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As a child, I dreaded my laundry days. My long, thick curls were too much for my mom to handle. When I was six, my mom got tired of trying to comb my hair and introduced me to creamy crack, beginning a long journey of learning to love, accept and manage my hair.
Thanks to entrepreneurs LaTrice, LaToya & LaTasha Stirrup, they’re redefining wash days with their innovative hair tools, Kazmaleje (pronounced cosmology). The Stirrup sisters launched the brand to limit breakage and knotting of black hair and enhance the washing experience. “We developed these products for consumers who were frustrated because they were tired of long wash days, breakage when detangling, and hair tools that just didn’t work. Instead of waiting for a big brand to create something for us, we decided to do it ourselves,” LaToya explained in an exclusive interview with HelloBeautiful.
Kazmaleje works on all hair types, but it thrives on textured hair. Not only is it designed to eliminate breakage, it’s also made of durable plastic that’s kind to your hair and the planet. “A lot of us have combed/brushed our hair and broken the teeth of the comb or found the teeth of the comb stuck in our hair. We dealt with those weak points because that’s what was on the market. We thought we could address some of these things in our product design to create a better wash experience that allows us to feel good about our hair and not fall down that rabbit hole of good hair, bad hair “, she continued.
When it comes to sustainability, Kazmaleje is Plastic Neutral certified by an organization called rePurposed Global. “It’s a major achievement,” LaToya said. “This means that with every hair tool, we donate a percentage of the profits back to the organization because they help fund other companies or organizations around the world that do innovative things in waste management. We offset our use of plastic by eliminating an equal amount of environmental waste, allowing us to be plastic neutral, so although we have a strong focus on the environment as clean beauty, even as a small brand, we have taken steps to ensure that we are doing what we can in this space to reduce our carbon footprint and consider the environment.
“This level of durability has been part of our philosophy from the start as, again, we prioritize durability, strength and longevity in our hair tools. We wanted to make sure we weren’t creating something cheap, fast and that wouldn’t break easily and force you to go back and buy it again We wanted to create something that was quality, that was thick, that could stand up and comb luscious thick hair without that you are able to replace them frequently,” she continued.
Wash day as personal care
Our washing experience is something that starts at an early age. Depending on how your parents styled your hair, you developed a love or disdain for the weekly routine. My mom’s eagerness to learn how to take care of my mane is the reason I got my first perm when I was six years old. I know many black women who share this experience, making them take the time to learn their child’s hair. Because Kazmaleje hair tools are so gentle, the wash day experience feels more like love and less like a chore.
“We’ve had mums come up to hug us because they’re like, ‘oh my God, you’ve completely changed the wash days with my kids and me because now I’m not chasing after them anymore.’ They’re not crying. It’s just a completely different experience. Moms have sent us pictures of them combing their daughter’s hair, and she falls asleep. How many of us have been through this as than moms, or even when we were little? Think about what that experience was like growing up. And for some it was traumatic. For some it was very painful. I think it has to do with our relationship with hair. Especially within the black community and the history of hair care, the importance of hair and our crown, there’s a lot to unpack, and being innovative in this space is huge,” LaToya explained.
“We often say the brand turns pain points into moments of self-care. Our products aim to rebuild wash days by improving the experience and removing the things that make you feel bad or make you want not to,” she continued.
Welcome to Target
Want to know where you can find Kazmaleje? In addition to visiting the brand’s website, you can now buy them in your local Target.
“We launched last January, which was amazing, and we’re also now available on Salon Centric’s online marketplace. This allows us to connect with hairdressers nationwide, and we continue to innovate and develop relationships with other retailers. That way we can get our hair tools into as many hands as possible,” LaToya said.
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