Rashida Applewhite is the Owner/Creator of Shida Natural's Healthy Hair Care Products and is the co-owner of KinHairitage Salon & Spa that specializes in Natural Hair. Below she shares beauty tips, tutorials, and transition advice for those looking to take better care of their hair...
Tell us a little about your story. What made you decide to not only just wear your hair natural but what led you to become an entrepreneur/hair care product manufacturer?
Here are the reasons why I decided to transition out of my relaxer and become natural:
-I was tired of my hair breaking off and I could never reach my hair length goals
-I loved the feel & look of my new growth & wondered how all my hair would look in that state
-I liked big hair so I used curling, crimping & wave irons to get that wavy/curly big hair look
-I was tired of blowdrying, curling, flat ironing hair, which contributed to heat damage/breakage
-I got to point where I wasn’t fond of straight hair anymore
-I didn’t like the burning of relaxers nor the time it took to put them in & style my hair
-I was tired of going to the hairdresser and sitting for hours
-I had to trim my hair more often than being natural so I really wasn’t reaching my length goals
-I hated that I couldn’t get my hair wet until it was time to wash it (for sake of preserving my hairstyle)
What led me to becoming an entrepreneur / hair care product manufacturer:
After doing the big chop and starting my natural hair journey, I had no idea what products to use after discovering that the products I used when I was relaxed did not work for my natural texture. My sister gave me a few product recommendations and I was also introduced to this thing called YouTube by my then 11-year old daughter to get more natural hair tips. So, as I tried different products, I decided to journal my natural hair journey on YouTube while sharing my reviews of different products. My YouTube following grew and different hair product companies discovered me and started sending me products to review on my channel. After trying many different products, I still could not get the results I desired which led me to start mixing up my own concoctions. While creating these concoctions, I had no intentions of developing my own product line, but as I perfected my concoctions after lengthy research, experimentation, and investment of time and money, I finally got the results I was looking for and I knew these concoctions would solve many of my fellow naturalistas and naturalistos natural / curly hair problems.
After partnering with my sister, founder of KinHairitage Natural Hair Salon, and using my concoctions on clients, the concoctions became the flagship product for the salon due to the high demand of the clients who call it their creamy crack! Lol... These concoctions have been improved over time and ShidaNatural's Healthy Hair Care Products was born in 2009. They are used worldwide by naturals and curlies everywhere!www.ShidaNaturals.com
How long have you been wearing your hair natural and what advice would you give someone that has just decided to go natural, what tips would you share?
I stopped getting relaxers in 2005 and transitioned for about a year before doing the BC (Big Chop) in 2006. That’s when I finally decided to embrace this gift that God gave me, this head full of Naturally CurlyKinkyCoily hair (and yes, I have all 3). I felt like I was freed from bondage the day I cut off all my relaxed ends. It was such a huge relief & exciting moment to have my hair back in its “all natural” state.
The main piece of advice I would give to someone who just decided to go natural would be to develop the right mindset and make sure you are going natural for you and no one else. Be prepared for the negative comments (as well as the positive comments). Seek out others in the natural hair community for support as you go through the journey. Have patience and most importantly, have fun!
Tell us about some of your favorite products that you have and what is your “go to,” product that you use everyday.
As far as my cleansing and conditioning products go... I strictly co-wash (conditioner wash) using Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle Conditioner and Trader Joe's Nourish Spa Conditioner because they are inexpensive, contain natural ingredients, very moisturizing, and make detangling a breeze. My leave-in product is always ShidaNatural's Moisturizing Cream/Detangler. I define my curls and slick my edges with either ShidaNatural's Define & Hold Curl Cream Gel or EcoStyler Gel. My everyday products would be ShidaNatural's Moisturizing Spray / Curl Refresher for daily moisture and ShidaNatural's Mist of Shine for daily shine. I also love Extra Virgin Olive Oil on the days I want to deep condition or want to seal in moisture on cold winter days.
Where can we find your natural hair tutorials and buy your products?
My natural hair tutorial videos can be found at www.YouTube.com/ShidaNatural
My products can be purchased online at
What business tips/advice can you share with someone who is looking to produce/manufacture their own beauty products?
Build an online presence and rapport way before launching your beauty product business. They will eventually be your customers. People buy from people they like so be like-able! Lol. Find your niche and be an expert (or guru) to build credibility and trust. Do your research and find a mentor (or mentors) who are successful in that particular industry. Start small... Develop one product at a time focusing just on one flagship product in the beginning. Invest your own money, at first, and accept the fact that you WILL make mistakes. The important thing is to make sure you learn and grow from the mistakes.
Tell us about KinHairitage and how you were involved with the development of it.
My younger sister, Victoria (Vicky) Shelton founded KinHairitage Salon in 2007. I came on board as partner in 2009 after the salon transitioned into an all natural hair salon. I started out as the onsite natural hair care consultant where I conducted natural hair seminars / consultations, then eventually got behind the chair and became the PopNcurl & Curly Cut expert. I also ran the retail division of the salon (our hair store).
What services do you all offer at the salon?
We do it all... Loose natural styles, updos, locs, faux locs, loc extensions, curly cuts, thermal straightening, color, weaves, waxing, teeth whitening. The only services we DO NOT provide are those services that permanently alter the hair's natural texture such as weaves. For a full list of our services, visit our website.
Here are two videos that showcase what we do:
Can you leave us with just one of your beauty secrets?
I would like to share a link to an article I wrote with my Top 6 Natural Hair Care Tips.
Thanks Rashida, for all of the beauty tips and advice. Be sure to keep up with her on social media: Facebook- Rashida "ShidaNatural" Applewhite and on IG- @shidanaturals