Photo by Jeylin White
Tajuana Hughes, of Jonesboro, creator of Genesis Hair Care.
Tajuana Hughes, of Jonesboro, had an epiphany several years ago while toiling away as a hairstylist in Augusta.
“I had one of the first natural hair care salons in Augusta and business was great,” said the tall, slim Hughes. It was called “Salon Genesis.”
Though her business was booming, Hughes aspired for more. So, the Brooklyn, N.Y., native and single mother packed her bags and moved to Jonesboro to expand her horizons in the hair care industry.
Working as an educator for FHI Heat, a styling appliance company, and Groovy, a hair salon in Lovejoy for a short while, she said that’s when the epiphany came.
“I was traveling with FHI Heat and going to trunk shows and I fell in love with that part of the business,” she said. “It was eye-opening for me.”
Hughes said she would educate women and men on how they could transform their locks from chemically based products to all natural. She said people began to ask her about what products they could use for their hair.
“I thought to myself, ‘Let me create my own hair care line,’ ” said Hughes. “I have specialized in natural hair care for 20 years.”
From there, through her talent, drive, experience, and connections in the hair business, five years ago she came up with “Genesis Hair Care,” an all natural line of products that caters to all hair textures and ethnicities.
“It works extremely well on biracial people.” said Hughes.
Hughes said getting her product off the ground was not easy. In fact, she said, it took a year and half for her to find the perfect blend.
“I worked with a chemist and we tested sample, after sample, after sample,” she said. “I didn’t want to put my product out there until I thought it was store-ready.”
The four-part hair care system includes: Chocolate serenity shampoo, her wisdom buttermilk conditioner, Bessie’s hands a curl defining gel, which was named after her grandmother, and vanilla bean hair smoothie, her most popular product.
Her products she said retail for $14.99 and can be found at local beauty supply stores, Beauty Masters and Beauty Mart, which is a total of 12 stores through out Clayton and Henry counties.
She said another reason she came up with her line was to help to those dealing with illnesses, such as cancer or lupus.
“I would have clients who would tell me they needed to have a hair product with no chemicals because of the medications they were on,” she said. Hughes, who confesses to be a devout Christian, said she empathized with her clients’ ailments and wanted her product to help women feel beautiful.
“You know when clients sit in my chair, it’s my responsibility to make them feel like a celebrity and look like a million bucks,” said Hughes. “This is why I love what I do.”
Speaking of celebrities, Hughes resume of clients include working with Rhythm and Blues Artists Angie Stone and Bobby Valentino. She said she has also worked with several models and on MTV’s Sweet Sixteen television show.
“But it’s my regular clients who are important to me,” she said. “Whoever I work with I’m all about building a relationship.”
Hughes said when she is promoting her line, she always makes sure she’s abreast of the latest hair trends.
“Times are changing, technology is changing and with that you have to change,” she said.
Hughes said she is aware there are a lot of hair care lines on the market nowadays, but the one thing that sets her line apart is that she educates her consumers on the process of taking care of their natural tresses on a DVD.
“Education is key to healthy hair,” she said. She added those who have used her product have showered her with praise.
“Responses are excellent,” said Hughes. “Consumers tell me all the time they are seeing tremendous growth in their hair — it looks good — and it smells good.”