The wash day struggles are real! If like you’ve been fed up with wrapping an old t-shirts around your head on wash day, then read on a little longer. Enter stage left the Tee-Owels, the natural hair worlds long awaited answer to our t-shirt conundrum, the combi towel is true to its name it’s simply a cross between a ‘Tee-shirt’ and a ‘Towel’, and they’re here to change the modern hair care game. Why would anyone want to use a T-shirt towel to dry their hair? Well, the concept is that bath towels tend to over perform when it comes to hair care. The thick fibers are designed to fully absorb moisture from your body, NOT your fragile hair! So, when using a bath towel, your hair is stripped from its moisture and friction is created which causes dryness and damage. In contrast, the soft texture of T-shirt material allows your hair to dry while retaining its moisture and eliminating friction.
Although hair gurus are privy to the wonders t-shirt material could work for your hair, there are still a great number of people who are unaware of the damage regular bath towels are causing. Tee-Owels mission is to shed light on the truth about traditional towel drying in hair care and help women achieve their hair goals, in style. The effects that traditional towel drying has on textured and curly hair types are especially damaging because these hair types are already dry and breakage prone. Lorraine Massey, author of Curly Girl: The NEW Handbook”, explains it best when she says that traditional terry cloth “absorbs too much moisture which curly hair needs”. The author goes on to say that, “the harsh fiber will ruffle the hair’s cuticle causing frizz”, which further emphasizes the need for Tee-Owels in everyday hair care.
In CHM fashion we had to question the business brain behind the brand. Tee-Owels is founded by New York Esthetician and business woman, Elizbeth Girolamo. Girolamo came up with the idea for the product in her home during her senior year in college. We asked Girolamo a few questions to find out what were here drivers and top tips for other budding business women.
1. What made you start the business?
It all started coming together when I started an Instagram page back in 2015 devoted to educating on black hair care, the page is called Ethnic Hair Forum, and while I was doing this I realized that I was unsatisfied with the product accessories available that help textured hair retain its moisture. I couldn't think of many lines that catered to this hair type, and especially any that were any fun. I had newly learned about T-shirt material being better for hair and being that I was adopted by white people and had to navigate my own hair care my whole life I just remember always wanting textured hair care to be standardized, for women to not have to search the crevices of the earth for this information, so I knew I had to contribute and had found my calling. I want to make textured hair care a happier, more fun event than it has been previously. I disliked the fact that if I wanted to take care of my hair, I had to bootleg things, like wrap an old t shirt around my head.
2. How have people responded to the product?
I have received nothing but amazing and positive feedback and comments regarding Tee-Owels from friends and customers, they've already helped so many people improve their hair care. I think women immediately recognize it as a secret uncovered, something that makes sense and should have been a long time ago. Many women are finding the soft- stretchy fabric to be easier to work with then a big old clunky bath towel. People of all textures are loving them right now. I've received comments about what a brilliant idea it is, how the Owl is so cute and the colours are so pleasing on the eyes. I think most of my followers have recognized most what it stands for, my Instagram page and Facebook page are always reflecting diversity, and love, and happiness which is a good thing. Tee-Owels brings people together and this is where we are today in society. We need more things like this.
3. What other gaps do you think exist in the natural hair world?
Tee-Owels plans to come out with a complete line of accommodating hair products for natural hair care, and so I don't want to give too much away, but I think the natural hair world has lacked a lot of standardization and structure where education lies. It lacks cute products that help curly hair women retain their hairs mixture in everyday life.
4. What would you say to someone thinking of starting their own business?
I would say that, especially in this type of business, which is my experience, it’s incredibly discouraging at times, and even a little embarrassing, you're putting yourself completely out there. I remember feeling crazy because I put all my money into it, and just had nothing to show for it for months. Things were hard. BUT if it's something that you believe in, you must go for it, there’s too much to lose if you don't. Be prepared that it's not easy, but nothing good worth having is! Just go through it, GROW through it and you'll be happy that you did. You'll be better for it, and if you draw a road map of how to get there, and have unswerving faith in yourself I believe that you must reach your destination. That's the idea I'm guided by every day.
5. What’s your hair type and what are your hair care top tips?
I have very thick and course hair. My father is Afro American and my mother is Colombian, and I completely got my dad’s hair. My sister got that nice big s curls, curly hair that mixed kids get, and that is NOT what happened for me. My hair was a big obstacle for me growing up all it did was break and not grow, because it was so misunderstood, and still is I believe for many girls out there. I finally learned when I was 20 to manage it, completely love and embrace it, and harness my hairs beautiful energy. I have Type 4C, as kinky as it comes. I learned that finding ways to retain your hairs moisture (Tee-Owels!) and using what nature provides us - natural essential oils to keep moisturized are key. Drinking lots of water are key. Also, reducing heat and processing. Type 4C is VERY low maintenance, so you want products that are soft and gentle, and the less styling you do, the more your hair radiates!
Tee-Owels were created with your hair in mind, and by taking small strides towards healthier hair, like switching to a Tee-Owel, your hair will bring out the inner goddess in you!
Tee-Owels can be found on amazon marketplace, etsy, or the website www.teeowels.com