We have a very special guest to welcome to ClassyCurlies.com - actress Kimberly Elise.
You just may know her from her role in Tyler Perry's "Diary of a Mad Black Woman," "Almost Christmas" and countless other films. She has also worked alongside actors like Denzel Washington, Forest Whitaker, and Bruce Willis.
I chatted with Kimberly about her natural hair and healthy living journey, along with her new hair product, Alchemy 27. Check out the interview below (and learn where you can grab your discount code):
Briefly describe your relationship with your hair and how it has developed over your life.
It’s been an ever evolving love affair. My hair and I began as strangers and when I decided to become natural I learned to communicate with my hair. Learn its personality, what it likes, dislikes, what makes it thrive and what does not. As I got to know my hair better, I fell more and more in love with it.
Have you been natural all of your life?
No, I became natural in 2011. Before that I had everything from press and curl to Jheri curl to wigs, relaxers and braids and weaves. Natural is where I feel most at home and most beautiful.
Have you ever thought about getting a relaxer?
I haven't had a relaxer in about 20 years. I couldn't imagine ever getting one again. My hair and scalp were never happy when relaxed.
Your hair and scalp elixir, Alchemy 27, is on the market!Have you always been interested in launching a hair product?
The process of getting to know my hair was a broad one. I not only learned from naturalistas who had mastered many aspects of natural hair, I also began studying chemistry and formulation.
I have always loved learning and knowledge. I wanted to understand as much as I could about the science of my hair. In the process I began formulating myself. I, and others, saw great results in my formulations and I realized the things I was creating could help many people.
As both an end user and a producer, I really understand both sides of what constitutes a great product.
What is the thought process behind the product's packaging?
Our brand is one of natural and beautiful. We wanted simple packaging that reflects that energy.
Why a scalp serum, instead of a twist cream or conditioner?
I believe in starting at the root. Healthy hair starts there. So many people are challenged with problem hair, you can deal with the symptoms by using products that cover things up or you can deal with the root.
For hair that would be internal (diet, vitamins, stress management and general well being) and the scalp. Alchemy 27 addresses the scalp and roots. But also is a wonderful elixir for the hair itself as well.
How did you go about naming the product?
It was a long and careful process. In the end we felt that with the blend of 27 powerful oils that can really assist ones hair to it's own best balance, Alchemy (defined as a seemingly magical process of turning metal to gold) is a wonderful way to describe our elixir.
Many of the ingredients are certified organic. Why was it important to include these types of ingredients?
We wanted to offer the best to our users. That means the elimination of as many pesticides and other questionable ingredients as possible. So we strive for the best we can find especially organic.
Being vegan, did this influence the ingredients used in the product?
Yes, I must be able to use the products I'm selling myself! So we create products that are both vegan and gluten free - like me!
Are you hoping to launch more products in the future?
Absolutely. We have a lot of exciting things coming soon.
What do you feel is missing from the natural hair community?
More formalized accredited education for professional stylists. In my industry, entertainment, some of the highest paid most experienced hair stylists have absolutely no clue what to do with natural hair.
Occasionally they know how to style it, rarely do they know how to CARE for it. This is a shame to me. This lack of education is epidemic in all walks of life. Though one may choose to specialize in one hair type or another, stylists, whether in the entertainment industry or not, should be trained to style and care for ALL hair types.
In my opinion, one should not be licensed otherwise. It has been my experience that many stylists want to broaden their knowledge in this way, but the resources for this type of continued education needs to be more fully created, implemented and required by professional and licensed stylists of all ethnicities and races.