Inside the Brand: Miss Jessie's

Founded by sisters Miko and Titi Branch, Miss Jessie’s has been helping natural women to embrace their curls since 2004. The brand has won awards, including the 2009 Redbook MVP Award; been featured in numerous publications including: O, The Oprah Magazine, Allure, Essence, Lucky, Marie Claire, WWD and Elle; and their celebrity fans include Alicia Keys, Halle Berry, Keri Hilson and Rihanna. It’s no wonder Miss Jessie’s has become a household name—and they continue to innovate products to help each woman achieve beautiful, healthy hair.

The talented sisters were gracious enough to take some time to answer a few questions for us about the brand, as well as recommend some of the Miss Jessie’s products that will help you to achieve amazing summer hair.

Miss Jessie's is considered a leader in the natural hair care industry, and has been recognized with numerous features and awards. How do you continually keep the brand ahead of the curve?
Wow! Thank you for the compliment. First and foremost, we are hair stylists. I have been a professional hair stylist for over 20 years. In fact, I still do hair every week at the Miss Jessie’s Salon in Soho in New York. I leverage my expertise in the business and I am intimately aware of my clients’ needs. Before Miss Jessie’s brings a new product to market, that product has been first “road tested” and perfected in our salon. We know that when we introduce a new product, it must be truly innovative and fill a void that is missing in the curly hair market. Or, in the alternative, any new Miss Jessie’s product must be an improvement on products that already exist in the market. As the curly hair care market has become more and more crowded, we understand that you cannot win just by following the trends, you need to set the trends. Our hands on experience with curly clients week in and week out provides us with a unique competitive edge and a distinct advantage.

How has working so closely with family contributed to the success of the brand?
As everybody knows, working with family can be a mixed blessing. On the plus side, there are years of trust and loyalty built up between family members, so I am more open and willing to try a suggestion offered by my sister. When things work out, it’s great. But when they don’t quite work out, then Thanksgiving dinner can be a bit awkward.

June COCOTIQUE subscribers will receive your Multicultural Curls product. Is there a specific hair type for which this works best, or can anyone see benefits?
Everybody loves Multicultural Curls! I mean everybody! We formulated Multicultural Curls to address a unique blend of multi-textures. In the Miss Jessie’s Salon, some of our clients were frustrated because they could not find just the right product – some products were too heavy and oily, while others were just too light to really manage their curly hair. So, we formulated Multicultural Curls. Because it was formulated to address multiple curl textures, we are so pleased to see that everybody loves Multicultural Curls for very different reasons. Our wavy and curly fans love Multicultural Curls for the way it provides the perfect hold, while our tight and coily fans love Multicultural Curls just for the shine and softness. I will be honest; I have a big crush on Multicultural Curls!

Summer is here, and for many curly haired women, that means more wash n' go styling. Which additional Miss Jessie's products would you recommend for summer care and styling?
Miss Jessie’s has recently extended its wash n go line by adding Multicultural Curls, Coily Custard, and Transitionser’s Magic. These new products, together with Quick Curls, Jelly Soft Curls, and Pillow Soft Curls, give curly girls the most options for perfecting quick and easy wash n go styling. These stylers share three important characteristics: (1) fast drying; (2) soft hold; and (3) great shine. I am really excited about Coily Custard, because women with super textured hair and tight coils now have a non greasy wash n go styler that really works for them. With Coily Custard, you can achieve that just-washed, just-out-of-the-shower look, when your coils are shiny, slightly elongated, and soft to the touch. In addition, I love Transitioner’s Magic for women, who just aren’t ready for the “Big Chop.” With Transitioner’s Magic, the “Big Chop” is not necessary, because it is uniquely formulated to moisturize new natural hair growth while at the same time revive and coat your chemically treated hair. It is also a great light weight styler for wavy and curly hair.

What advice would you give to women who are considering transitioning from relaxed to natural hair?
First, to all the transitioners, I congratulate you and wish you luck on your journey to a new kind of beauty. I have three pieces of advice to share. First, be patient. Most women have straightened their hair for decades. Please give yourself some time to adjust to natural hair. Second, be realistic. It can be hard to manage expectations when transitioning, because some women really do not know what their natural hair will look like. Your natural hair may very be different from your sister’s hair or best friend’s hair. Prepare to be surprised and delighted without any expectations. Third, be beautiful. I take hair care very seriously – it is my business. However, I am in this business because I want to make myself and other women feel good themselves and look beautiful. Nothing beats natural beauty. As a stylist, I can do a great job of straight styling hair, but after all these years of styling, I am still most amazed by how uniquely beautiful natural hair can be.

Learn more about Miss Jessie’s at their website, and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr and YouTube.