2 weeks ago, I sat down with Angie to talk about her hair and skin products brand "The Hairoine". A mother and entrepreneur, she also organizes natural hair meet-ups in Geneva on a regular basis (you can check out my post about her meet-ups here).
Please introduce yourself Angie!
My name is Angie Brice Hessbruegge. I was born in Haiti and grew up in New York. For the past 10 years, I've been living in Europe, where I established The Hairoine, a black hair- and skin care business that provides Swiss-quality natural products to care-conscious clients around the world.
What hairstyle are you sporting today?
I'm wearing crochet braids that I did myself.
Why and how did you start “The Hairoine”?
The Hairoine started before I even realized I was creating a brand. I've always been a believer in the efficiency of natural ingredients because I grew up seeing my mom use plants, such as aloe vera and pure Haitian castor oil, for the hair and body. So when I started having hair problems I turned to natural ingredients to help. I was the campus hairstylist in college; braiding everyone from the dance captain to members of the men basketball and (American) football team. I’d use my homemade products on them and they’d always come back for more. Wherever I moved to, I became the go-to girl for hairstyles and products, so I officially turned it into a business in 2008.
Tell us a little bit about your hair story. When and why did you decide to go natural?
My mother used to "press" my hair every first Saturday of the month from the age of 10. It was always a stressful experience for the both us because I’d be scared of getting burned by the hot comb and I'd keep blowing around my face and head to get rid of the smoke. So for my 13th birthday, I asked her for a relaxer and she said yes. As the years went on, I felt with each relaxer my hair was getting thinner and more fragile. Then, during my third year at university, I went to Spain to study abroad and kept my hair in braids because I didn’t trust anyone to relax my hair. As my ‘virgin’ hair started growing more and more, I rediscovered my natural hair and did my first "big chop" on 15 May 2003.
How important is your hair to you?
I can say that I’m not longer "obsessed" with my hair, because I’ve come to know it and accept it for what it can and cannot do.
How would you describe your hair type and texture?
Just like some people have "combination type" skin, I have combination type hair. It ranges from 3b in the back and sides by my ear, to 4c at the crown. As you can imagine, this can be a challenge, but because I know my hair I’m able to work with what I have.
Could you tell us more about your hair regimen?
When I’m not wearing a protective style, I wash every week with my shampoo and conditioner. I also deep condition with my shea butter and argan oil based mask (I add an egg and plain yogurt) every 2 weeks. I use the LOC method and apply my leave-in conditioner, hair oils and hair cream and then proceed to twist my hair in medium sections. I daily condition with my leave-in conditioner (which has a base of aloe vera juice) at night and do big twists.
What’s your go-to hairstyle?
Actually, I love bobby pins because you can find very creative ways to pin your hair up.
What do you like the most, and the least, about your natural hair?
I love that my hair is so versatile. I can do so many different styles with my natural hair, play with the volume and experiment with extensions. The different hair types on one head can be a challenge, but I get around that by manipulating my hair so the textures appear more uniformed.
If you had to choose 2 products from your line, what would you pick?
If I had to choose, the first product would be the coco-mango-shea body butter, which can coincidentally be used for the hair too. The second would be the "oil you need: hair growth formula" because many clients have gotten such positive results from it.
Last but certainly not least, tell us where to find your products!
You can find my products online at: www.thehairoine.com. I am based in Switzerland, the UK and the US, so international shipping is not a problem. In Geneva and Lausanne, you will be able to find my products at Inside Africa and selected hair salons.
Thank you Angie!
'Til next time,
xoxo my lovely readers!