Meet the creative founder Joi, the woman behind the brand Tuffyoils. The NYC native decided to start her own authentic skin and hair brand for women of colour. The entrepreneur became frustrated due to the negative stereotypes surrounding Black hair and wanted to change the perception that Black women can have hair that grows at a fast rate! The brand was birthed from a passion to make a difference to consumers and enhance the meaning of self-love. With the motivation from her partner Tuffyoils was finally born. We discuss why natural hair should not be a trend and her experiences of living in New York as a naturalista and why self-love matters!
What inspired you to start TuffyOils and can you tell me a bit about your brand?
The inspiration behind the brand TuffyOils is from my partner. He gave me the motivation to start and Tuffy is his name, I would not have been an entrepreneur if it was not for him. TuffyOils are organic oils with the aim to increase rapid hair growth & clear skin. I want to change the perception and break that stereotype that Black people’s hair does not grow fast because I have heard that negative stereotype for a long time. My customers use TuffyOils and have told me it has made them more confident and that is another inspiration on why I’m doing this.
Why do you think Natural hair has become so popular in the black community?
Even though natural hair has become deemed as ‘’popular’’ in the black community, it should not be this way in the first place! The hair that we were born with should not have become a trend but it has which is sad. I believe natural hair has become popular in the black community because apparently, it’s a movement and it is all about embracing your true self through your hair. I for one definitely value self-love more after doing the big chop after perming, bleaching and silk pressing. It’s a liberating feeling.
Growing up what were your perceptions of natural hair and how has it changed?
Growing up to me natural hair was known as “a hassle or too much to care for ‘’ so I believed being natural was just an inconvenience. Now that I’m older, being natural is not an inconvenience. Even though my hair is currently loc’d, once I learned my hair’s likes and dislikes it was so easy to manage.
Living in Brooklyn, do you see women with Natural hair on the regular basis and what are your thoughts?
Living in New York in general, I don’t see many natural hair women. Women I know personally would rather wear the weaves, frontals, and protective styles simply because it’s “less work to do “. When I’m walking the streets people would praise me for rocking my natural crown, and honestly it shouldn’t be that way, but hey it is what it is. Even though weaves and wigs are the real trends, people made natural hair a trend because wearing weaves and wigs are considered as the norm.
Can you tell me a bit about your products and what distinguishes you from other natural hair products?
TuffyOils has 3 products; Java Oil (coffee), Paprika Oil, and Floral Oil. The java oils main intention is hair growth and moisture, while the paprika oils main intention is just growth. The floral oil is simply for to clear skin, razor bumps, scars and many other skin conditions. I use many different mixes of herbs and seeds and I have created what I believe is the best hair growth oil in the world. TuffyOils are different from other hair growth oils because of how fast it works. I have used many store-bought products and none has ever given me the results TuffyOils have and others have stated the same.
Describe your typical day as an entrepreneur?
My typical day as an entrepreneur consists of going to the post office twice a day, and I meet up with people in the NYC area to give them TuffyOils. I love being an entrepreneur just because when people receive their stuff, they are always so excited to try & that makes me feel like I’m doing something right.
Where do you see Tuffy Oils in the next 5 years?
In 5 years, I see TuffyOils being used in all 50 states, that is my goal.
For more on Tuffyoils, click here!
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All images by Joi Tuffyoils