NN: The Moisture Infusion Collection is our only line for the time being. It will always be unique in that it was designed to be the foundation upon which one would build a healthy hair regimen from start to finish. The biggest problem for those with textured hair is dryness and I took care of that with this line. Other products will target in on different sets of issues so that I can continue to help my customers achieve their goals.
21N: When did you officially launch Curls Dynasty?
NN: Although I registered the name in 2014, I’d say Curls Dynasty officially launched in February 2016 when we actively started posting and getting the conversation going online — mainly via Instagram.
Photo: Joey Rosado
21N: What highs and lows have you experienced as an entrepreneur?
NN: Where do I start? Besides motherhood, entrepreneurship has been the biggest teacher for me. It is a roller-coaster of emotions because you feel everything so deeply. Your business is like your baby. I get super happy when I see customer reviews and how the products are helping them. That's the ultimate high to know that you are actually living out your purpose and making a difference.
The lows tend to be what happens behind the scenes to make the good moments happen and for a small business a lot of times this involves funding and the lack thereof — which then ties into feeling stressed, anxious about being able to supply demand and not disappointing your customers who have come to rely on your products. A lot goes on in a day but my goodness, when you trust the process and keep serving, you find you can keep moving forward. So rewarding!
21N: What advice do you have for women beginning their natural hair journey?
NN: First of all be patient with your hair and the journey! Know that your hair is as unique as you are and embrace that.
A healthy regimen is everything: incorporate Regular Deep Conditioning treatments, practice sealing in moisture for longer retention (this decreases the likelihood of breakage and excessive shedding) and use low manipulation/protective styles whenever possible (minimizes damage, breakage, aids in length retention and growth).
Use quality products like Curls Dynasty and check out our YouTube Channel to learn tips and techniques.
21N: What’s next for the brand?
NN: More growth and reach. More launches. More locations. More products. All with the aim of serving our customers with quality and efficiency, so they can beat lame odds and slay our goals!
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