AVOCURL Leads the Way for Natural Hair Products
Jasmine Curtis is taking a stand against harmful chemicals in hair care products marketed to Black women
Honesty is everything in a relationship. But do you ever feel like you’re continually being lied to and manipulated into believing something that’s slowly causing harm from the inside out? As business owner Jasmine Curtis puts it, like a toxic relationship, it’s time to break up from the toxic chemicals that are abundant in natural hair products today, especially those targeting Black women.
With a passion for science and an energy that is so electric it could light up a whole town, Jasmine is taking a stand against harmful chemicals catered to Black individuals in hair care and cosmetics. According to one study, over 75 percent of cosmetic products marketed towards Black women contain harmful ingredients. But only 60 percent are deemed toxic to the general public. Let that sit for a minute. It’s time to fight back against blatant racism in mainstream practices, and AVOCURL is leading the way.
Handmade in a brick and mortar, AVOCURL is a range of natural hair products created from healthy ingredients and free of toxic chemicals. When you look at the product label, you won’t see any five-syllable words that will leave you blowing bubbles. Instead, you’ll find ingredients you recognize (and that might leave you hungry) like avocado, coconut, and banana.
Weak federal regulation has allowed cosmetic companies to get away with false advertisements, including the use of subjective scientific words like “natural” and “organic.” With shifty wording, companies can say something is natural when, in reality, it’s detrimental to our health. Remember, there are plenty of “natural” chemicals on the periodic table—like ammonia. AVOCURL is here to shine a light on this reality.
Raised in the Bay Area, Jasmine’s research began when she moved to Ithaca to attend Cornell University. She noticed the products she was using were causing her hair to fall out and become extremely dry. While in the dorm, she got a new pair of glasses, so to speak, and started looking at healthy ingredients for natural hair care. She was inspired by the modern natural hair movement led by Black women both on and offline. These women uplift and celebrate Black natural beauty while sharing information and personal experiences for proper natural hair products and care on digital platforms like YouTube.
When she noticed the parents she was babysitting for only used olive oil to hydrate their baby’s skin, she began to look at the things in her kitchen entirely differently. Obsessing over ingredient lists, Jasmine began to make natural hair products in her dorm room using real ingredients, thus developing the foundation of AVOCURL.
Since then, Jasmine has been on an upward journey as a self-starter entrepreneur, showing a spirit that will settle for nothing less than success. Jasmine switched from a pre-med focus to biology and public health and used racist professors who attempted to stifle her stride as motivation to educate herself and initiate one-on-one consultations from food science and chemistry experts on campus.
After graduating, Jasmine entered a pitch contest and incubator program, WBENC (Women Business Enterprise National Council), where she presented AVOCURL. She took second prize and brought home the fact that the natural hair product and cosmetic industries should not isolate themselves from their impacts on the environment. We forget when we shower, all the chemicals we use in our products go down the drain as well—a problem Jasmine took into account and solved with her ingredients.
Since then, AVOCURL has officially launched and started to grab the world’s attention. Jasmine has recently been on ABC’s The View and Good Morning America, among other programs. When Jasmine isn’t promoting the public’s and the environment’s health, she enjoys sharing delicious vegan food she cooks with loved ones, dancing on her roller skates, staying close with her family, and painting.
Where does Jasmine get all the strength to do this? Her community, her family, and the idea that she is part of a legacy—a piece in the puzzle in this moment of time, following the steps of Madam CJ Walker, Annie Malone, and the like. She adds that if you want to start your business, just get started. Stop the procrastination, and remain rooted in the reason why you started in the first place. This mantra is why Jasmine Curtis is going to achieve whatever she desires, starting with AVOCURL opening up natural wellness salons that people deserve.
Written by Brian Esterle
Photography by Jasmine Curtis