IntrinsiCurly Me was started by Simonne Solarsh. She’s a curly girl who knows all too well the struggles those with curly hair not only have with managing their hair, but the social dilemmas that come with it, particularly while growing up. Simonne is a curly girl fairy godmother, inspiring you to embrace who you are intrinsically, and wear your curls like a crown. This is her story…
“My mother, who has always had straight hair, struggled with my curly blonde mop growing up. She brushed, whirled, ironed, blow dried, and ultimately tied it up, in her fight to tame my hair. Between us, we had no idea how to manage my hair, and I grew up with the lingering feeling that curls were something to be altered in order to fit in. On this journey, I’ve learned how so many other curly girls felt the same.
“In school, the boys would taunt me by throwing pieces of eraser into my hair, taking bets among themselves to see how long it would take me to notice. And, as a young adult, I had a very tall friend, who would pick me up, turn me upside down, and say, ‘Look! We can mop the floor with Simonne!’”
“When I was older and could afford salon professional products, I found that the results were inconsistent. My now-hubby once commented how my personality changed when I’d straightened my hair. I’d be so worried about my hair frizzing, and suppressed my bubbly personality. I wasn’t being myself, intrinsically.
“People with curly hair all have their own versions of these stories growing up, which is why we spend so much time fighting our waves, curls and coils. We use heat and chemicals to try to attain a standard of smooth, straight hair that’s never quite achievable.
“A turning point for me was a conversation I had with my wedding photographer, after I bounded into her office with my Diana Ross, Concert in the Park hair to collect my photos. She was visibly shocked that my hair was naturally curly, because my wedding photos depicted a completely different story. My hairstylist had blow dried, ironed, and then curled my hair with tongs on the day. It took hours and my photographer snapped away madly, as my fear of the humidity setting in the frizz was top of mind.
“My photographer suggested I go to a salon in New York that specialised in curly hair. Luck would have it that my husband and I were going to the US on honeymoon. We turned down a visit to the Empire State Building and spent the money on my visit to that salon, where I was introduced to the Curly Girl Method. My life has never been the same since!
‘Once I began applying the Curly Girl Method to my hair, and truly embracing my curls, people would stop me wherever I went to compliment me.
“I just knew I needed to create a high quality, local brand. A brand that was luxurious, that was simple to use and that people could trust. A range of products that didn’t contain the chemical nasties – sulphates, silicones, parabens, drying alcohols, waxes and mineral oils. After a lot of searching, I found a factory that could help me create them. Over 18 months, and through much trial and error, we created three formulas that worked – the Peppermint Cowash, Conditioner and Curl Creme. IntrinsiCurly Me was born.
“I started really small. I remember panicking about how I would pay for my first order of 50 bottles. I originally did all my own marketing, and sold my products directly. I’d receive orders through WhatsApp and email. Early 2018 our online store went live.
“My next goal was to take IntrinsiCurly Me and The Curly Girl Method principles to professional hair salons. The products and techniques needed to get the great results would have to be taught to their clients. We started selling through salons at the end of 2018 and have never looked back. We have had a phenomenal response from our salons. The stylists are hungry for this knowledge and they're enjoying feeling more empowered to deal with their curly clients. I once had a hairdresser partly shave my hair, because ‘curly hair is much easier to deal with this way’!
“The name IntrinsiCurly Me was born from my desire to allow curly guys and girls everywhere to be who they are intrinsically. And the name sticks!
IntrinsiCurly Me is a proudly South African salon professional brand that knows your curly hair and what it needs. Our products are made for wavy, curly and coily hair. We embrace the Curly Girl Method and teach you how to get gorgeous luscious curls you never knew you had! View our products here https://www.intrinsicurlyme.co.za/collections/all