Like many women transitioning from relaxed hair to natural hair, Rochelle Graham had difficulty finding the hair care options that would not only properly nurture her tresses, but also be natural and free of potentially harmful ingredients. So, Rochelle founded Alikay Naturals, an all-natural product line that would address the need that wasn’t being met! Now Alikay Naturals products are favorites within the natural hair community, and with bloggers and vloggers like Nicole Melton, Naturally Glam, and Natural Neiicey. The brand will be sold in Sally’s Beauty Supply stores nationwide beginning in February of 2015. December COCOTIQUE subscribers have the opportunity to try 3 of their amazing products with the receipt of their holiday boxes.
Tell us how Alikay Naturals got its start.
Initially, I began documenting my natural hair journey in college with photos and videos to use as a reference point for determining the best ways to re-create my hairstyles later. After a few bumps in the road with my own hair journey, I felt that the hair care options that were available at that time didn’t have the natural ingredients packed with healing properties and natural humectants that I needed to nurture my highly textured tresses from root to tip. This encouraged me to begin researching ingredients, and I tapped into my childhood in Jamaica with my herbalist grandmother, to create my own line of petroleum free, sulfate free and mineral oil free products that would address the void in the market.
What is your brand’s core message to its customers?
Keeping to our core value to only use natural & organic ingredients, Alikay Naturals is a brand focused on creating products to help highly textured hair stay healthy and grow longer. Our unique combination of natural & organic ingredients resonates with consumers looking to start/maintain their healthy hair growth with products that offer superior multi-layer, long-lasting moisture.
Tell us about your Lemongrass Leave-in Conditioner, Essential 17 Oil, and Crème Brulee Curling Delight (which all December subscribers are receiving) and why they are a must-have combination in every naturalista’s product regimen.
Packed with Agave Nectar, Argan Oil and Aloe Vera; I love the way the Crème Brulee makes my curls pop; while the Lemongrass Leave-In Conditioner’s essential oils penetrate deep into the hair cortex to lock in moisture, soften, strengthen and condition each strand. I love the way the Essential 17 Growth Oil leaves my scalp feeling refreshed and the definition I get from using the Lemongrass Leave-In Conditioner and Crème Brulee for my quick & chic twist outs.
In your Beauty & Bloggers section on your website, several natural haired bloggers share things like their most cherished Alikay Naturals products, where they get their hair-spiration and their signature style. How has their affiliation helped with referrals and community building for your brand?
Going beyond the conventional perceptions of beauty, I want Alikay Naturals to be an influential force sharing the appreciation of beauty as well as the individuality that builds confidence. That was what inspired me to start the Beauty & Bloggers section on www.alikaynaturals.com. Vloggers are really the driving force in setting trends and I wanted consumers to see how our products impact the lives of their peers. The vlogging community has such a powerful influence on brand marketing because of its reputation for being a great resource for people who are looking for support or guidance through their natural hair journey.
The 30-minute hair consultation service is such a unique addition to your product offerings! How did it come about and how have your customers been responding to it?
Since the start of Alikay Naturals, making the brand has always been about “If I was the customer what would I be looking for?” For us, it’s more than just providing the products; we also want to be able to provide our customers with support. So we make sure our awesome customer service team can not only answer questions about our products but also the specific hair concerns of each individual customer. I also realized there’s some customers that need more “one-on-one” attention and advice. I really wanted to be able to offer that to them and who better to do it than the person who created the line? I think it’s important that no matter how big the brand grows we remain connected to our customers and really support them through their journey. Alikay Naturals is more than just amazing products, we offer a brand with amazing service and follow-up care. That’s what differentiates us from our competitors.