We spoke with Hair Coach Deborah Makinu, the founder behind Naturally Aksanti. Naturally Aksanti is the French entrepreneur’s platform to share her natural hair journey through hair tips and reviews. Deborah is also a well-renowned hair coach. Her hair coaching program is to help women with afro hair reach their natural hair goal regain confidence and self-love. On the platform, people can also find some cute hair accessories, combs, and brushes to help alongside their natural hair routine. We speak all things relaxers and why she cares about helping women on their natural hair journey.
What was the inspiration behind Naturally Aksanti, and what motivated you to start up your brand?
In 2018, I transitioned to natural hair, and although it was my choice, I had a hard time being confident about how I looked. I followed a lot of girls/hair influencers on YouTube, which was helpful, but there is nothing like 121 conversations and personal advice. So I decided to study Trichology and Haircare formulation to understand the products I was using and scalp conditions, and it helped me a lot! My hair is now healthy, and I thought I could help a sister out with the expertise I gained. In short, Naturally Aksanti was born from my natural hair journey and the struggle I have been through on the road to healthy hair.
Briefly discuss what Naturally Aksanti does and how it benefits women with natural hair?
Naturally Aksanti is a platform I created to share my natural hair journey through hair tips and reviews. I also implemented a Hair Coaching Program to help women with afro hair reach their natural hair goal (re)gain confidence and self-love. On the platform, people can also find some cute hair accessories, combs, and brushes.
What is your career background, and how did it help your brand? I have been working within international learning and development departments for the past four years. From this experience, I gained impactful coaching skills and techniques, which I use to support my clients in achieving their hair goals.
Recently there has been a rise in individuals reverting to relaxers. Why do you think this is?
There was a big natural hair movement that started in 2014/2015, and now it has faded a bit. Everyone is free to do what works for them but what saddens me is that we forget the whole history of relaxer, what it represents, and the impact it has on the afro hair.
Do you believe this will affect the natural hair industry?
Certainly, the industry will jump on the trend and rebrand it or make it appear healthy. I am not an expert, but some brands put profit as their number one priority to produce the products that generate sales.
You are also a hair coach. What do you offer?
I designed coaching packages to empower other women to be fearless and learn to take care of their natural hair.
What is your unique selling point?
It is the blend of my professional background, my knowledge in trichology and haircare formulation but most importantly, my passion to help others.
So far, what obstacles have you encountered as a black woman in business, and how did you overcome them?
I am a wife, a new mama, and apart from Naturally Aksanti, I am still working full time. My plate is full! I am not complaining, but finding the time and managing all the different aspects of my life can be a struggle. So, the main obstacle is time, and the best way to handle this for me is to plan/organize and delegate.
What advice would you give to a woman that is starting out her natural hair care journey?
Be patient and kind to yourself, don’t overdo it!
Where do you see the brand in the next five years?
I hope I will be able to support more and more women, continue to offer cute accessories and maybe some haircare products (no relaxers!)
You can find more about the brand here: https://www.naturallyaksanti.com.