As a licensed cosmetologist for more 26 years, Maya Smith, founder of natural haircare brand The Doux, always had a love for serving people with a variety of hair textures.
During her styling career in both Germany and the US, she was able to hear first-hand through her clients, the many questions and concerns they had about caring for their hair whether it was straight or curly. She realized that she often had to juggle between multiple product lines for her clients to achieve the results they desired for their different hair types. This served as the inspiration for creating a brand with one system that had the versatility to bring performance and results for all textures, no matter how your hair was styled. We spoke with Smith on her journey with The Doux and their recent initiatives within the community.
Smith explains that The Doux grew from the hair salons and barbershops that are a pivotal part of the Black community.
“They’re cultural institutions that have been in our community for decades, and I see The Doux as an extension of that.”
She noted that her favorite part in creating the brand was “sharing the black experience through music, art and nostalgia that brings [you] back to a place of joy.” Each of The Doux’s products draw inspiration from 90’s Hip Hop songs and artists such as the fan favorite Mousse Def Texture Foam (named after rapper, Mos Def) and the Big Poppa Defining Gel (named after rapper, The Notorious B.I.G.).
The brand’s tie with the Black community is one that Smith really holds dear. Recently, The Doux collaborated with Walgreens in Minneapolis to celebrate their reopening and revitalization efforts. “When we heard that Walgreens was working to help bring the neighborhoods affected by the protests back to life, it was important for us to be there to not only highlight the revitalization efforts but to connect with the community and show our support.” Smith grew up in LA in the 90’s, so she’s seen first-hand how dramatically a community can change after civil unrest and wanted to help make a difference. The event featured hair tutorials from Smith, giveaways, local food trucks, a DJ and more that brought everyone together for an amazing cause.
When asked about the proudest moment of her entrepreneurial journey with The Doux, Smith shared her excitement about being featured in the HBO series Insecure and on Beyonce’s Black Parade. “It’s dope to be recognized as a leading Black-owned brand, but I still experience my proudest moments when read customer testimonials about how The Doux has changed the way someone cares for hair.”
Ultimately, Smith’s goal is to educate people to help them love their natural texture and she hopes to accomplish this with the brand in its next stages. “We’re working on becoming more of an educational resource for our consumer, as well as being more accessible to the everyday girl and guy.” This educational stance is one that she stands by, especially for other entrepreneurs who are interested in starting their own business in the future. “Instead of thinking about how to sell, focus on how to serve. If your business is motivated by filling a need, your customer will find you and support you.”
Smith has some exciting new products from The Doux, which are set to launch later this year. Until then you can find The Doux products at Target, Walgreens, Sally Beauty, Walmart and other mass retailers nationwide. To stay up to date with Smith and The Doux, you can find and follow them on Instagram @ilovethedoux.