Accented Glory (AG) has built an amazing network within the natural hair community! We have many curlfriends that manage brands, businesses, and organizations that are members of our Facebook Group Accented Glory Naturals. Liz Girolamo (LG) of Tee-Owels and Ethnic Hair Forum is a part of our natural hair brand support system. We collaborated with her on a recent Instagram Giveaway she hosted. Check out our Naturals In Business feature on Liz below. **This blog post contains affiliate links. Click here for Accented Glory's Affiliate's Disclosure.**
AG: Please introduce yourself and tell Accented Glory readers who you are.
LG: Hi! My name is Liz Girolamo, I’m an entrepreneur, marketer, content creator, esthetician and natural hair care enthusiast from New York. I’m of afro-latina descent with type 4C hair, and the owner of Tee-Owels – The Ideal T-shirt Hair Towel for Curlies.
AG: For many naturals, their hair journey has been a catalyst for so many things! Tell us about your natural hair journey.ll
us about your natural hair journey.
LG: I began my healthy hair journey at 22 years old. It was 2011, I was in college, and I had just started exploring and applying my knowledge of SKIN care to my hair care routine. But first, a little background -- Growing up I was adopted, and I never knew a thing about how to take care of my hair. My parents had straight hair, and although they tried relentlessly to help me & take me to people who could help me, I really struggled with my hair and spent a lot of time crying over the damage. It didn’t help that back then ethnic hair options were extremely limited and the internet was virtually non-existent. Everything I did to my hair seemed to ruin it: Brushing it, washing it, drying it, dying it - and I just couldn’t figure out how to manage it! So, like many curly & afro women I turned to relaxers, extensions, wigs, hoods, anything to cover it up for years. Thankfully, in 2010, the early years of the natural hair movement, I started to explore and apply my schooling and knowledge of skin care (esthetics) to my hair care routine. Only then I realized the link between skin and hair health. One big thing about skin is that it needs moisture to stay JUICY. It sounds funny, but moisture is really a KEY component to having healthy and lively skin and hair, and this little piece of knowledge was a game-changer for me. So, I started experimenting with essential oils and water based moisturizing products. This coupled with taking protective measures were key for my natural hair journey and helped me grow my hair down my back. As a skin specialist, being able to characterize my hair as a dry hair type (like a dry skin type) made me realize the science of texture and find solutions to breakage and dryness. My hair wasn’t “bad” it was misunderstood! I wished someone had explained to me that my hair was breaking because the nature of its texture makes it difficult for natural oils to slide down the strand to the tips.
AG: You have a unique natural hair product! Tell us more about your brand Tee-Owels and how it came to be.
LG: Tee-Owels, like so many products, came to be out of necessity and need for innovation. I was using t-shirts to dry my hair until I had a lightbulb moment and realized that I shouldn’t have to. There should be a nice hair towel product designed just for women of color’s unique hair needs. Now there is an awesome hair towel for them – the Tee-Owel. It falls under the category of protective hair care. The soft t-shirt material reduces breakage and frizz, and is 100% curl-conscious so we can achieve our hair goals with ease. I see future generations of curly and kinky haired women having this accommodation. To me, if everyone understood the need for a Tee-Owel than that means they understand their own hair type and what works and what doesn’t. I’d be thrilled knowing that less young women felt lost as I did growing up about their hair, so a huge part of our company and what we do is dedicated to education. Our logo is an adorable curly haired owl wearing her own hair t-shirt hair towel. I thought of this when I was combining the words t-shirt and towel into “Tee-Owel”. Each towel is called an “Owel” in our world. And each Owel helps protect your hair!
AG: We're a huge fan of sharing knowledge among the natural hair community. Tell me more about Ethnic Hair Forum.
LG: Ethnic Hair Forum (EHF) was my first social media experiment. I was in college studying women and gender studies, and I was full of relief to learn that others thought and felt the way I did & I was empowered and very passionate about building a community centered around information – again helping those who like myself felt lost with their hair. What really set us apart at first was how information, and education oriented it was – not another “hair inspo” page. There’s so much to share on the topic, and the response to it was great.
AG: We see a connection between Tee-Owels and Ethnic Hair Forum. Why is it important for you to provide a product that educates and resolve a natural hair concerns?
LG: There is absolutely a connection. EHF, at first, was to morph into EHCO (Ethnic Hair Care Options), where I wanted to have a full line of protective hair care products/ publications. Tee-Owels was created to be the first product in the line, but it had a such a great response from the start that I decided to keep my products under the name Tee-Owels for now. Since opening, we added Satin Hair Scrunchie Sets, and there are more really cool and unique protective accommodations to come! It’s so important to me to do this because it’s what I wish I had when I was younger. Options and information. They say be the person you wish you had growing up & I certainly aim for that.
AG: Is there anything else you would like to share with Accented Glory's audience?
LG: Yes, I’d like to share that Tee-Owels at the core is about bringing people together through fun hair care products. It’s what the ethnic hair industry has always lacked in – fun, innovative, diverse hair care solutions. Thanks for tuning in today!
AG: Where can our audience find out more about your business and services?
LG: You can learn more about Tee-Owels at our website www.teeowels.com, on Instagram @teeowels, and Tee-Owels on Facebook. Our products are available on Amazon, Etsy and www.teeowels.com.
Cierra - AKA Accessory Diva
What have your natural hair journey been a catalyst for?
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Cierra has been a part of Accented Glory since its launch in June 2013. Outside of being an "Accessory Diva", she's a millennial who's currently navigating adulthood. Click Not One Of Your Little Friends to check out her podcast!