Mother Natasha Anderson and her daughter Khadija Imara have launched an innovative product to make Black hair care more accessible.
The pair created The Original Unbraider, a hair care tool that can gently take down eight braids simultaneously while detangling the hair. In a February 24 interview with Afrotech, Anderson opened up about the process of designing such a product and how overwhelming the response to it has been.
Anderson said, “As I was designing it, going through the prototype phase, and dealing with the engineers, I shared it with him when he was visiting my husband [and] he said, ‘I can take that back to Taiwan. And if my family is not able to create the mold for this idea, my best friend’s family also has one,’”
She continued to describe how she got to experience the manufacturing process in person and how her husband was supportive every step of the way: “So, we technically ended up going with his best friend. The whole family — four at that time — flew to Taiwan. We got to see the manufacturing and how they poured it and made the mold. It was really a great experience. And my husband really helped out by allowing us to pull money off our house in order to do that.”
It didn’t take long for The Original Unbraider to come to life after that initial step, and the product was well received by patrons and salons alike. Imara told the outlet, “The response has been amazing, and I’ve had an amazing mentor to be able to follow in her footsteps, and she provided me a blueprint. It was just about utilizing today’s time and the resources, and the tools that we have. And the lesson learned was how to approach with a systematic approach, the social media strategy.”
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“This marketing strategy has pivoted since we first launched because it was different when [my mother] launched; we had a completely different strategy because e-commerce wasn’t a viable option at the time … So, we [Imara & Anderson] were doing a lot of on-the-ground work, hair shows, and whatnot. And so we continued to do that as well.”
She finished by expressing the importance of The Original Unbraider as a tool on the natural hair care journey. Its practical use has drummed up “a lot of demand in the U.K., the Caribbean, Canada [and] so many other places.”
“Expanding our product line is something that we’re interested in…expanding our reach, going international. We’re also looking to be able to help that hair care journey because we’ve all been on it. I have cut my hair several times and done the [big] chop and said, ‘This is the last time.’ I’ve been there before. I know exactly what has helped me, and I want to help others in that journey as well.”