|Hair loss sparks a new business opportunity for entrepreneur|
|Rasheda Magny launches Bellissa Hair|
|Published Thursday, February 20, 2020 9:00 am|
|PHOTO | BELLISSA HAIR|
|Rasheda Magny turned the stress of losing her hair into a business opportunity with Bellissa Hair.|
Rasheda Magny walked a road of pain before she learned to empower her inner-goddess.
What she described as a “perfect storm” led Magny to launch Bellissa Hair, which creates clip-in hair extensions. After giving birth to a pair of sons three years apart, Magny experienced something common for moms, but new to her—hair loss.
Following the birth of her younger son, Tyler, 7, plus the medication she was taking for anxiety and the unexpected death of her father, James Bolden, Jr., Magny’s body reacted to the stress by shedding hair. It was not about just losing hair for Magny, who had always had long, thick locks, but it felt like she was losing part of herself as she tried to keep up at work and home, while trying to be there for her family.
“Just trying to balance it all as a woman at times in the corporate world, in business in general, I feel like, as a woman, we have to prove ourselves that much more,” said Magny, who is Bellissa’s CEO. “We have to make sure that we are intelligent, we do our research, our due diligence, but at the same time we have to give so much of ourselves being a wife being a mother. You have that natural caregiver, so you are a nurturer.
“At times it is like we are almost made to feel like we are taking care of our family, and giving in that way, and then we are holding it down as a professional in our careers, and we lose ourselves a lot of times in the process. It can impact us physically, emotionally, and I kind of went through that with my loss, physically with my hair, and the trauma of losing my dad on top of that. I feel like women struggle with this all the time trying to wear every hat, and do the best we can. We kind of get lost in the shuffle sometimes.”
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When Magny began searching for hair extensions, she knew the risk of further damage that could be done to her hair.
“Going in as a new consumer, I would just hear the horror stories of the damage that can be caused when you’re experimenting with extensions,” Magny said. “I wanted something that was safe and convenient, which is how I got on the path clip-in extensions.”
While she began to feel more like herself, Magny saw the extensions’ quality quickly deteriorate.
“The hair itself was not the best, and I was frustrated with that,” she said.
Magny took a leave of absence from work following her father’s death in 2015.
“It was really the best thing that could have ever happened to me,” she said. “I was able to get healthy again and I realized that a lot of my stress and my anxiety that I was experiencing at that time in my life was being triggered from the work environment that I was in. I was able to stop the anxiety medication to give my hair a chance to grow back, while I was still wearing the extensions, and learning more about them.”
Her free time allowed her to research extensions.
“It became a labor of love,” Magny said. “It was a passion I didn’t realize I had until I had the time to dedicate on myself, which was something I was not really doing. I was taking care of the responsibilities of life.”
Losing her father showed Magny she needed to change her life. She left the corporate world and founded Bellissa Hair last June. She sampled different hair types, before landing on remy human hair, which is what her clip-in extensions are made from.
“I wanted it to mimic human hair,” Magny said. “I learned more about the process to get the hair from its donor through the process of creating the extensions, and what the hair goes through in the process. I found that the highest grade that you can have of extensions is called remy hair, which in that case, this hair has not been chemically stripped. In order for some of the larger manufacturers to get the hair out the door, they will chemically strip the hair and cuticles, which is where the dryness comes in.
“This hair is much cleaner, and a more friendly process. [Remy] hair takes much longer, and it’s more expensive, but you are saving and preserving the integrity of the hair. The only other hair that would be a higher grade than the remy hair would be complete virgin hair, which would mean no chemical processing or coloring at all, but a lot of women like to wear their hair in different colors. I wanted something that was suitable, but still high quality.”
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