A young entrepreneur is making waves in the natural haircare business

Liesl Smerdof
Liesl Smerdof

Inspired by her struggle to find haircare products that catered for her natural hair type, Cape Town born entrepreneur, Liesl Smerdof , has developed her own nutrient rich product range for ethnic hair.

“Despite the wide variety of hair products available, I could not find products that catered for my natural curls when I transitioned to my natural hair,” says Liesl. “It was then that I decided to make my own curl activating cream.” says Liesl.

“I wanted to create quality hair care products that would be safe for kids to use as well,” she continues. “I have since eliminated ingredients like parabens and sulphate by using natural ingredients.”

With the help of family and friends, Liesl made 120 jars of her curl activating cream and sold it through word of mouth and a few sales representatives. The product was well received and her business, ‘Curl Chemistry’, progressed into an online store with over 40 sales representatives. Liesl then extended her range of products that were designed to tame frizz, stimulate hair growth and keep hair moisturised.

“The feedback I received in 2016 from the first batch of products gave me insights for more product research and development,” explains Liesl. “Different people had different natural hair needs, because our hair types are so diverse. A “one size fits all” approach does not always get the desired outcome.”

Prior to joining the SAB Foundation Tholoana Enterprise Programme in 2018, Liesl was running the business on her own. She now has one full time employee on board, with over 40 independent distributors nationwide. Curly Chemistry is available on Takealot, Makro and BeautyOnTap nationwide.

“I have faced a number of challenges especially staying top of mind as there are more brands that cater for natural hair in the market but I think my team and I have managed to consistently deliver a product of great quality,” says Liesl. “I envision Curl Chemistry being distributed worldwide and delivering the same amazing results for many women,” she says.

Liesl’s advice for upcoming entrepreneurs is, “Go after what you truly believe in and keep your head up high, even during the difficult times. It is inevitable that you will find the right channels that can guide you in the right direction.”