It’s been said that having and maintaining healthy hair is directly connected to other aspects of health, like healthy diet and healthy skin. The founder of No’Kyem Naturals, Earashea Knight-Stephenson, has made the same connection and is adding skin care products to the already successful line of hair care products created by No’Kyem. The new line, Ah’Sarae, released TODAY at NoKyem.com. I spoke with Earashae about the new line, texture shaming and what set No’Kyem apart from the rest. Check out our chat below.
Keyauna: We did a give-away in the summer with hair products, and it included some of your products. That was very successful. Everybody loved it. Now you’re launching even more products. Tell me about the new line.
Earashea: The new skin line is affectionately named Ah’Sarae. It is exclusively dedicated to promoting healthy, nourished and beautiful skin. I wanted to create a line that everyone can use to achieve the beautiful skin they’ve always wanted. We only use the finest ingredients to enhance the skin that you are in. After all, the skin is the largest organ so it should be cared for with the highest regard. I’m so excited to share Ah’Sarae with everyone!
Keyauna: What made you decide to start producing hair and skin care products? Was it your own struggles, someone you knew?
Earashea: I started making my own products because of two reasons. The first reason was about a year into my natural journey, I was buying product after product and I was not getting positive results from my hair. I was noticing that when I used products with Shea butter my scalp would itch. It occurred to me that all the products I was purchasing contained Shea butter (which was causing my itch). The second reason is around this time my husband was also noticing I was purchasing a lot of products. He made a flippant comment about me spending money on products because I couldn’t make them myself. That was the catalyst that made me want to prove him wrong. I was already frustrated with the mainstream products all containing Shea butter so I set out to make products for others like myself with a sensitivity to Shea butter. Thus No’Kyem was born.
As for the Ah’Sarae skin line, It was always a part of the plan. It’s just one of the extensions in a long line of upcoming projects. I have so much more to share with the natural community.
Keyauna: Is there a particular texture or type of hair that your hair products cater to?
Earashea: I just couldn’t create products for4b- 4c’ers like myself. I have a seven yr old daughter who has 3b-4a hair texture. So naturally within my household we have a range of textures much like the world. That’s why I wanted to produce products that everyone could use. It is my mission that No’Kyem continues to cater to the masses because all textures should be highlighted and have access to quality products.
Keyauna: What is you take on the “texture shaming” that sometimes goes on the African American community?
Earashea: This is such a relevant topic and I’m glad it’s finally coming to the mainstream. I’ve lived with “texture shaming” for most of my life. I didn’t know the label or term until recently but it’s been prevalent in the African-American community for as long as I can remember. My texture is mainly 4c with small sections (front and back) 4b. I have never, and will never, have a looser curl pattern unless I chemically alter my texture. Many of my family members would talk about my hair being the worst of all textures and I grew to hate the very look and feel of what grew from my scalp. I often would put a pillow case on my head and wish my hair was long and straight. I begged my mother for a relaxer for years and on my tenth birthday she granted my wish. Fast forward 19 years after countless bouts with damaged hair. I began my journey towards healthier hair. I began to see beauty in my God given crown. I no longer believe I have the worst texture nor am I envious of other textures. All textures are beautifully made. So when people tell me my hair is beautiful now I believe it. More importantly I know the lasting effects of “texture shaming” so now we can reverse the cycle in African-Africa community by highlighting all textures. All of the marketing for No’Kyem makes a point to showcase all textures. Change begins with us!
Keyauna: Do you actually produce the products on your own by hand? If so, what is that process like?
Earashea: Yes, I make every single product with my own two hands. If anyone places an order just know I’ve personally did everything from mixing to shipping. The process is truly a labor of love. I absolutely think about my customers from start to finish and I pride myself on never sending out anything until it meets my standards. It is such a rewarding process and I’m so grateful that people allow me to assist them in their hair and skincare journeys.
Keyauna: Are all of your ingredients natural? What are the prominent ingredients people can find in your products?
Earashea: Yes all ingredients are 100% Natural & 99% Organic. Some of the major ingredients are: Avocado Butter (personal fav), Mango Butter, Shea Butter, Murumuru Butter (personal fav), Rosemary, Macadamia Oil and castor Oil just to name a few. I like to use many different combinations because I’m looking to pull out the benefits of the individual ingredients as well as seeing which ones compliment the others. This gives the product as a whole the ability to give the maximum results.
Keyauna: What makes No’Kyem Naturals different from some of the other hair and skin care lines that have popped up recently?
Earashea: No’Kyem started with these principles: quality products with affordable price points and customer satisfaction is the main priority. No’Kyem knows without our loyal customers we are nothing. No’Kyem strives to only make the best handmade products with quality ingredients. My love for this craft and sincere desire to help others along their healthier hair and skin journeys is what makes us a premier line.
Keyauna: What is the most important advice you can give to people about caring for their hair and skin?
Earashea: Learn how to be more in tune with your crown and temple. In hair care, you have to learn (trial and error) what products/ingredients (butters, oils, etc) work well with your hair. Your hair will respond but you have to listen (notice the feel). The same applies with skin care products. Pay close attention to how your skin responds to the topical lotions, ointments, scrubs etc. Once you have done your research you will have a better idea about what works for you and what doesn’t. My last tip for hair and skin is an oldie but definitely has reigned true for me is DRINK WATER!!!!! It really does wonders for hair and body!!!
Keyauna: Where can people find No’Kyem Naturals products?
Earashea: Currently we are exclusively online at NoKyem.com and looking to expand in the near future so please check back with us periodically for more ways to purchase No’Kyem Products.
The Ah’Sarae skin care line dropped today and is available NoKyem.com now! Use our code “chatter15” to get 15% off your order.