(Photo: Minute Weave/Facebook)
Fact: The black hair care industry tallies huge numbers, with some estimates suggesting an annual gross of all products and services that’s north of $500 billion. And it’s not just expensive. Styling can also be extremely time-consuming and deliver unending damage to hair — something hair care veteran Chanel Martin knows well.
So when her sister-in-law brought her the idea for Minute Weave, she couldn’t stop thinking about it. “She’s the one who came up with this concept,” Martin tells Yahoo Beauty. “She came to me and was like, ‘What if we put Velcro on a cap, and you put your hair on it?’ So I bought a sewing machine, and my husband, sister-in-law and I made our first demo that weekend.”
The first video wasn’t a masterpiece, Martin insists, but it did prove that the concept could definitely work. Since then, she’s worked with her husband, sister-in-law, and entire extended family to found Minute Weave and perfect the process for installing a supereasy, superquick weave. The family started a Kickstarter campaign — raising more than $6,300 so far — to help with the launch.
The process is pretty simple. You pop the cap over braided or molded hair, pressing pieces of Remy hair in place around your head as desired. The hair can be washed, colored, and styled to your liking, and comes in straight, wavy, curly, or kinky curly iterations. You can also take the cap off like a wig to wear another day.
Martin says the price for each Minute Weave ranges from $200 to $350, and the entire installation process should take less than 10 minutes. If you want to style further, you can work with it as long as you’d like — and the hair should remain firmly where you placed it on the cap.
With a background as a chemical engineer, Martin had already co-founded successful startup Myavana, which she left to work on Minute Weave. Her previous company tailored hair care to a woman’s individual needs, having women ship samples of their locks to Martin for personalized advice. “I was examining hair under a microscope,” she says. “Tons of women had damaged hair, and lots had suffered hair loss because of extensions.”
She wanted Minute Weave to eliminate that damage, preserving a woman’s natural hair while allowing her to style it in any way she’d like — with no sewing, no gluing, and very little time. “You build it, you customize it to your hair — and it’s not stuck in one style like a traditional wig,” she says. “My personal experience, as a mom and expecting another, is that hair is not priority No. 1, so it’s been lifesaving for me in terms of confidence and looking beautiful.”