We've worn extensions for decades, but the newest addition to the craze is natural hair extensions and wigs. Gone are the days of only having the option to protect your hair with silky straight weaves; weaves are more natural looking than ever before.
We recently chatted with Antoinette Murray, CEO of Haute Kinky Hair who crafted a line of 100% virgin kinky human hair that actually matches perfectly with 3b-4c hair textures. Best of all, the hair can be dyed or bleached to match almost any hair color. Sound too good to be true? Maybe. But, we're not complaining!
ESSENCE: Tell me a little bit about your inspiration for Haute Kinky Hair.
Antoinette Murray: My partner and I started the line in 2012 and my inspiration was professional women. I was in the professional world, and I wanted to wear my natural hair. Sometimes I would wear a straight weave, and then wear my natural hair and my coworkers would ask “did you cut your hair?” I wanted to protect my hair with hair that looks exactly like mine so no one knows the difference.
ESSENCE: The best thing about wearing 100% virgin kinky human hair is that you can style it just like your real hair. Can you speak on that a bit?
Antoinette Murray: Yes, That’s a concern that a lot of our costumers that come to us have. Like what if it tangles or gets matted or sheds, but honestly all extensions shed. It doesn’t shed like other hair, but it does shed some but not to the point that you don’t have any hair left on the wig. As long as you take care of it, because we also give like an instruction card as to how to take care of their hair and be able to last. Which is important because a lot of times, people don’t know how to take care of it, but they don’t realize that it’s just like yours.
ESSENCE: What inspired you to have different textures?
Antoinette Murray: I wanted to have different types of hair because I know a woman has different textures on her hair. For example, I have 4C hair, predominately, but in the back its literally like 3b—it’s very loose and curly—and I’m still trying to figure out the middle. So I figured that a woman herself has different textures, why would I just carry one line. I should at least have different collections because some women like to mix it up, maybe have curls in the front and kinks or coils in the front.
ESSENCE.com: What are some tips you have for transitioning ladies for fall?
Antoinette Murray: If you’re trying to do a transition and you’re trying to manage your hair, which is hard, and you have not done the big chop yet, then a weave in extension is for you. If you’re trying to retain length, always start out with a coil collection because it will give you some idea of how to take care of curly hair. And then once you feel like you've retained a lot of length, then you can move onto the curls collection. Our curls collection is the hardest to maintain; it literally is like our hair.
ESSENCE: Let's talk a bit about managing your hair underneath.
Antoinette Murray: Yes, you should take care of your hair underneath the extension and you want to be able to oil your scalp. Our favorite oil, which is very light, is coconut or jojoba oil. These oils won’t weigh down the extensions. Another one we like is water on our extensions because that too helps keep it soft and moisturized and curly. People are scared of using water on the hair because they feel like the curls will disappear, but our extensions actually love water.
ESSENCE: Any tips you have for professional weave and wig wearers when they’re wearing your line for the fall?
Antoinette Murray: A lot of people believe the misconception that if you have Kinky hair extensions, you need to do exactly what you did with your own hair. But to the contrary, you need to do the same things, but less of it. You don’t need to moisturize every night, you don’t need to twist it every night, you can literally just wet it with some water in a spray bottle and it’ll be nice and perfect.
ESSENCE: Any nighttime tips?
Antoinette Murray: Nighttime is pretty easy. All you have to do is twist it, or braid the hair in different sections with a light moisturizer. I like the Shea Moisture curling soufflé. A little bit of that goes a long way. Or Cantu leave in, is another product the hair likes. And in the morning, just spray it with some water if you need to. The next day, at night, you don’t need to do that whole process again. You literally just wet it with water, twist it back up at night, and then wake up in the morning and it’s good!