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Small Business Spotlight: mainelement:love AromatHAIRapy™ for healthy hair

10:00 AM

Suuuper excited that samples from @mainelementlove came in the mail today! I can't wait to do a review. Shea Smoothie, Herbal Styling Balm, and Aloe Conditioner... Here I come! #naturalhair #blogger #vlogger #productreview #mainelementlove

When I was reached out to about showcasing mainelement:love, I got super excited. Not only because supporting small business is what's hot in the streets, but because I really felt good about the philosophy behind founder Tyrika Williams' products. And really, when you think about small natural hair brands vs. commercial ones, the difference really comes down to love. Before I get all sappy on ya'll, let's dive right into why mainelement:love products are so dope.

The mainelement:love line of products features everything from shampoo bars to tea rinses. I was gifted the Aloe Conditioner, Shea Smoothie, and Herbal Styling Balm for review - all in the Citrus Fusion scent. And can I just say, YES LAWD!!! I absolutely adore the scent. It's bright, citrus-y, and just makes me feel good. Whenever I open any of the products, I take a deep whiff before I use it. TMI, I'm sure. Just don't judge me. Now on with the actual review.

mainelement:love Aloe Conditioner
One of the main things that excited me about this product was it being based in organic aloe vera juice, not water. My hair LOVES anything aloe. Because it's not hulked up with a bunch of crazy stuff, the consistency isnt' too thick. It actually comes across as more of a leave-in, which is exactly how I used it, and exactly how my hair loved it. The key ingredients in this conditioner include:
  • Organic Aloe Vera Juice
  • Organic Lavender Distillate
  • Organic Roman Chamomile
  • Cetearyl Alcohol
  • Castor Seed Oil
There are plenty of other goodies like Hydrolyzed Wheat, Pro-Vitamin B5, Glycerin, Rosehip Seed oil, Black Willow, and more. But those up there are the top 5. See why I'm in love? Whenever I used the Aloe Conditioner, with or without the Shea Smoothie or another product, my hair was soft, moisturized and faintly smelled of citrus (which I found awesome).


Twist-out featuring Aloe Conditioner as my leave-in

mainelement:love Shea Smoothie
Oh smoothie, you had me at shea. These days, I'm loving shea butter more than coconut oil (although I still keep both in the stash). With the pudding-like consistency, I found the Shea Smoothie to be incredibly versatile and moisturizing. It complemented the Aloe Conditioner really well for a light seal, extra moisture, and some hold. The main ingredients in the Shea Smoothie are:
  • Water
  • Organic Aloe Vera Juice
  • Shea Butter
  • Emulsifying Wax
  • Palm Stearic Acid
  • Almond Oil
I'd highly recommend this product to anyone who thinks their hair doesn't like shea butter. It's just light enough to change your mind!

mainelement:love Herbal Styling Balm
At this point in the review, I'm really running out of ways to say how awesome these products are. The Herbal Styling Balm is no exception to the rule. Based in palm, candelila, and neem oil, this Balm is (in my opinion) great for nourishing thin and brittle edges, as well as providing a good hold. If you're interested in an alternative to the sea of edge controlling products that have cropped up, the Herbal Styling Balm is the way to go. And because it's all-natural, I find myself using it for other things too...like my eyebrows. Seriously, it makes a great eyebrow wax (a little goes a long way). Again, don't judge me.


Rocking my Sisterhood of Natural Hair red headband today. Review and giveaway coming soon!! #naturalhair #accessories #bun @l0ve_snh
My big bun, slicked back with Herbal Styling Balm
All in all, I can say nothing but great things about the mainelement:love line of products. This enthusiasm carried over into my interview with founder Tyrika Williams. Check it out!

Christina: So, tell me a little bit about yourself. Share some of your natural hair journey.

Tyrika: Oh my, my journey has been an experience. This is actually my second journey, I went natural back in '99. I loved my hair, but there wasn't information like there is now. There was nothing around to go to when you  were feeling like, 'I want those kind of curls'. There was no support to say, 'your curls are your curls'. So I actually got a jheri curl, but that didn't work. Then I went relaxed, and then back to natural in 2008 by doing a big chop. I told my boyfriend then, who is my husband now, to cut it off before I changed my mind. I've been natural for 5 years now, and I have not regretted a solitary minute of it. I love growing it out, the  inbetween, the trial and error, all of it. Embrace the fact that it is a journey, and to learn to love what you have.
 
Christina: How did you come up with the concept of mainelement:love?
 
Tyrika: It's actually a funny and strange story. If I could go back I would name company something totally different, I would. But it still holds true. Love is still the key element that went into what I was making. Sure, you can go pick up Cantu at the store, and pick up a product off the shelf and that's great. But you don't know person behind product, their story. The products are okay, but you need the love, and ingredients that go into products. Time and attention just as important. For example, if I'm having a bad day or I'm in a bad mood, I don't make products. A person's energy goes into what they make. It's important that the energy and love going into a product is what comes out. The main ingredient in the product is love. That's where the name come from. A funny story is, I'm not that great at spelling. I couldn't spell ingredient, so I thought about what word I would use in its place. Next was element, so it became main element love.
 
Christina: What distinguishes mainelement:love from other natural hair brands out there, whether large retail-chain or small?
 
Tyrika: One of the main things is that mainelement:love is  based on aromatherapy. I don't use synthetic fragrances, only essential oils selected for different haircare needs. Citrus elements work in tandem for our hair, the same with peppermint. I've been practicing aromatherapy for 5 years now. I use it for the hair, skin, and for my mental health. For all aspects of life, really. People have been using aromatherapy for thousands of years.
 
Christina: That's really good that you don't use synthetic fragrances, because some of our favorite products have artificial colors and fragrances.
Tyrika: No need to put in artificial colors and fragrances. Some people love sweet cookie candy-like smells, but artificial fragrances and synthetic colors don't enhance your hair. Plenty of people have allergies and sensitivities, and don't care for those things. If you like candy cookie smells, there are lines that come with those sents. I'm more focused on those that don't like them. mainelement:love doesn't fit into those categories.
 
Christina: What is your favorite product, and why?
 
Tyrika: [laughs] That's such a hard question because I love every one of them for different reasons. The Aloe Conditioner is still one of my favorites, it was the first product launched. It's the strongest in the line because its aloe based. Aloe has lots of healing properties. Most conditioners out there are water-based. A lot of feedback from my customers is that aloe makes a key difference. When they're done using it, they notice instant change in condition of their hair. I also love the shampoo bar because it's different and unique, there are not a lot of shampoo bars out there. It allows you to clean hair, and replenish with oils. My product line is small by design.
Christina: One of the unique things I notice is that you sell a Herbal Hair Tea Rinse. Tell me a little bit about that.
 
Tyrika: Yes, of course another favorite. A lot of people don't realize the benefits of tea, especially green and red tea. Tea supports heathy hair growth, with vitamins that go straight into the hair shaft. It can help minimize dandruff, itchy scalp, shedding, and improve blood circulation. It's definitely not something a lot of naturalistas are familiar with. That's why I created the rinse, as something different. I started using hair tea, saw immediate results and wanted to share with people. My rinse is a combination of herbs,each with unique properties to strengthen hair.
Christina: What is your most popular selling product? Is it the aloe conditioner?
 
Tyrika: Surprisingly it's not! It used to be, but when I re-launched, the Herbal Styling Balm became the most popular because many naturalistas do twistouts and braidouts. They want that EcoStyler pop, but don't want the crunchy feel and white flakes. The Herbal Styling Balm has become really a big seller. Great hold, great definition, and it's oil based so it seals hair and leaves it moisturized longer.
 
Christina: Any new products on the horizon for mainelement:love?
 
Tyrika: Yes there is. I can't give an exact date, but I am working on a deep conditioner. Much thicker than the Aloe Conditioner. Aloe is great for cowashing, everyday use, but I'm creating something thicker and more deep-penetrating. I'm hoping to launch later this year, but I don't have a timeline because I have a little one on the way. I also am looking to develop a scalp and massage oil for massages, growth and combatting dryness.
Christina: The Mane Objective has nationwide readers. Are you or your products making any appearances at any meetups, or natural hair events anytime soon?
 
Tyrika: Nothing this summer, because I'm expecting. I did a lot of stuff earlier in the year, I sponsored a number of events. Lets see... I  just sponsorsed Curls n' Mo in NYC, and I'm sponsoring in June, July, and August. I'm also talking with subscription box companies, but nothing is written in stone yet. I was a big contributor to international hair meetup day - in LA and Houston, my products were in national swag bags. The next place you'll see me is at Nappyology in Dallas in November. All the information is at nappyology.com.
 
I must say, I thoroughly enjoyed chatting with Tyrika and taking her products for a test drive. Support small business. Keep up with Tyrika and mainelement:love:
 
Instagram & Twitter: @mainelementlove
 

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1 comments

  1. Hey Christina, I was wondering, have you heard anything about Mainelement: love???? Their website is no longer up and I haven't heard anything about their products anywhere?? I have some of their products from a few years back, but this makes me sad. What happened to them. I tried looking up info online and couldn't find anything, so I was wondering if you had connections to the owner, if you knew anything. Thanks in advance!

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