Rebundle: 3 Things You Need To Know About Hair Extensions!
By: Madeleine Wisecup
Do you wear hair extensions? Do you suffer from rashes, acne, or severe discomfort because of your hair extensions? Are you tired of dealing with a painful itchy scalp? If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions then I know you’re going to become a fan of my guest today, Ciara Imani May.
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Do you wear hair extensions? Do you suffer from rashes, acne, or severe discomfort because of your hair extensions? Are you tired of dealing with a painful itchy scalp? If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions then I know you’re going to become a fan of my guest today, Ciara Imani May. Ciara is the founder of Rebundle, a plant-based, biodegradable, itch-free, toxic free hair extensions brand. As the first beauty brand to address the health and environmental disparities in the hair extensions industry, Rebundle is not only creating non-toxic and eco-friendly hair extensions but is taking action to help eliminate the waste created by conventional synthetic hair extensions.
So, if you’ve ever wondered what chemicals are found in your hair extensions, how these chemicals may impact your health, how to reduce synthetic hair waste, the challenges Ciara and her team have had to overcome to create the first US plant-based non-toxic and biodegradable hair extensions then you’ll want to keep listening because Ciara answers all these questions and more in today’s episode. This is such a fun conversation and I know you’re going to learn so much click the play button and let’s get started!
How Rebundle Was Born
“My story really begins with growing my hair out,” Ciara shares with me. While she’d always experienced a bit of discomfort and itching from hair extensions, the summer she started wearing braids back to back, everything changed — the amount of discomfort she was experiencing was unbearable. “I just wanted to wear braids but they were killing me!”
That same summer Ciara was also exploring new ways to reduce her plastic waste and, as she puts it, “was really getting into sustainability.” When she initially learned that synthetic hair was made of plastic her first goal was figure out how various ways to recycle it. As she started exploring this topic in more detail it suddenly dawned on her — what if the plastic being used in the hair she was wearing was actually the cause of her scalp and skin irritations?
“So that’s where the hypothesis came from,” Ciara explains in today’s episode. “if synthetic hair is made out of a really poor plastic then it’s also likely the cause of my scalp irritation.” And, “if synthetic hair is made out of plastic then there must be a way to recycle it,” she shares.
And with that, Rebundle, a plant-based non-toxic biodegradable alternative to plastic hair, was born.
Toxic Chemicals In Your Hair Extensions?
My jaw dropped as Ciara listed off some of the ingredients found in hair extensions today.
“At the very root synthetic hair is an extruded plastic that has additional additives to give it a certain look and feel. But the majority of it is made of Polyvinyl chloride, otherwise known as PVC, or “poisons plastic” in the plastic industry.”
While there is yet to be scholarly reviews about the physiological impact these plastics have on women’s health and skin, “what can’t be ignored or overstated,” shares Ciara, “is the number of women who have had reactions to the material.” From hair loss and rashes to alopecia and severe discomfort, there’s no denying that the symptoms experienced by individuals wearing synthetic hair are directly related to the products they’re wearing. If you’re wondering what other chemicals are being used in synthetic hair, tune-in to today’s episode to find out more.
Rebundle’s Solution To The Hair Extensions Waste Problem
Since the early 1950s, plastic synthetic hair has been mass-produced for hairstyles mostly worn by Black women and has since accumulated millions of pounds of waste worldwide, states Rebundle’s website. Part of Rebundle’s mission is to help eliminate and divert the waste created by this synthetic hair.
“We have two lifecycles that we have to be very cognizant of explaining, Ciara tells me. One for Rebundle hair and one for non-Rebundle hair.
If you have synthetic non-rebundle hair, Rebundle will collect it, separate it, and down cycle it so it can be reused again. To date Rebundle has collected more than 130 lbs of hair waste and they’re just getting started!
“With Rebundle hair extensions,” on the other hand, “the consumer can just compost it at home with their yard waste. It does not need to come back to us because the end of life is biodegradable.” How amazing is this?! If you’re as excited about this initiative as I am, press play to hear more about how Ciara and her team developed this plant-based biodegradable and itch-free fiber.
The Importance Of Self-Care
Running and successfully launching a business is no walk in the park, especially in the world we live in today. As founder of Rebundle, Ciara not only strives to be a good leader — to help set expectations and the vision for her team — but she works tirelessly to grow and create a solution that will help alleviate the severe discomfort so many individuals experience from synthetic hair. In addition to reducing plastic hair waste. To put it plainly — it’s a lot of work to juggle all these moving parts. Burnout is a real thing in the world of entrepreneurs, so I asked Ciara what how she managed and coped with work life balance.
One way Ciara has learned to cope and process the challenges of entrepreneurship is through therapy. “I started seeing a therapist and that set the stage for how I wanted to take care of myself. I’d never had a therapist before but I thought it’d be an important part of what my journey would become.” That being said, Ciara also plays a lot of candy crush, and whenever possible spends time with family and friends. “I find pockets of time to just take my mind off the stress of Rebundle because Rebundle always needs something. So I have to prioritize and take care of myself too.”
More from Ciara
I so enjoyed chatting with Ciara, she and her team are truly doing amazing work. Press play if you want to hear more about how she and her team have created an alternative solution to synthetic plastic hair extensions, the challenges she’s overcome to get her business to where it is today, and more!
Other episodes you might enjoy:
– Does The FDA Regulate The Cosmetic Industry?
– Why I am grateful to be a woman who menstruates in the 21st Century + How to have a zero-waste period