Keeping it real

Sal Wyn-Baxter of Root2Tip is the new natural hair agony aunt for Black Beauty & Hair magazine. We meet the woman behind the title

 

Sal from Root2Tip

Sal from Root2Tip

You are the new hair agony aunt for BB&H, how do you feel about that?
I feel absolutely blessed!!  Also excited, I am a real hair fanatic and Hairducation is my passion and purpose!!   I love this magazine and have been an avid reader for years whilst at college!  I have always been hair obsessed and this magazine is the premier black hair and beauty publication in Europe!

What’s the most difficult question you have been asked?
Can I make my child’s hair less puffy! I want it to be perfect spirals but it’s really an afro!  In that situation you feel for the child, as you can just feel the ridicule she faces for having less than’ perfect hair in her mother’s eyes!

How did you get into the hair biz?
I kind of ‘fell’ into the hair biz, not by my own choice mind you!

Although I had always been ‘into hair’ as my mother could not cornrow or do cool styles when I was younger, I had to teach myself.  My best friend and I at school would experiment with hairstyles and blonde curly extensions! However I never had any desire to become a hairdresser or cosmetic scientist, in fact I don’t think the career of product formulator ever crossed my mind once when I was growing up — I was intent on being a barrister!

My passion for hair really developed when I suffered with hair loss.  A bad case of Seborrheic dermatitis, (adult cradle cap) caused my hair to thin and left me with a bald patch at the front of my hair — I was devastated!
My hair had always been healthy and thick, and this felt horrible.  So I was compelled to cure myself!  My doctor offered solutions that seemed to make my hair and scalp worse and severely dry!

Never one to be defeated, I threw myself into researching natural hair growth solutions using natural ingredients.  I then discovered US haircare forums and blogs and the rest was history, for the next six years I would, eat, sleep and B-R-E-A-T-H-E all things hair!

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How did you come to embrace your natural hair?
My hair has been on a journey like most women’s. I have pretty much always been ‘natural’, growing up I had locks as my first hairstyle up until age 5!  My household was very much a natural world, I’ve also been vegetarian since birth.

I have always embraced my natural hair because it is all I really ever knew.  My friends mainly wore relaxers at school, whilst as I got into my teens, I would wear weaves or just straighten my hair with a hot comb.  I have been doing braid-outs and twists since my school days— it’s all I really knew.

I am a lover of all hairstyles, I am not anti-any hairstyle, as long as it is not damaging the hair.  That’s why I weave my hair during winter for a definite growth spurt and to rest it!

What was your inspiration for creating Root2Tip?
I was inspired to create ROOT2TiP due to my own hair issues and also because there were no products on the market in the UK at the time that were natural and effective.  I used to buy expensive Nexxus products as a teen, I didn’t care about the cost if it worked!

I would always seek out the best quality products for myself and that’s exactly what my desire was to create within my range.  Premium quality products that actually make you love your hair!  As we all know, it can be challenging at times!

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A selection of Root2Tip’s product range

Is it suitable for all hair types: relaxed or natural?
As I am a Hairducation expert, I offer advice to all hair types: relaxed, natural and otherwise.  My product range is aimed at HAIR.

I tell women, natural ingredients tend to have a greater infinity to the hair, whether natural or processed!  I have never liked the idea of segregating women by the natural or non-natural state of their hair, so my products wouldn’t either!  I mean all scalps are the same, what’s different is the way we treat what grows from it.

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My cover girls have every hair texture, I had the pleasure of working with a beautiful relaxed hair blogger called Ayesha from @Healthyhairjourney on Instagram, she chooses to relax her super long hair and takes great care of it!

Was your daughter the reason why you created a line for kids as well?
My daughter Heavenberry is THE reason I have a children’s range!  Without her hair to deal with I would never had had nay to reason to create a unique children’s range that is loved across Europe!

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Sal’s daughter Heavenberry

How do you get a stress free wash day for kids?
Luckily for me, my daughter is old enough to wash her own hair now!! She actually shows how to do this on her channel The Heavenberry Hairshow 4 Kids on YouTube.  My key advice to parents is to: Detangle the hair using our amazing Honey-rain Juice Detangler beforehand, apply olive oil overnight.  Next, wash the hair in sections so the hair does not mat together!  The elite time waster on wash days is the dreaded tangles!  Avoid those and you have Happy Hair Days!  Trust me, no child wants to sit for hours having tangled strands ripped apart by a comb, plus it breaks the hair too.  Wash days are fun if you plan them out!  I go through this step-by-step in my Essential Guide to Caring for Afro & Mixed-race Kids’ Hair. The guide is available on my website!

You also founded the Hairducation Academy? Can you tell us about that
Yes, the Hairducation Academy is something I have been doing for years!!  In fact even before I launched my products in 2012, I was doing Hairducation workshops for foster carers and Local Authorities.  In essence The Hairducation Academy is the banner under which we conduct Hairducation workshops and events!  We have some plans to run programmes in schools very soon.  In the classes we teach the very basics of how to have healthy hair.  This is even more important for young children and teens.

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Some people still think natural hair is a trend, what do you think?
I think that’s its quite funny people actually feel that way as it only really relates to the ethnic community!  Indian or European women would never refer to wearing their natural hair ‘now’ as a phase.  I think what has happened is that through hair education and social media and an array of products that help us manage the hair we have, we are now discovering our natural, can be just that, natural and not a trend!  Relaxers were never meant to be the norm, instead manageability of the texture you naturally have should be!

If I wanted to go to a natural hair salon, what should I be looking for?
I think when dealing with natural hair, your desired salon of choice should display a) visual imagery of natural hair styles, b) have a good supply of quality natural hair care products in their arsenal and a wide tooth comb, c) Be willing to offer a consultation so they know and you know they understand how to ‘handle’ natural hair.

It’s just not worth the risk of allowing your natural or newly natural tresses to be destroyed by an over-zealous or inexperienced natural hairstylist who blowdries the life and soul out of your strands and gives you heat damage.

Where can we find your products?
My ROOT2TiP products can be found on my website, at www.root2tip.com or in Pak’s Cosmetics, BeautyWorld and Catwalk in Brixton, Camdens Hair in Birmingham, they are also stocked across Europe, in Paris, Milan and Germany.   Please check the listing on my website for more information!

If you want Sal to answer your hair questions, drop us a line at info@blackbeautyandhair.com (Subject: Natural hair problems)

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