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Meet The Black-Owned Hair Care Line Catering To The Health Of Kinky, Curly And Coily Hair Types

by nishastephens

Photo: Donna Jenay

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Since 2014, Nancy's Kitchen Products has been on a mission to cater to the health and styling needs of kinky, coily and curly hair types, and to dismiss the notion that these textures are "difficult" or in need of correction. The company's name, Nancy's Kitchen Products, pays homage to Nancy Johnson, grandmother of creator and founder Donna Jenay Donna, while also acknowledging the historical importance of "Kitchen Beauticians" in the Black community. 

Photo: Nancy's Kitchen Products

Jenay's hair product line consists of five, full-sized products. The collection includes: 

Silk Buttercream Argan Conditioner - $16

Photo: Nancy's Kitchen Products

The thing I love most about these two products is the use of the imaginative applicator bottle top that makes it so much easier to apply the product directly onto your roots. I love the smell and it packs real cleaning power, too. Make sure to follow up the shampoo process with the brand's Argan Oil Conditioner, because it gives hair an incredible boost of moisture without it feeling heavy.

Silk Buttercream Curl Quencher - $18

Photo: Nancy's Kitchen Products

I used this as a daily styling cream, and I have to say it has kept my hair soft and hydrated, which makes sense because the main ingredient is H20. This product is also filled with Marshmallow Root Herb, Golden Flax Gel, Avocado Butter, among many other goodies.

Silk Buttercream Curl Smoothie - $18

Photo: Nancy's Kitchen Products

If you are looking for defined, soft curls, then you will love this product, all while reducing frizz and adding moisture and shine.

Silk Buttercream Hair Growth Oil - $12

Photo:  Nancy's Kitchen Products

Infused with Emu oil, Macadamia Nut Oil and Rosemary essential oils, this product is a triple threat in the hair care department as all three components promote healthy hair growth and length retention.

Photo: Nancy's Kitchen Products

To learn more about this Black-owned hair care line, check out our exclusive interview with founder, Donna Jenay, below. 

21Ninety: Tell me a little about your inspiration in starting Nancy's Kitchen Products (NKP)? 

DJ: I had just moved to Atlanta, GA in November 2013, right after my 25th birthday. Exactly a month after relocating, I lost my maternal grandmother, Nancy. Dealing with the passing of my grandmother and also being presented with my first real opportunity at a fresh start, I knew I wanted to do SOMETHING major.

I big chopped in 2009 and had been pretty obsessed with natural hair and natural hair care for the past five years at that time. The idea all just kind of came to me like an epiphany and then naming the company after my Nancy just really made sense. This was February 2014 – just before tax season. Once I got my refund, I invested a little in some cheap Walmart furniture for my apartment and the rest went to building Nancy’s Kitchen.

Photo: Nancy's Kitchen Products

21N: How did you create this line of products? What was the process like? 

DJ: The initial launch included the Silk Buttercream Cleansing Wash, Hair Growth Oil, and Curl Quencher (which was then known as the Deep Moisture Masque). It was a lot of trial and error.

I scoured the internet looking for whatever I could on how products were made, what the best ingredients were and where to get them. The Quencher was the most challenging product I had to master. I remember the week before my set launch date, I checked on my batch of products and they had all separated. 

I was devastated! I had to throw the entire batch out and come up with a new formula right then and there. Luckily, I struck gold and came up with a formula that worked. The product has been reformulated one other time since then to add even more moisturizing properties.

Photo: Nancy's Kitchen Products

21N: What do you most enjoy about creating your hair care line? Were there any hardships along the way? 

DJ: I love the fact that it’s my own creation. Everything you see happening with Nancy’s Kitchen Products was first a thought in my mind. The ideas, the executions, the successes, the failures, they’re all mine to implement, to enjoy, to learn and to grow from. In 2015, I had my son, Jace, and navigating new motherhood and then single motherhood required me to press pause on NKP for about two and a half years. 

In that time, my personal growth was more than I could have ever wished for. On October 13, 2018, my 30th birthday, all of that growth went into powering the relaunch and I can honestly say because of that time off, I appreciate the grind of being a businesswoman even more. It was all one big blessing.

Photo: Nancy's Kitchen Products

21N: When did you officially launch your business? 

DJ: Officially, I launched on July 10, 2014. This date is special as it was my grandmother’s first heavenly birthday. I took about two and a half year hiatus and relaunched on October 13, 2018, my 30th birthday.

21N: Do you have any new products coming out that you would like to mention? 

I’m always thinking of the next step. I have a lot of ideas that I’d like to execute in the coming year(s), but I think my immediate next step will be to add one more highly requested item to the Silk Buttercream line before moving forward to create new and exciting things for NKP! Stay tuned!  

21N: What do you think makes your business unique over others? 

Nancy’s Kitchen has a very specific mission to serve the natural hair community with quality hair care solutions that cater to the HEALTH of kinky, coily and curly hair types and to dismiss the notion that these textures are “difficult” or in need of correction.

Photo: Nancy's Kitchen Products

21N: Why do you think every woman should embrace their natural hair type?

DJ: I think embracing your natural self-first (not to be confused with only) is important because it brings you more in tune with self. It brings to surface any insecurities you may have so that they can be addressed head-on so you can look yourself in the eye and say “this is who I am, I love myself”. That kind of self-acceptance will only lead you to live more confidently and attract the relationships, partnerships, situations, and experiences that honor your true and highest self.

21N: Do you have any other advice or words of encouragement for Black women interested in wearing their hair natural?  

DJ: Do it, mama! You are BEAUTIFUL! If you’re new to the natural hair game, I strongly encourage you to seek out those content creators who look like you and whose hair does what your hair does, too. Know that no product or amount of product will make your hair do anything other than what it is made to do. Love the way YOUR hair grows and never compromise the health of your hair for a look.

Photo: Nancy's Kitchen Products

21N: Where can people find your products (in stores/online)? 

DJ: Currently, Nancy’s Kitchen Products can be found online here

*Disclaimer: Nancy's Kitchen Products was kind enough to send me over some products for review. This post is not sponsored, and all of my opinions are my own.


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