When one first goes natural, the hunt for the “unicorn” product is unbelievable! It can, easily, lead to a cabinet full of half used hair products and the Product Junkie (PJ) label! I discovered Janomi Hair via IG hashtags. A friend gifted me the oil and I enjoyed it. Imagine my exhilaration when I saw the Liberian Flag on Janomi’s page as I scrolled through IG one fine July 26! After some clicks, I learned that the owner of the brand, Adrienne Case, was Liberian too! If you know just a little bit about me, then you know how I am about my people ANYwhere in the world “doin it!” I was clapping like a fool in the privacy of my bedroom. Have you seen the Fashion & Beauty Editor's coils?? Gorg!
Anyhow….then this happened a few months later…
I lazily thumbed through my Essence Magazine one late one night until I got to the “Beauty Editor picks” which is “product junkie” (PJ) heaven and there it was….the Janomi Essential Hair and scalp oil! I was clapping yet again and oh so very happy for this young Liberian woman. It is important to note here that the editor also, previously, mentioned the hair and scalp oil in a Manrepeller.com piece. The brand has another feature on Bustle.com- a piece about unheard of brands and listed Janomi Hair oil as a “multi- purpose hydrator”. Ok, ok…..so who is the trailblazer behind the brand? Ok, here goes…
Janomi Hair’s journey began in 2011 when Adrienne, first generation Liberian-American, decided to return to natural for the second time. She was, unexpectedly, a PJ while searching for a dry scalp remedy. She was in search of a solution for her hair AND scalp. So, she did her research and decided to try the DIY route for a hair and scalp oil. After her mix sessions, she would share the oil with a close friend who also suffered from dry scalp. Her friend told her she was on to something. Adrienne really wanted to know how effective this oil was so she introduced the oil in a natural hair chat group and solicited some blind testers with different hair textures to create variation in her testing methodology. She received overwhelming reception and demand for the oil through this method of testing. Natural Hair shows and Social Media was the next medium to market her product. So began the birth of Janomi Hair and the customers/social media following known as “Janomi Gems.”
Like other working Moms, the mother of 2 found work-life balance to be challenging while growing her business. She would tend to her small business as she rode the subway from her 9-5. She gave VERY sound advice when asked about work-life balance and kick-starting a business, her advice is
- “Don’t be afraid to ask family for help in other areas of your life to maintain creative control.”
- “It’s ok to take breaks. Pick a day or specific time that is time for yourself.”
- “Don’t compare your journey to another because you don’t know their ‘behind the scenes’ situation.”
Adrienne draws success from successful women who have managed to build strong brands- Myleik Teele and Luvvie Ajayi.
Tikolah: so Adrienne, there are so many natural hair brands out here. What makes Janomi Hair special?
Adrienne: in this very busy social media and natural hair market, it is easy to become overwhelmed and miss the opportunity to interact with customers or potential customers. The Janomi difference is accessibility to us for any questions. We WILL get back to you. I like to give the girl next door feeling by answering questions, DMs, and features of customers who use the products. I am also mindful of ingredients as we will discuss later.
A cautious business woman, she avoids rushing the process with product development. Adrienne says, “I like to take my time so that I know it works. I test for different temperatures to ensure prolonged shelf life.”
So, let’s get into these products! The brand offers the following:
Citrus Juice leave-in: Includes fatty oils like Avocado and Tamanu in a spray bottle that is super convenient for use with protective styles.
Avomango Styling Butter: Not your everyday butter because it includes avocado and mango butters with guava oil.
What I like most about this brand: the use of unconventional ingredients because the ever popular coconut oil is not a favorite of every natural. A+ in my book!
Show Adrienne some love on social media (Janomi Hair on all platforms). She has a very active group on Facebook, as well. In this group she fields questions and solutions to natural hair issues. Tell her Tikolah sent you!