By Camille Davis
Over the past decade, Black women have begun embracing their natural hair, but caring for it can still be time-consuming and frustrating. Many Black women know all too well the feeling of dread that accompanies the hours-long process of conditioning, detangling, and styling. Local hair-enthusiast-turned-tech-pioneer, Dawn Myers recalls being one of those frustrated women searching for a solution. “There were no tools on the market made for textured hair styling, only straighteners and high-heat appliances that damage our delicate natural hair.” Dawn watched many of her friends struggle to balance their hair routines with their professional careers and growing family demands. After surveying consumers and identifying a huge gap in the market, she left her job at a global law firm and started designing new technology for Black women with natural hair.
Her company, THE MOST, “empowers women of color to embrace their natural hair by cutting styling time, increasing convenience, and minimizing the invisible pain points in ethnic haircare.” Her featured product, THE MOST Mint, is an “all-in-one styling system designed to detangle while applying conditioned liquid hair products. Using an internal heating element to gently warm curl creams and moisturizers before they are applied to natural hair, THE MOST Mint styles hair faster, increases product penetration, and cuts down on the mess.” She says, “it’s next era. Now we can throw The Mint and a few pods in our gym bag or luggage and style on-the-go. We’ve never been able to do that before.”
As a third generation Washingtonian, hair was an integral part of the culture Dawn grew up in. She says, “I was a slave to relaxing my hair because there was so much pressure to have perfectly straightened hair all the time.” Myers soon found there was a price to pay for that perfection. She continues, “I hated chemical straightening. My scalp used to burn and scab, it was expensive, and it took up an entire day at the hair salon.” Myers says once her “natural roots started growing in,” she “loved how it felt and longed for the freedom to workout, take a steamy shower, fully cleanse her scalp, and go out in the rain without fearing for [her] hair.” It was years later, as a young law student that she cut off her processed hair and discovered her natural texture. She says, “It was life changing. I went from feeling like a prisoner to my hair to feeling immense pride. I found that my natural hair complimented my facial features in a way that straight hair didn’t, and I began to embrace those features more as well.”
Since learning to love her natural hair, Myers says she developed “healthier habits and a healthier mindset.” Dawn became obsessed with designing tools that would facilitate an efficient path to health and confidence for other Black women struggling with the same issues. She says, “I want to make it easy for all women of color to feel that same feeling. Black women shouldn’t have to schedule work outs, travel, and their careers around their hair.” Her product, THE MOST Mint allows just that; however, being a pioneer in an under-severed industry is not an easy path to tread. Manufacturing new technology is expensive, and it’s been a battle finding funding. She says, “investors tend to fund companies that resonate with their experience, but most investors are White men who don’t understand or care about Black women’s needs.” Instead of waiting for mainstream investors to come to the rescue, Myers liquidated her real estate assets to fund development and she’ll be crowdfunding pre-sales in October. She’s betting on community demand to get to market.
The natural hair movement is evolving and tech innovation is the next step in the process. However, without access to capital and manufacturing channels, it’s nearly impossible for Black women to innovate on their own behalf. Myers says, “If we don’t make and fund these innovations ourselves, they don’t get made. If they don’t get made, we’re doomed to suffer a lesser quality of life in silence.”
For more information on THE MOST, visit themostcurls.com.