November 22, 2011

Please tell us about the Afrocenchix movement? I say movement as your website does a lot more than sell fabulous hair products.

Our movement began with two quests. Mine was to find products that I wasn’t allergic to. Joycelyn’s was to find products that helped her to manage her hair was natural for the first time in 19 years

After experimenting and researching to meet our own needs, we set up a blog and email account and through being bombarded with emails we discovered that there were many others like us that we could help! We set up a website to sell our products online and through interactions with our consumers we found that many have self esteem, identity and health problems due to issues to do with hair.

Afrocenchix serves to produce and offer great quality natural products that actually work whilst providing education on health, culture and beauty. If you like what we do or feel we could do more to help you then leave us a Facebook message or Tweet at us and we’ll do our best!

What makes your products different to the bigger mainstream Afro hair brands?

We began making products because we could not find a single natural Afro hair product that smelled good and delivered results. Now there are some great products on the market from small businesses but still not satisfactory offerings from mainstream brands.

Many products claiming to be natural contain parabens, sulphates and other chemicals which bring many, including myself, out in rashes and just aren’t necessary for a good product!

Also, there are probably very few products which have been tested as much as our products which usually are experimented with for months and trialed on our own hair daily to see what the result is before we are happy to release them.

Are any of your products suitable for other hair types?

Our oil blends are great when used as a hot oil treatment on Caucasian hair and condition finer hair types beautifully.   Stylists have told us that our mini moi product is great on all hair types. We will soon launch our own shampoo and conditioner, which although designed specifically for those with curly or afro hair, can be used for anyone with dry hair in need of intense moisture.

Making hair products sounds very scientific do you have a science background and how did you come up with your formulas?

I did chemistry and biology at college so I have an understanding of the science behind our formulas. Joycelyn had already been making products before we started working on formulas together and she had researched the properties of various natural ingredients. I am currently studying Trichology in order to understand skin and hair at a higher level so that we can work on more complex formulations.

What is your best seller and why?

SHEEN has been our best seller since we started. Our customers tell us they love it because they have finally found something that moisturises their hair without leaving a buildup. The beauty of this product is in its simplicity and even our product junkie customers have told us there is nothing else available like it.

Since its launch four months ago, the first batch of Mini Moi has sold so well that we have had to reproduce. There is demand for a bigger size so hopefully we can launch that next year.

What has been your biggest challenge and how have you overcome this?

Lack of research in general into the field we have found ourselves in! We both want to research more, me into the properties of Afro hair and how it interacts with various products and also the efficacy of individual ingredients. Joycelyn is currently doing her dissertation on Afro hair! There is little research into the effects of the heavily promoted Western ideal of beauty on the confidence of those within the African diaspora who do not fit into this mold and how this affects career ambitions, family life and physical as well as psychological wellbeing. We love doing this research however it is difficult and we are in need of support! I have just graduated from a Law degree and Jocelyn is in her final year, we both study and work part-time as our business is still too small for us to draw an income from. We hope we will be able to do it full time in the next few years and offer our customers so much more!

Where can we find you?

Website: www.afrocenchix.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Afrocenchix

Twitter: @Afrocenchix

YouTube: Afrocenchix

As sista’s making the journey toward natural hair we cannot wait to get our hands on these products!  These young ladies have definitely created a much needed range of products and not just for Afro hair.  We are also eager to try the mango body butter, what a perfect way to chase away the winter blues if only for a few minutes.  We think that these products would actually make USEFUL Christmas gifts if you celebrate Christmas and just great gifts for you or your loved ones if you don’t.  You can purchase online but you could also come and purchase at The First Lady Fayre on 18th December chat to the ladies in person have fun whilst meeting some pretty cool people!

 Tickets £5.00: http://thefirstladychristmasfayre.eventbrite.com/
Under 16′s free

 By Tamu Thomas