Birthney Actable, took what she learned from her mother and is making her stride into a billion dollar industry. Was originally published January 2021.
A great way to celebrate diversity is through hair. Depending on where you or your family are from in the world, you might have a range of techniques, ingredients, and appreciation for your hair.
Over the past few years in the United States, more people have been embracing the features they were born with, especially with BIPOC individuals. Exploring a person's natural hair can be a journey that seems far off in the distance for some. Starting with cost, what products to use, what ingredients to stay away from, or what is worth the price.
Brithney Actable is the creator of Rebirth hair care. Influenced by her Caribbean background, Actable began her hair journey around 2014. She says it was her mother that told her that anything that grows from the ground could help you.
Having been familiar with a hair relaxer since the age of three and suffers from a sensitive scalp, she began to realize she just really wanted her hair to be healthy.
Now, six years into her hair journey, Actable can feel when her thick, high porosity curly hair needs a wash day.
Wash day is when someone, not just shampoos, also let a deep conditioner sit in the hair for around an hour. Describing hair as high porosity means that the hair follicles hold in moisture and oils easier and for extended periods.
Following the start of Actable making her personal products, she noticed her more defined curly hair and the relief from an irritated scalp.
"I'm a heavy products person, so I've always made my own products," Actable says. "Soon, people would ask me to make products for them."
Actable's original plan was to start a salon. She referred to it as "an Ulta Beauty but the black version." She would have created products and hired hair stylists that cater to POC hair types with her salon. Yet, being full-time at school and working there was already a lot in front of her to manage.
Things shifted after she graduated, and her job was letting people go, including herself, due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
She knew she had to hustle and make something happen towards her goals. As a self-proclaimed perfectionist, she had to take her own advice of just doing it. Since launching in July 2020, she has gained over 500 followers on Instagram and has sent orders out as far as Louisiana and California. Some of these locations are a far reach from her home in New Jersey.
"It felt really good (reaching 500 followers). I felt relieved in a sense. Like all my hard work is not in vain, and I'm continuing to progress," she said. "People I don't know are starting to follow. I want to see where I'll be next year," says Actable.
The lockdown following the COVID-19 outbreak changed the tides for many business owners. Social platforms, such as Instagram and Facebook, became a core tool for brands to reach people while so many of us were at home.
"Quarantine was a blessing in disguise for me. With the Black Lives Matter movement, people were looking to support black business," Actable mentions. "I felt I needed to hop on the wave before people reverted to chemical products by white people who don't care about black people's hair."
A few Rebirth products include "Like Butta Baby" moisturizer, "Grandma's Growth 'grease' oils, and "Honey, I'm Bananas for Avocado" deep conditioner. All of the Rebirth products center around promoting healthy hair, growth, and infused with hemp oil intended to give a therapeutic reaction.
"I just wanted to come up with products that would make people feel comfortable."
Actable shared, "I wanted people to be able to protect their hair and still allow it to grow. You didn't need to be a naturalist, but I did come up with products I knew naturalists needed," she says. "I started researching in March. Looking into branding, the idea, and how to make them as sustainable as possible. It took about four or five months, and even then, I wasn't ready," Actable mentioned.
Now six months after launching Rebirth, Actable is proud of the support from her community. She is showing how we are all stronger in numbers. It is a dream she thought she could not do until now. Although it did not start that way, she is now seeing the pouring of encouragement.
She shares some advice for any hesitant to start their business is just to get started. As long as there is passion and you're willing to push yourself, you can do it.
"There are a million brands selling the same products. The brand doesn't have to be completely different. It doesn't have to be something that's particular. There is enough room for everyone," states Actable.
Website - https://rebirthhaircare.com/
Instagram - @re.birth
Photo credit Brithney Actable