Meet Nkelle Mushapho, the creator of the hair product that just might change your life
Nkelle empowered herself to create the product she needed for her hair when she saw a gap in the market.
If you suffer from hair loss, you're in the right place. If you're intrigued by empowering women who run their own businesses, you're also in the right place.
When she was just 16 years old, Nkelle Mushapho suffered from hair loss due to traction alopecia, something she says was caused by stress, poor hair care and frequent use of harsh chemical treatments.
Her hair was dry, brittle and stopped growing altogether, affecting the teenager's self-esteem and her confidence.
Showing her entrepreneurial streak at a young age, Nkelle began looking for a sustainable solution to treat her condition and began her journey into the unknown by experimenting with different oils in hopes of creating a product that would work for her.
Born in South Africa 24 years ago, her family soon moved to Derry, Northern Ireland.
She has lived there for most of her life, studying Pharmacy at the University of Ulster before recently moving to Dublin to grow her business and her career.
During her time at University, Nkelle attended a summer school in Yogyakarta, Indonesia where she learned how locals used natural, organic remedies for a myriad of things from chronic health conditions to cosmetics.
"In Asia when faced with an illness or a cosmetic issue, individuals have a choice, a choice that most people in here don't have. They can choose to either use synthetic or natural treatments," she said.
Enlighted by the experience, Mahogany Crownz was born.
At the beginning of 2019, and after some final experiments to find the perfect formula, Nkelle launched her creation - Royalty Oil.
Formulated with Rosemary, Tea Tree and Peppermint oil, Royalty Oil also includes Ayurvedic herbs and infused with CBD.
The stunning formula helps reduce dry itching, promotes stronger thicker hair strands as well as moisturizing and conditioning the scalp.
The oil promotes hair growth by thickening hair and slowing down balding.
"The products are all-natural, and offer the perfect alternative to synthetic products that are less effective and most harmful to your scalp and hair."
"I like to describe Mahogany Crownz as a bridging gap," Nkelle said, it's a sustainable choice for natural hair loss treatment."
"It's a choice for people who can't afford or sustain monthly hair supplements," she explained.
"Invasive treatments are often inaccessible to the majority of the population."
Unlike most hair care brands, Mahogany Crownz caters to hair types of all ethnicities.
Nkelle's business has been growing locally in her hometown of Derry, where she currently stocks her product at a Salon. But most of her sales come through her website and her social media accounts.
"I want to teach the benefits of natural hair care products," she said of her plans for the business, adding: "I truly just want to bring smiles to peoples faces."
"We had such a positive response in my small town in Derry and I really believe we the potential to reach more people," she said, explaining that she wants to help people to get their confidence back.
During COVID-19, like many businesses, Mahogany Crownz lost some income, but Nkelle still did her best to put her customer's first.
"We lost some income because people couldn’t go into the salon to get the products."
"The website traffic picked up a bit but the postage delays really discouraged a lot of people," she explained.
"To remedy the situation a bit I personally contacted the regular clients to help prep their orders in advance to avoid any delays with their deliveries."
"I’d send them out a week or two in advance before they ran out of the product."
When it comes to her long term business plans, this savvy businesswoman hopes to become a household name.
"I would like to get into retailers in Dublin and make our products more accessible, to reach more people. I’d love to see Mahogany Crownz on the shelves of Boots and Holland & Barrett."
They're certainly a beauty brand to keep an eye on.