Updated April 2021. We sat down with Kam, the founder of Nylah Naturals UK to discuss why she started the brand and what it represents – Heritage, Hair and Science. Since then, Kam, the founder of Nylah Natural has received investment on BBC Dragon’s Den and got a cash injection for the company. You can watch the clip here.
Why did you start Nylah Naturals?
Hi, I am Kam. I am the founder of Nylah. I stopped processing my hair chemically in 2009. I started to do a black history course with Robin Walker. I learnt that my hair is a celebration of my heritage. It signifies the beauty of all of the women who came before me. I no longer want to conform to what society said was beautiful.
I grew up in a very Christian household and black history was just something that we didn’t really explore. This is quite unfortunate because when doing that course, I started to learn about not only the contributions, I developed racial steam, which is very important. I became proud of myself as a black woman. I became confident about being a black woman and what that meant, and understanding that it was a very powerful thing and a beautiful thing. I stopped trying to change and adapt my blackness to fit in with what society thought was acceptable.
When I had my daughter. She had eczema and very sensitive skin and I was struggling to find products that were effective for her complex skin needs. So, I started to import products from the US. It was very unstable at the time in the UK because there weren’t as many brands as they are right now. We didn’t have as many options and in fact, I couldn’t find anything. So, I decided to create something suitable for my daughter and my textured hair, which is very kinky, thick hair.
I have a personality where I like to understand how things work and why things are the way that they are. Especially for black hair, we know that it is different but we don’t understand exactly what is going on in terms of the structure. Obviously, we have the hairdressers who have that knowledge, but a lot of us don’t. Things like porosity, the fact that we have less cuticles. The fact that because of the texture of the hair, our cuticles don’t lay flat. This causes dehydration of the hair. Things like hydro fatigue, what happens when we’re over moisturising our hair, do we need protein and understanding that balance.
A lot of people don’t know that. I think it is really imperative in order for people to get the best out of their hair, especially as a black woman, that we understand exactly why it is the way that it is. Then, we can choose the products in order to promote its health and begin the process of healing our hair and maximise its protection.
When I was selecting my ingredients myself and scientific colleagues. We also made sure that we looked at the environmental working groups database. They have the database of all the raw materials available for cosmetics scientific formulations. We made sure that our materials were registered at a hazard level of 0-3 and that is the lowest hazard level that we can get.
Ready for the market
When I thought my product is better, I asked for the professional opinions from the salon owners and hairdressers. Then I was ready to go to the market. It is interesting, that I’ve been in the process of developing in my formulations for several years and it wasn’t something I picked the first thing and decided to run to the market. I knew how I wanted them to perform, especially being quite effective for your kinky hair type which is the hair type me and my daughter have and at that point, I thought it is ready to go.
Nylah Naturals Wash Set
This is why the slogan is Heritage, Hair and Science
The racial steam, pride of the heritage is really important to me. This is why the slogan is Heritage, Hair and Science. I deeply believe they go hand in hand. I believe that there is a lack of awareness still, in children, in terms of their history and I would like to use the brand to develop that. Also, I think in terms of STEM, which is science, technology, engineering and mathematics, there needs to be awareness for black children to move into those kinds of professions. My day job is a careers advisor. I’m always looking at ways where I can use the brand and the company to raise the development of young people. So, I’m working on a few things that I am very excited about.
With special thanks to:
- Kam – Founder of Nylah Naturals UK
- Keyla – Freedom Edge hair salon in Birmingham
- Hosted by – Dominque Lescott
- Filmed and edited by – Simone Herbert
- Production Assistant – Twyla Isles
- Music by – Adanna
You can shop for Nylah’s Naturals on our marketplace – Hair Popp
Our customer review of Nylah Naturals UK
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Sooo I got some products from @hairpopp (amazon of black haircare) and thought I’d try them out! Really like them, Brum based brand so gotta show love, don’t watch the dodgy editing! Me and my hair always going through it, like a bad relationship with no break up is what it is.. . #hairjourney #naturalhairstyles #natural #naturalhair #afro #afrocurls #afrohair #nyla #hairpopp
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Filmed and edited by Simbert.
Music produced by Diverse Beats.