At 14, Zhanyia McCullough has created her own hair products to empower girls to embrace their natural hair

Ama Nunoo January 14, 2021
Zhanyia McCullough merged her love for science and beauty to create her own hair growth oil to help boost the confidence of anyone who uses it. Photo: Islande Beauty

Every Black girl’s worst nightmare is to have hair troubles, including hair that is simply refusing to grow. A 14-year-old high school girl lost her self-esteem facing similar hair problems and made her own plant-based multipurpose hair oil growth serum.

Zhanyia McCullough created Islande Beauty to help herself and the many Black girls out there suffering in silence and struggling to find acceptance because their hair which is a part of their identity is not flourishing.

“I wanted to create something to support my hair growth problems and also support other girls who may be suffering in silence. 

“You see as a teenage girl, our appearance is everything and I wanted to come up with a solution and to educate our youth on the importance of what we put in and on our body,” McCullough told PRS Biz News.

The debut product from her haircare brand is the Pracaxi Oil and Kalahari Melon Collection, a hair growth oil for girls with kinky, curly hair.

These oils have nourishing properties from their fatty acids and are an excellent source of omega-6 which also boosts hair growth. In addition, the serum has many other uses.

According to McCullough, it can be used as a ‘pre-poo’ (a conditioning treatment used on your hair before shampooing), daily scalp oil, hot oil treatment, scalp treatment, blow-dry oil (mild heat protectant), finishing oil, and a scalp massage oil.

Although the products are formulated by a teenager, it can be used by women of all ages as it aims to teach Black women of all ages to be confident in their own skin and practice a healthy hair regimen with naturally sourced ingredients. In effect, “Islande Beauty embodies the true essence of confidence,” according to McCullough.

For so long, Black people or people of Afro-descent have been demeaned for having nappy, woolly-like hair, but now they are taking ownership of what they have and embracing it with pride.

When an individual chooses to wear their hair out in all its Afro glory, they are in every way taking ownership of their roots, heritage, and history. McCullough is not only an entrepreneur but an honor student bent on finding creative and fun ways to merge STEM and beauty so more young girls can get into STEM.

She intends on developing her own STEM-based curriculum with her mother who has been an educationist for 15 years. The beauty entrepreneur also loves to dance and is a cheerleader in school and a part of a national award-winning travel dance team.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: January 14, 2021


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