You might know Mushiya Tshikuka as the Founder and Creative Director of The Damn Salon from WETV’s Cutting It in The ATL, but the Congo-native trademarked several natural styling techniques, including her own textured hair line, Runway Curls. And, just in time for the season finale tonight, the Atlanta-based beauty girl reveals lessons she has learned form the reality TV show, and what we can expect from her bustling hair line.
ESSENCE: What was it like being on a reality TV show about hair?
Tshikuka: The show is great. It’s very interesting dealing with so many strong personalities in various situations. People react differently when they are in a group, and there aren’t any do-overs, so you have to get it right. Initially I was reluctant to appear on a show, but I wanted to empower women. I told myself I would stay true to me and not give them something I’ll be ashamed of [I want to be a great example].
ESSENCE: What have you learned from being on a reality TV show?
Tshikuka: I’ve learned that if you’re friends with someone you must tell them what’s right and wrong. I don’t believe in regrets, just lessons. You learn from whatever situation you are in.
ESSENCE: I love the hair on the show, what’s some of the inspiration behind it?
Tshikuka: I’m a natural hair fanatic. The beauty with natural hair is that you can do so many different styles—even protective styles. But, if you’re going to use extensions, they should look like hair that grows form our head. We should look like ourselves—we are gorgeous and beautiful.
ESSENCE: What makes Runway curls different from other lines?
Tshikuka: Within the line I developed an Urban Twists collection which looks just like a twist out. It’s very versatile and low maintenance. And, there’s also Urban Twists which is very natural and customized to your bone structure. But, Runways curls isn’t just a hair line, it’s a movement. Runways curls has two missions: the first is to teach women to love themselves, and appreciate our curly hair. Our second mission is to deify that idea that black women can't work together. Our line proves that women can build and work together. It’s more than just a business.
ESSENCE.com: Many women believe they have to wear a long, straight weave to be beautiful, but you’re goal is to change their way of thinking, correct?
Tshikuka: Yes, you don’t have to have long hair! We are so gorgeous with our kinky hair. Most are natural underneath their Brazilian hair. But they don’t believe their curls are beautiful. I want women to believe they are beautiful always.
ESSENCE.com: What do you want readers to know after watching the season?
Tshikuka: I want them to know that everyone is a powerhouse. We are all strong. You must believe in yourself first, and then the rest of the world will [understand]. Yes, I am a boss, and so are you. It’s okay to believe that you own your decisions. Love yourself as much as Mushiya loves herself.
Check out the season finale of 'Cutting It In the ATL' tonight on WETV at 10/9pm central, and listen to Mushiya’s Runway Curls song here.