Most of the women on our team have curly hair, yet not all curly hair is alike. Just like each of us, we all have similar and different hair care needs. I was delighted for the opportunity to talk to Lizzie Carter Founder of Only Curls who’s passion is to cater to curly hair. We wanted to know more about the future of curly hair through her eyes and experiences.
I had a few questions and wanted to know more about another Kitchen Beautician story. Yes, Lizzie Carter Founder of Only Curls started her business on her kitchen table with her baby on her hip. Thank you because my hair feels and smells great thanks to her with not guilt products.
We Talk Curly Hair Products with Only Curls
I have always had a love-hate relationship with my curly hair. Blame it on High School gym class. Where I found out that not all products can fight the frizz or give it that extra hydration it needs. Just because I looked like a cat didn’t mean I wanted my hair to look like a frizz ball.
Luckily today people like Lizzie Carter, the Founder of Only Curls the London based vegan haircare business. Lizzie is here to the rescue us with her brand which she started from her kitchen table. She understands that curly hair has needs and can also relate to all the bad hair day issues we curly girls sometimes have. As well as our vegan lifestyle we have adapted to.
About Lizzie Carter Founder of Only Curls
Curly girl and founder of Only Curls, Lizzie Carter, started the brand with the goal to inspire others to embrace their natural curls. She began packing orders at her kitchen table in 2016 and has her lovely curly customers to thank for helping the business grow to where it is today.
Lizzie Carter spent 12 years in fashion design and product development for retail companies in the UK and USA that include Nordstrom, Abercrombie & Fitch, Gilly Hicks, ASOS, Playful Promises and Pistol Panties. It was after her return to the UK, and an extensive search for curly hair products that she developed the Only Curls brand.
ONLY CURLS ALL CURL CLEANSER Cleanse your curls with this gentle foaming, sulfate-free shampoo. With their own-on-curls formula cleans without stripping hair of its natural oils. A special blend of Avocado and Kukui Oils naturally moisturise hair and scalp Helping to detangle, add shine and reduce frizz. The results: clean, hydrated, happy curls.
ONLY CURLS ALL CURL CONDITIONER. Hydrate your curls with this oil-infused conditioner. With their special blend of Jojoba, Coconut, Avocado, Kukui, Argan and Macadamia oils naturally moisturise hair. Helping to detangle, add shine and reduce frizz. The results? Bouncy, Hydrated, Happy Curls.
All their cosmetic products are made in the UK, are cruelty-free and are 100% vegan. Take a look at my hair and see the results yourself. I love my happy healthy curly hair. Thanks to Lizzie Carter Founder of Only Curls. You have new fans of your curly hair care products.
What was your first memory of struggling with your hair?
My first memory was just of resenting my curls as I didn’t know how to manage them properly. I’d brush them all out in an attempt to wear my hair the same as my straight-haired friends. Of course, this just resulted in a frizzy mess!
Why did you start to create the hair care line?
Having just moved back to the UK from America, I was shocked by the lack of products on the shelves that catered especially for curly hair. The products available that were suited to my curl type, were the same as what I was buying 15 years ago as a teenager. I realized that there was a gap in the market for some new exciting products!
What is the next product you would like to create?
I have so many ideas for new product ranges. We have lots in work at the moment but they are all top secret 😉
Why curly hair?
I have always had curly hair myself and I wanted to change the mindset of people with curls to start embracing them as I learned to. I saw there was a gap in the market and went for it.
Describe a bad hair day story when you were 16?
There were so many bad hair days in my teens, resulting in the unfortunate nickname ‘Frizzy Lizzie’.
Curly Hair Products with Lizzie Carter Founder of Only Curls
How did you discover your crafts? *Curls?
I started experimenting with mousse and a diffuser when I was around 14. Although mousse can be pretty drying, this helped form better curls, which I then realized I needed to stop brushing!
Tell us about your client base & hair journey?
Ceramic hair straighteners became popular during my late teens. I spent the majority of my 20’s straightening my hair which eventually caused a lot of damage. I’m still working on restoring my curls back to their former glory! Many of our customers have this same story as me, and lots of people have started their journey back to curly with Only Curls.
There were so many bad hair days in my teens,
What made you want to create products for your client demographic?
I felt this was a neglected area in the haircare sector, and I wanted to help others learn to embrace and love their curly hair. I wanted my customers to be able to get their curls back to a healthy condition after years of straightening them.
Where were you when you found out that you wanted to be a creator of beauty products?
After moving back to London I was working for a small clothing brand and knew I wanted to start my own business. Coming up with the ‘Curly Towel’ was my a-ha moment!
What has been your favourite career moment so far?
I think my favourite career moment is hearing the feedback from my clients about how my products have helped them to embrace their curls. The products have received hundreds of amazing reviews, and each time one pops up in my inbox it’s so motivating!
What is your signature product?
Coming up with the ‘Curly Towel’ was my a-ha moment!
What important lesson did you learn from working in the hair care industry?
That great customer service is key. One thing that we offer that sets us aside from other brands is unlimited curl care advice. We are constantly communicating with our customer on social media and email to ensure that they are getting the best results from the products.
What do you want your footprint to be?
I wanted my footprint to be learning to embrace your natural hair – curly hair isn’t messy and you can look and feel amazing with your natural curls.
Who is your dream to collaborate with?
I’m dying to see Meghan Markle’s natural curls. I’m hoping that she’ll soon realise that curls are trending and be on the lookout for a new British curly hair brand to help her on her curly journey!
What is your must-have on the road beauty/grooming product?
Our travel-sized Enhancing Curl gel is one product that I carry everywhere! It’s a real frizz buster and can also be applied to dry hair to neaten things up.
But I hope to see Only Curls in Curly Salons worldwide.
What are you up to when you’re not creating?
When I’m not working, I’m spending time with my family including my daughter Ettie who I had whilst starting up the company – they are growing together.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
It’s so hard to say, as I never dreamt Only Curls would get this far. But I hope to see Only Curls in Curly Salons worldwide.
What would you change about the beauty and hair care game?
One thing we are working on at the moment is improving our sustainability. We have just changed all our bottles over to bio-plastic to help reduce our carbon footprint. I would like to see the large companies paving the way here as, without the demand from them, the packaging suppliers don’t have the incentive to innovate, which in turn reduces the options for small companies like mine.
What are you listening to right now?
Taylor Swift is currently on in my office (at home), my daughter is dancing away in the background.
If one store would pick up your products who would you wish it to be?
I’d really like to see Only Curls in Liberty London. I think this would be a great fit for our brand!
What are you grateful for?
I’m exceptionally grateful for my loyal customers who continue to purchase my products and spread the word about Only Curls. I will also always be grateful for the love and support my family have given me whilst running Only Curls and being a Mum.
What advice would you give emerging entrepreneurs like yourself?
Find a project or product that you are passionate about. When you have an idea that you know has a positive impact, and that is personal to you, it’s going to be something that you are going to enjoy working on.
What life lesson was the hardest for you to learn?
I have a hard time letting go of the reigns and delegating, which ultimately only halted the initial growth of Only Curls. Outsourcing areas of the business (example packing the orders) and employing staff has allowed the business to flourish.
The ONLY CURLS ALL CURL CLEANSER & ALL CURL CONDITIONER kept my hair soft and manageable. To help keep tangles out all I have to do after is pin curl it. Next curly hair tip coming, how to naturally finger wave your hair. In my attempt to put less heat on it.
We will be watching our fellow Female entrepreneurs in 2020 and cheer you on to turnover £500K after launching popular vegan-friendly haircare range from her kitchen table. We love to support other lady bosses and the dreams we share. Embrace curly hair in 2020.