FeaturesPeopleContent creator, Cindy Noir, is breaking ground in the hair care industry

Motivational speaker Cindy Noir launched the hair care industry’s first edge-care-specific shampoo.
Byonce TyusMarch 6, 2023

On February 1, motivational speaker Cindy Noir launched the hair care industry’s first all-natural edge-care specific shampoo.

Conquering three-year-long fears and pressure, Noir announced on her social media that she would be the first Black woman to create and sell EdgePooh – a shampoo that’s formulated specifically for edges and sensitive skin.

Noir came up with EdgePooh when her skin reacted badly to edge control, which is used to place and hold the baby hairs down on the hairline, and she couldn’t find the solution on the shelves.

“Around that time, edges were the craze. So, I was excited to be able to grow my hair out and lay my edges like everyone else,” she said. “[I] go and get some edge control, go home, lay my edges, it looks cute, and my skin breaks out. The entire perimeter of my forehead was rashed up.”

After tweeting about her frustrations and the idea that someone should create an edge-care line, a friend of Noir suggested that she take on the initiative. With no background in business or marketing, Noir initially dismissed the idea but it quickly grew on her.

“By the end of that day, I had coined the term EdgePooh,” she said.

Noir began her work and research on creating a sensitive-skin-friendly, edge-care shampoo and enlisted the help of Chemist Tonya S. Lane – a Black woman who was offering her help to entrepreneurs in formulating products.

“I have sensitive skin. It’s very important to me that the product that I create is also sensitive-skin-friendly,” Noir said. “So, she was able to help me figure out the kind of ingredients to use that lean more towards being as universally used and accessible as possible. I really wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for her.”

Though it was a lot of work, the fear is what kept Noir from launching EdgePooh for three years. The idea of edge-care products seemed so blatantly obvious that she thought a company or brand with a bigger reach, and more experience would launch a similar product in the coming years.

“Why wouldn’t you have a quick way to clean your edges in the middle of your hairstyles or to get the residue off?” She said. “It just makes sense.”

Noir continued, “I thought, ‘Surely, there is someone out there who is more equipped in the hair care industry to create this idea and to take it where it needs to go.’”

There was also the pressure of being the first Black woman to launch a naturally made edge-care product in the hair care industry – a feat that isn’t easy to tackle since many ventures would be new to her.

“Before I launched [EdgePooh], the fear was so real to me and it felt so terrifying,” she said. “Now that I’ve launched it, I want that title. I need people to know that I’m first. There’s so many examples of Black people’s innovations being drowned out by a louder voice who just stole their idea.”

She continued, “I want it to be known that a Black woman made this. I made the product for us, by us. It can benefit anyone’s hair type, but Black women’s hair was the forefront of this product.”

Noir’s challenges weren’t just with herself. Despite the thousands of followers Noir gained across multiple social media platforms as a motivational speaker, launching a never-seen-before product meant working against what many entrepreneurs breaking ground find themselves fighting – algorithms.

Branding herself as a “big sister that everyone wishes they had,” Noir’s algorithms weren’t prepped and ready for EdgePooh’s launch. As a result, EdgePooh only garnered around 1,000 views – a launch Noir doesn’t consider successful, but a teaching lesson.

“It did teach me a lot about how I have to move a little bit more intentionally and meticulously to advertise,” she said. “There’s nothing for the algorithms to pick up and attach it to because [EdgePooh is] its own thing.”

While the marketing for EdgePooh will be more intentional, Noir plans to keep the core of the advertisement the same – authentic, creative, and fun.

“The only way I’m able to market and enjoy the experience is through my terms,” she said. “My creative mind is going, and I really just want to have fun with advertising this product and getting people in on it.”

She continued, “People need to know that I made this product from love and care. The best way to embody, and show that is to advertise from that place.”

Noir’s new marketing has already started. Last week, she made a new page for EdgePooh, and has started to give the shampoo a persona of its own in one of the first videos.

EdgePooh is part of Noir’s EbonieEssentials company, where she also launched her own line of bonnets in September of 2021 – a business venture that was sprung on her by supporters as she became associated with them in her videos.

“As time went on, people began recognizing me for wearing bonnets,” she said. “People would ask me, ‘Do you sell those?’”

The spontaneous and successful launch of the bonnets expanded EbonieEssentials beyond its initial meaning.

“With addition to the bonnets, EbonieEssentials has sort of changed from just [EdgePooh] to being a company geared towards making your hair care experience more enjoyable,” she said.

Having an impact on someone’s hair care journey is important and meaningful to Noir, who hopes to grow EdgePooh into a full-fledged edge-care line with moisturizers, control gels and oils that are made specifically for edges. She also hopes to expand EbonieEssentials into men’s hair and beard care, and launch a children’s line one day.

Noir is also up against established hair care companies and producers gatekeeping industry resources.

While the Black hair care industry grew with style trends over the past few years and Black culture influences buyer needs, companies that cater to Black consumers are often owned by people outside of the Black community. These same companies have refused to make space for Black-owned businesses, and are reluctant to share resources.

“I’m watching these Black-owned beauty supply stores fight against other showrunners of the industry who are trying to gatekeep resources,” Noir explained. “I think that’s so unfair.”

While it’s an uphill battle, Noir believes supporting Black-owned stores and salons will help create unity among Black business owners in the industry – combating companies that seek to copy and use Black innovations.

“That level of exclusivity will not only support our community but also send a message,” she said. “You don’t get to just use our stuff. We see what you guys are doing, and we’re taking heed and moving accordingly.”

As for Black women looking to start their own business in white-male-dominated industries, Noir knows about the microaggressions all too well and says that confidence is key in those spaces.

“People don’t respond well, especially when you’re dark-skinned and plus-sized as a Black woman,” she said. “I walk into a space with main character energy, understanding that not everyone responds well to that. Anytime someone approaches me, trying to knock me down a peg, I take it for the compliment that it is.”

She continued, “You belong there. You need to embody what that means. They have crutches that you don’t have, and yet you’re sitting in the same room. Know who you are, and know that you’re there for a reason. Give yourself more credit. Give yourself more grace, and pride.”

Byonce Tyus

Byonce Tyus is a reporter for Marcom Weekly covering industry news, advertising conferences, and diverse-owned media trends.

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