We chat to Taryn Gill, founder of The Perfect Hair on what inspired her to use African-grown ingredients and beautiful recyclable glass packaging.
The journey to The Perfect Hair began when Taryn grew an interest in creating for African female consumers.
“I am from a very strong publishing background, I published magazines like ELLE, my career required a lot of time and travel. After having my babies I knew that I wasn’t going back to full-time publishing. So I went to create something that I had become quite passionate about, the black female consumer in Africa. I had gathered stats and research from a project I did for ELLE magazine called The Female Factor and that inspired me to do very female friendly projects.”
The Perfect Hair takes pride in creating its products using ingredients grown and sourced from Africa.
“In the winter of 2013 I was introduced to a range of imported haircare from the US – amazingly effective and well-formulated brands like Mixed Chicks, Ouidad, As I Am Naturally, Shea Moisture and some others. I was so dumbstruck by how well they worked for my curls so I started an online store and they sold like hot cakes. Seeing the success of that I started asking myself why are we buying all these products from America when all the ingredients come from Africa anyways? So I got ahold of a Biochemist and a Trichologist to find out if we can make similar formulas but using locally sourced ingredients. We used Aloe from Mossel Bay, Mafura Butters from Zimbabwe, Kalahari Melon seed oils and Mongongo oils from Namibia. It took us about 20 months to create the formula, and it was the poorest 20 months of my life.”
Taryn has always loved wearing her large afro of brown, curly, coily hair naturally.
“In the coloured community it was considered essential to relax and blow dry your hair and growing up under the Durban humidity it was fighting a losing battle. Every day was a battle with frizz, detangling issues, you’d iron and it bounces back, then the next day you’d iron over and over again. And I loved wearing my hair naturally even though my grandmother would always try to convince me to “fix” it. Luckily my mother was a very proud naturalista from way back, she owned a nightclub in a very conservative community so she was used to not giving a damn about what people think. She would switch up her afro hairstyles tagging me along as she goes. I’ve always had my afro, I never wanted anything else. So owning The Perfect Hair makes me feel like I’ve come home.”
And from my experience I knew that I am not selling a hair product, I am selling self-love.
What inspired you to package in glass?
“We used glass packaging regardless of all talks about glass not being suitable for hair products and how it will break in the shower. When you present a product with such concentrated quality formulas girls will treat it with care. Glass is cleanliness and you can wash it off to use it again for something else later.”
Why the name The Perfect Hair?
“My first business was called The Perfect Score, understanding the female consumer. We took the sexism out of the phrase by showing clients that marketing to this female consumer gave them the perfect score in terms of marketing success. After The Perfect Score, I started publishing more female friendly magazines and that was called The Perfect Publisher. So when I started with the hair products we knew that it had to be The Perfect Hair. And that made sense because the perfect hair is happy healthy hair. You don’t need to look perfect you just need to feel good about it. It is the health of your hair that makes it perfect; And from my experience I knew that I am not selling a hair product, I am selling self-love.”
The Perfect Hair caters for all African hair types with three ranges The Perfect Wave, The Perfect Curl and The Perfect Kinky Coil.
“Our high shine spray is very fine with no silicones, no product build up and no grease. It provides extra shine and it can be used on all types of hair. I’ve had girls who spray it on their skin to give a shimmer (lol). Our new Aloe gel holds twist outs, curls and it doesn’t feel like you’re wearing your ordinary gel that gives you that crunchy wet look we had in the 80s.”