Brand Profile: how SuperfoodLx is blazing a trail with its products for Black hair health
According to the 2022 Black Pound Report, PoC spend £42 million per month on hair care. While this proves that the spending power of PoC consumers in the UK is higher than ever, Black women are still going to specialist shops to get health and beauty products.
A recent report published by subscription box brand Treasure Tress found that 36% of Black women couldn’t find what they were looking for in mainstream stores and 39% were not able to find cosmetics and skincare for their skin type.
While diversity within the beauty industry has improved in recent years, the same cannot be said for hair care. Mainstream brands have a responsibility to cater to the specific hair care needs of Black consumers. Accessibility is a key issue for Black consumers who are struggling to find the right products for their specific hair type.
Paula Francis and her mother Cherry took a holistic approach to hair care when they launched their award-winning supplement brand SuperFoodLx. When Paula was living outside of the UK and was unable to find the right hair care products, her hair fell out. Cherry’s determination to help her hair grow back successfully is the reason why they decided to launch the brand.
“SuperfoodLX is focused on helping WoC who have experienced hair loss. I know first-hand the impact hair loss can have on a person’s appearance and the health of their hair,” Francis said.
In addition to hair oils and creams, the brand also sells supplements that have been created to improve and restore hair health. With research showing that Black women are more likely to be deficient in a number of nutrients such as Vitamin D, the brand has filled a gap in a largely untapped market. “When my hair fell out again, that was when we created our Kelp and Spirulina Hair, Skin and Nail Supplements, which is one of our bestsellers,” Francis said. “We received really good feedback when we tested the supplements which was great. The product was helping people of different ages and ethnicities and we knew very early on that this was a business we wanted to pursue.”
SuperfoodLx’s mission when it first launched was to create a high-quality and nutritious hair care range with WoC in mind. At the time, plant-based products for WoC didn’t really exist and as the brand developed, Paula and Cherry realised they needed to offer consumers a lot more than healthy topical hair care products. They also wanted to help people adopt a holistic approach to hair growth, taking stress, diet and hormones into consideration. “These factors really have an impact on the health of our hair. In the first few years of launching, we realised that SuperfoodLx wasn’t like standard hair care brands in the market. Wellness was, and still is, our top priority,” Francis said.
The formulation process was a breeze for Paula and Cherry. “I am a nutritionist and psychology masters graduate and my mother is an NHS nurse with over 45 years of experience so we were able to come together and make decisions on which ingredients to include in our products fairly quickly,” Francis said.
In order to ensure that a product is fit for sale, the brand go through a registered cosmetics portal which all beauty brands in Europe need to be registered on. Hair wellness means a lot to SuperfoodLx. It has helped transform Paula’s hair journey and create an award-winning brand. Paula believes that hair wellness is all about understanding your hair’s optimum care routine. “The application of oils, how frequently hair is washed and the supplements an individual takes can be a very unique and personal process,” she said.
Hair wellness means a lot to Black consumers, particularly those who have become more conscious than ever. SuperfoodLx believes that hair wellness starts from the inside and is complemented by products and styling methods used on the outside. “It’s all about improving the strength, the hair growth rate and the quality of the scalp by considering one’s stress diet and hormones,” she said. Diversity has improved in the beauty industry, however, PoC aren’t really represented in the wellness space. Brands need to understand the needs and concerns of Black consumers and offer effective solutions instead of jumping on the bandwagon. “I believe diversity in the wellness industry is up for question,” Francis says.
Stylist, The Independent and Black Beauty and Hair Magazine. It has also won and been shortlisted for industry awards including ‘Best Wellness Supplement’ at The Glamour Wellness Power List Awards. Paula’s biggest challenge as an entrepreneur has been maintaining the same high-quality manufactures and logistic partners. “A lot changed for us after COVID-19. Trying to establish new connections in order for us to keep our manufacturing and logistics going effectively has been quite difficult but we are overcoming this challenge,” Francis said.
SuperfoodLx remains committed to producing nutrient-dense formulations and using case studies to prove their efficacy. “We take pride in proving that our products are good and we want customers to know that they are good,” Francis continued.
Superfood Lx’s best selling product is the Kelp and Spirulina Hair Skin and Nails Vitamins. “We use no binders or fillers, just plant-based ingredients with a full spectrum of nutrients and vitamins that promote optimum health. Our customers love it! Many people have told us that they’ve seen initial results within three to four weeks of use which is rare for a supplement. The efficacy and integrity of the formula has played a significant part in the success of the product,” Paula said.
Customers love SuperfoodLx because their products do exactly what they say on the packaging. As someone who has used hair care products that haven’t lived up to their hype, Paula knows how frustrating this experience can be for WoC.
“We’ve all been in a situation where we’ve used products that make these amazing claims, so I wanted to make products for WoC that actually work. When women tell my mother and I that our products work for them or someone has referred them to our products, it makes us so happy. Every day, we strive to be a high integrity brand with high efficacy,” Francis said.
The highlight of Paula and Cherry’s journey has been making a difference in the lives of WoC who want to improve the health of their hair or grow it back. If Paula could give advice to anyone who wants to start their own hair wellness brand, it would be to carry out their own market research.
“It’s also important to have feedback from people outside of your friends and family and keep going. Owning a business can be difficult but the rewards are worth it,” Francis said. As for what’s next, the brand has just launched a new 100% plant based supplement using pre-biotics, amino acids, seamoss and moringa. “We cannot wait for our customers to try this and we hope it will compete with our bestseller.”