Teen Beauty Boss Lexi Proctor says the most challenging part of being a kidpreneur is “having to balance everything out” when it comes to school and managing her brand.
Proctor is the co-founder of Curlanista, a haircare line created to encourage curly girls to love their natural born curls. 13-year-old Lexi, with the help of her mother, Monica Proctor, was inspired to create the brand after seeing the impact her book, “Curly Girls Love Your Curls,” had on readers.
With her background as a STEM student, Lexi and her mother took their homemade concoctions and developed a hair care line for curly girls that offer sMagic Curl Defining Custard, Magic Curl Cream, and Magic Frizz Fighting Detangler.
So impressed was Sally Beauty with Curlanista, that they awarded Proctor $25,000 to help grow her business as well as retail distribution.
For #InternationalDayOfTheGirl, theGrio talked to the Proctor ladies about how they founded Curlanista and what makes their haircare business different from all the rest.
theGrio: What influenced you most when it came to creating hair products for girls?
Lexi Proctor: It all started at home. I’m a YouTube fanatic and I love making my own hair products at home and a lot of people were asking me what I put in my hair. I always wanted to make my own hair products and I told my mom this would be perfect for me. I have a book called “Curly Girls Love Your Curls,” and it teaches girls to love their hair, but now with my hair products, it can teach girls how to take care of their hair. My mom thought that was a great idea so we found our chemist and the rest is history.
theGrio: How is Curlanista different from other haircare brands out there?
Lexi Proctor:It’s coming from me, as a kid. There’s a lot of kidpreneurs now a days and I think a lot of people, once they see I’m a kid, they automatically want to support and pay more attention to it.
Monica Proctor: I think our product is also unique in that we know the problems that moms go through when it’s time to detangle the hair. Kids are upset and they don’t want to deal with it and her product really provides that solution to moms. We even have parents who are using the products for themselves because they see how it cuts down their time.
Lexi Proctor: We want mothers and daughters to have the bonding time that we missed because honestly, I really hated my mom doing my hair and the worst part was the detangling. That’s why we wanted the first product that came out to be a detangler. I wanted to make it easier for girls.
theGrio: Tell us about the products and how they work.
Lexi Proctor: To use my curl cream, you can use it on wet or dry hair. I prefer wet hair because I feel curly hair always works best when it’s wet. So what this does, it locks in the curl. Unlike other hair products, I didn’t want mine to feel crunchy. So I found the perfect formula for that as well. I just put on my curl cream and to top it off, I put my curl custard on my hair. If I’m ever doing twist outs or braids outs, what I would do is use the detangler and just to make sure everything is locked up and moisturized, I put in my curl cream as well. You can just use the curl custard, you don’t have to use it with the curl cream but I just like the way it comes out on me.
theGrio: How did you get involved with Sally Beauty?
Lexi: Sally Beauty was having a contest and you get to earn money to help flourish your business and your stuff will also get in stores. So I was like, perfect! This could really help us. I made a video and about a week or two later they said, “Congratulations, you made it!,” and that’s when they started doing the voting and I told people to go vote, and I went to the Sally headquarters and it was such a dream because I’ve always dreamed of having my hair products in there. I really love Sally Beauty products. I was like, this is such a perfect way to get my business out there. And once I got there to meet everybody, they were just so nice to me and I just loved the experience all around.
theGrio: What has been the most satisfying part of this journey?
Lexi Proctor: Just getting my name out there. That’s been my goal, for everybody to know me. I really want to help girls. I get feedback from mothers all the time and they tell me, “You have helped my daughter so much. You have helped me so much,” and I just think that’s a powerful thing that I do.
theGrio: So where do you see yourself 5-10 years from now?
Lexi Proctor: I definitely see myself just being out there and connecting with so many people. I just want everybody to know the message that I’m trying to bring… and that’s to love yourself. I don’t want anybody to feel discriminated against. I know what it feels like to be discriminated because of my hair or my skin color. And I just want people to know there’s more than that. You shouldn’t have to think about that. You should just love you for you.