Welcome to Texture Talk, a column that celebrates and deep dives into the dynamic world of curly hair, from crowns of curls that are free flowing to strands that are tucked away in a protective style.
Los Angeles natives Tonya Thompson and Sharie Wilson are on a mission to teach Black women how to achieve long, healthy locks. What originally started as a passion project in their garage has quickly turned into DreamGirls hair salon, plus a brand that’s surpassed $2.5 million in sales in its first year (!!) and amassed a loyal following of over 50K #DreamGirls on Instagram.
The sister duo specializes in strengthening hair treatments designed to take the guesswork out of hair growth. Their 5-Step Healthy Hair Care System not only repairs, restores and revives damaged locks, but also encourages women to embrace their curls and coils by giving textured hair some serious TLC. We spoke to the sisters about their journey, what it was like launching a brand during the pandemic, and how DreamGirls Hair was born.
What inspired you to start DreamGirls?
From the start, we’ve wanted to help women. The goal of DreamGirls is to break the stereotype that Black women can’t have long, natural hair. We want to help build their confidence in knowing that they can do anything. In 2006, we opened our Sacramento and Los Angeles salon locations and began our Healthy Hair Care Program to provide professional services for women looking to grow their hair.
The Healthy Hair Care System is genius. How did it start?
In March 2020, at the height of the pandemic, we launched our Healthy Hair Care System product line to allow women across the globe to care for their hair at home with the same products we use in our salons. Black women have been [bombarded with stereotypes] about not having any hair or being bald, forcing them to wear a weave or wig. And we’ve debunked that myth through the hundreds of women who have grown their hair using our system and products.
Did you feel like there was a white space in the natural hair care industry?
What separates our collection from others is that we took our time to make the Healthy Hair Care System and teach our customers that it’s not just about seeing hair growth, but keeping it. Each product in the kit has transformative properties for the hair issue it was created to address, and we provide a series of instructions and steps [for customers to follow in order to] achieve hair growth and maintain hair health in the long term.
How has the transition from salon ownership to product development been?
As an entrepreneur, it’s all up to you. You don’t work? You don’t eat. You’re the last to get paid. You literally have to learn every part of the business, outside of your service or product offered, through trial and error. We’re talking about everything from human resources, taxes, asset protection, marketing, and the list goes on. By the time you finish, you’ve become the expert in so many areas of business.
How do you both maintain your own hair health?
Sharie: My hair is sandy brown, and what most people may not know is that it’s really hard to retain moisture with this hair colour. So I’ve had some struggles with it throughout the years. To take care of it, aside from using our Healthy Hair Care System, I often keep a gloss over my hair to give it extra shine and protection.
Tonya: What I do for my clients, I do for my own hair! I use our products, I go into protective styling, and I maintain my hair’s health with regular trims.
Any at-home hair tips for those of us who haven’t been able to get to a salon during the pandemic?
The key to healthy hair is a healthy scalp. When your scalp is clean and free of any buildup including dandruff, natural oils, and excessive amounts of product, it leaves an environment that promotes growth. Otherwise, your growth may be delayed, which will lead to frustration. Remember: the scalp is your foundation for hair growth, so it’s very important to take care of it. Also, don’t give up on your hair, because we certainly haven’t! We highly recommend wearing some type of protective style to give your hair a break from everyday wear and tear.
As sisters, what are the high and lows of working together?
The benefit of working as sisters is that we are blessed to be able to grow together as a family while our business reaches new heights. While we have similar ideas, the challenge is that sometimes we don’t see eye to eye, which makes us clash. At the end of the day, we always end up coming to a mutual agreement that is in the best interest of our clients, customers, and our business overall.
What’s next for DreamGirls Hair?
Right now, our goal is to become the staple for hair growth. We want to teach women all over the world how to naturally grow and take care of their hair at home.
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