Leah Mills blossoms with Pink Lotus
Leah Mills’ natural hair care business Pink Lotus Hair and Skin Essentials was born out of a series of bad hair days.
“I always had natural hair, but when I was younger I would put heat to it and make it straight,” the 32 year old said. “It damaged my curl.”
Then she put bleach in her hair to dye it and damaged the ends.
“I had to cut it,” Ms Mills said. “But I did not want to leave it short.”
So she looked around for products that would help her grow her hair out again in a healthy way.
“The products available here were definitely expensive,” she said.
And once she spent the money the products did not always do what they promised, or contain what was on the label.
In 2015, to get to the “root” of the problem she started making products at home in her kitchen. Not every experiment worked out. The first ingredient she tried was mayonnaise.
“I figured out that mayonnaise was hard to preserve, and I could not get rid of the scent,” she said.
Castor oil, shea butter and coconut oil worked much better. It took her two years to get her hair to where she wanted it.
“It is still not where I want it because life happens,” she said. “And sometimes a trim can go wrong.”
To document her hair journey she created an Instagram page @twocurlfriends. On the page she shared her experiences mixing various natural products together.
“I was eventually asked to share what I was creating,” she said.
Friends would ask to buy her creations, but it was not until 2018 that she launched the business.
“Our aim is for you to feel and look beautiful regardless of your texture,” she said. “Every curl, coil and kink is unique and all hair is good hair as long as it is healthy hair.”
She called it Pink Lotus, because the lotus flower blossoms in the murkiest fresh water which seemed appropriate for a business based on the muck of various oils.
“When lotus flowers bloom they are like the most beautiful thing ever,” she said. “The definition of the lotus and how it is born is almost like my life. My life has come from the ground up.“
She now has four products: Oil Infused Twist Butter, Detangling Curl Refresher, Growth Oil Mask and Beard Elixir.
“There are literally no chemicals in my products,” she said. “The only chemical we have is preservative in the curl refresher. That is because whenever you add water to something it is able to create mould. You have to put a preservative in it so it is able to have shelf life.”
She has learnt to explore many different avenues to promote her business.
“Bermuda’s reach only goes so far,” Ms Mills said. “You really have to use all your social media platforms.”
She started Pink Lotus on Instagram, then added Facebook and TikTok platforms.
“When the pandemic started I was forced to create a website,” she said.
Then earlier this month Luxury Cuts started selling her products in their location at 56 Reid Street in Hamilton.
It was an exciting moment for her, because it her first physical sales location.
“One of my frequent customers just messaged me to say she just popped by there after work to grab some curl refresh,” she said. “That made me really happy because she usually places an order with me. To know that she was able to just get it like that, is exciting.”
She has a wide range of customers.
“We have adults buy our products for themselves and also for their children,” she said. “We get males and females, because I have a beard elixir.”
Her other products work just as well on men or women.
“My products are for people with naturally, curly, kinky hair who are trying to have it healthy,” she said.
Ms Mills loves when customers message her or send photographs of their healthy hair.
“All that makes me happy,” Ms Mills said. “And I love my return customers because that means they needed the product.”
Ms Mills runs the business in her spare time. She has a nine to five job during the day.
For more information see thepinklotusparlour.com or check out Facebook, Instagram and TikTok @pinklotushairandskin.