“As a society, India sees curly or textured hair as ‘unruly’ and something that needs to be changed. We need to drive conversations about curly hair care and show that curls aren’t untamed or unnatural,” says Anshita Mehrotra, founder & CEO of Fix My Curls, a hair care brand curated specifically for curly and wavy hair. Being a curly girl myself, her sentiment resonates with me. For years, I splurged on popular curl-care products endorsed by gorgeous African American women because at home, nobody was talking about it. But with homegrown brands moving towards catering to unique Indian skin and hair care needs, the tides are looking to favour curly girls now. Fix My Curls has been one such exceptional ally to curl girls since its launch. We caught up with its founder to understand what goes behind acing a curl-care brand.
A young entrepreneur in the process of completing a degree in Journalism from Penn State World Campus, Anshita has always been keen to build a community of people who love and embrace their natural hair and can thrive in it. Launched in 2019, Fix My Curls was born out of passion and inspired by her own hair problems. “I was 19, taking a break from college back home, and also out of hair care products! A simple search on the internet for curl-care products in India showed empty results. Or the ones that were available were too expensive to import here, which is when I knew there had to be an alternate, cheaper solution.” As a result, Anshita’s brand is now a direct solution strategy for frizzy, curly or textured hair in India.
The entrepreneurial effort put behind the brand is a product of catering to a niche. While new brands and products addressing the curly hair segment are coming in, Anshita believes it’s still not as popular. “Very few big MNCs make products for our niche,” she notes. The brand also hopes to bridge the formulation gap. When creating curly/wavy/texture-specific products, brands have to focus on the hair type and the protein moisture balance in each product. Hair types range from 1A (straight) – 2A (wavy) – 3A (curly) and 4A (coily). With these many types of hair, not one product can work for everyone. “We focus on protein and moisture-rich ranges, that give moisture retention and enhance curl and wave patterns using butter and oils without weighing them down. Another thing to look out for is not using sulphates, silicones, parabens, mineral oils or waxes,” Anshita explains.
What Makes Fix My Curls So Good?
Fix My Curls started out with a five-step product range – from cleansing to styling curls at home. “I created a step-wise process which would be easier for customers to follow,” reveals Anshita. The brand began by analysing the American and European markets for curly hair products. Based on what can be translated to an Indian target audience for an affordable price with effective formulations, the product range was created. “Formulation of products takes about four to five months because we want to be conscious of what ingredients we use, with consistent efficacy checks on multiple hair types in India. We even look into the Indian climate and which ingredients are best for our hair here,” elaborates Anshita.
The secret behind Fix My Curls’ incredibly efficacious and adaptive formulations is being focused on being either protein or moisture rich and giving customers a balance beforehand. “Whenever we do consultations or recommendations, we always give a balanced range so there isn’t an initial overload,” explains Ashita. Additionally, with curly, wavy, or textured hair, the density, porosity, and hair history of each individual have to be taken into account when making decisions about what to use. Fix My Curls’ range of products is vast enough to create a mix and match of a combination that works for your hair.
Entrepreneurial Learnings And Future Prospects
Anshita’s advice to prospective curl-care formulators is to be mindful of the dosage! “Any ingredient can become overwhelming or underwhelming if its role in the formulation isn’t decided beforehand. Oftentimes we create five to six versions of a product before we land on the one we choose to launch,” she reveals. One of her biggest learnings from being a curl-care entrepreneur is that Indian curl types are different. “A lot of people in the south of India have curly hair, and their texture is vastly different from those in the North or East of India,”. This is why Fix My Curls’ range is dynamic with five styling products, if conditioners are added, then eight in total. Each formulation has differentiation in terms of some having glycerin vs some not having any humectants (these help with moisture retention but can be dangerous in humid climates for curls). So their range can work for every climate and region; after a little bit of trial and error, of course!
Another big learning from Anshita’s brand is its social media journey. The brand’s Instagram page kickstarted in 2019 with just 500 followers and is now a family of about 44k. Their goal to educate their consumers about curl-care has received a phenomenal response. Their audience is proof that if there’s an effective product at the helm, people are willing to come out of their shells, try something new and have faith in the brand’s messaging. “I believe what got us here is that we aren’t focused on being a product-centric brand, but instead building a community-centric brand filled with like-minded people; people who want to embrace the texture they naturally have!” concludes Anshita.
In terms of future prospects, the brand is primed for yet another success story with its Scalp & Strands Elixir Hair Oil. The launch is trendy and timely as the beauty industry moves towards prioritising scalp care more and more each day. “We didn’t want to make just another hair oil. The multitasking formulation offer heat protection up to 30 degrees, scrunches out your gel cast, and encourages growth from the root,” reveals Anshita. Imagine a hair oil but with a weightless serum-like consistency without the silicones, and you’ve got a vanity essential for all hair types, from 1A to 4C. It also boasts of retinol as an active, Omega 3 for breakage, and golden seaweed to protect the mane from heat and eleven magical oils for the best after care. “We’ve followed the ideology that scalp is skin, and if your scalp isn’t given the right environment to thrive in, your hair won’t thrive either,” concludes Anshita.