Taraji P. Henson is one of the most talented Black actresses who has grown to become a mainstay on screens for over two decades. Her breakthrough in acting came when she featured in the 2001 classic “Baby Boy.” Since then, she has not looked back.
She has gone on to act in attention-grabbing movies and series like Hidden Fingers where she acted as NASA scientist Katherine Johnson and as Cookie Lyon in Fox’s “Empire.” While acting has also been Henson’s passion, she also had an eye for entrepreneurship, particularly the hair care market said to be worth an estimated $77.15 billion.
She is behind the beauty line TPH by Taraji. She reportedly started with hair care products made to nurture scalps and later added a luxurious body care range. According to her, she was opened to the business opportunity by a friend in her bathroom cabinet.
She had created her own formula to cleanse and protect her scalp and had asked her friend to try it, who instantly loved it. And that was when she realized she can actually make a fortune out of her skills while providing solutions to others. From her bathroom cabinet, she started making her homemade product for consumers around the world.
The business was born out of the lack of attention the American haircare industry gave to Black people wearing their hair in natural styles. Although, in the last decade, the situation has improved due to the proliferation of Black-owned haircare products, she joined the industry to offer something different.
“I had to figure out an entry point—something that set me apart from all the other products on the shelf. And that’s when I started to deal with scalps. I knew exactly my entry point because no one was talking about scalp care,” she told Attentive.
In addition, TPH was also influenced by Henson’s personal experience of how her hair was being kept while she prepared to be cast in a movie. As a result, she began to wear wigs to protect her natural hair from stylists who did not know how to care for Black hair.
“When I got to Hollywood, I kept hearing horror stories about women losing their edges from all the heat and stuff on set,” she said.
Despite facing many challenges, Henson credits her success to tenacity. “I have a fight in me—the will to survive, the will to live, the will to inspire. As people, that’s why we’re here—to inspire each other. Somebody inspired me, that’s why I’m here, so I gotta turn around and inspire, turn around and inspire. Be an inspiration,” she told USA Today.