Washing my hair
Hello Kitty shower cap, pink head towel, aloe vera and green tea in my hair, together makes my hair feel amazing. I’m writing this blog post as my lovely locs are tucked away and I wait 45 minutes for the aloe vera & green to work its magic. But, 2 hours ago, I was in my kitchen meticulously making this hair product, amongst my host family whose curiously looked as I was cutting and blending my aloe vera leaves. Though I have done this millions of times, it felt like a bitch to make.
Making products take time!
First, you need the aloe vera leaves, big ones (not the little ones you grow in your garden), then you need green tea (not just any), olive oil, coconut oil, and some essential oils like lavender, tea tree oil, lemongrass (a bit pricey but necessary), a good blender, and strainer. When I left Bangkok, I made sure I brought along all the essential ingredients and hoped I would be able to buy aloe vera leaves in China. To make products, it takes me about 30minutes to 1 hour (depending on the product) to make, but this time since I was in a new kitchen, had a few distractions it took me over 1 hour. Going back 7 days, I asked my host mother to order some aloe vera leaves for me and she stated it would take 3-4 days to be delivered. And yesterday, I was so excited as I unwrapped my 5 year old aloe vera leaves that were neatly wrapped in newspaper and packaged in a prism shaped box. Back in Bangkok, I had “a guy” at Chatuchak market who I would order my aloe vera leaves from via LINE, had a motorbike deliver them to me on Wednesdays (don’t ask why) and once I got my aloe vera leaves, I had to chop and freeze them so they could remain fresh (at one point I had more hair products in my refrigerator than I had food!). In summary, it takes time, patience, and the right recipe to make fresh hair products, and for my case it took over exactly a week to get everything I needed to do my hair.
Time is my biggest asset
Now, if you asked me what is the biggest asset for Healthy Hair Asia I would say it’s time. I have time to make products, I have time to brainstorm, I have time to network and travel, I have time to experiment and make new products, I have time to explore, and I have time to “fail fast” so I can build Healthy Hair Asia beyond my kitchen. This entrepreneurial path I chose to teach English abroad because it offers the most flexibility and benefits: weekends, holidays, free housing, and steady pay check so I have enough time. If I was in politics (what I studied in university) I would not have so much time, or chose a different career that would enabled me more money, I would not have the time to build Healthy Hair Asia.
People can literally make their own fresh hair products
I’ve asked myself: “Why make fresh hair products? People can literally go on YouTube and learn how to make these products themselves!” In fact, most of the ingredients can be found at your local grocery store. Initially, when I began making products I told my customers they can learn how to make their own hair masks, gels, and shampoos. But, many said they don’t have time, the ingredients, nor the patience to make the products. For example, one customer, a mommy with a toddler, asked me if I had any natural hair gels. I did, however I didn’t master how to make the flaxseed natural gel, and sent her a YouTube video. She immediately told me: I don’t have any of those ingredients nor the time to make it, I’ll wait for your flaxseed gel.” And, lo and behold, a few months later I finally mastered how to make the gel, and personally delivered it to her, I’ve never seen such a smile on someone face :) And at that moment, I realised, despite the plethora of information and DIY YouTube videos, most people honestly would prefer to buy products then make it themselves.
Why I love to make hair products?
If you’re not familiar with my entrepreneurial or hair journey, it started back in university when I decided to stop chemically treating my hair. I sadly didn’t know how to properly maintain my hair or what products worked best for my hair. However, I did know the right time to learn was in university, where I could experiment and learn the basics of natural hair care. I’ve learned so much on YouTube, experimenting with my own hair, doing my friends hair, and making hair products from my dorm room to earn a little income. I’m no expert on all things natural and organic hair care, but what I could tell you is my experience and online Natural Hair Community has provided me the skills and confidence to start this business. I know exactly how my customer feel when they discreetly ask for products to stop their hair from excessively shedding/falling, I know how my customer feel when they say their scalp is oily and/or dry and need help, I know how my customers feel when they urgently call/message me to get products so they can look beautiful (hair emergencies are real!). Essentially, I know how my customers feel because I’ve been in their shoes, better yet, looked in the mirror and said:” My hair is a mess and I don’t know what to do.” I love to make hair products because I had a community to help me achieve healthy and beautiful hair, and I want to use what I’ve learned to help other people achieve the same.
Healthy Hair Asia
Again, I would like to thank everyone for reading my blog and following my entrepreneurial journey. It’s been 3 weeks since I’ve moved to China, so far I really like it. I now have a bicycle pass so I could ride around the city, I have become better equipped with getting around, and my Chinese language is slowly sinking in.
Stay tuned for next week, and check out my pics below :)