‘There’s no beauty without wellness:’ U of T alumna’s startup embraces rituals in hair care

ByKatherine S

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In retrospect, Sumera Nabi claims she is grateful for a overall health scare that compelled her to revaluate her life last year.

“These sorts of scenarios can have a silver lining – it can really support you get clarity on what is actually important to you,” claims Nabi, an alumna of the University of Toronto Scarborough and the founder of Glow Ritual, a all-natural hair care organization that bridges health, magnificence and wellness.  

As she navigated the well being-care process, Nabi claims grew to become extra conscious of the goods she was placing on her body. Investigating substances on allegedly “clean” and “natural” hair solutions uncovered likely unsafe chemicals. 

“It was disappointing just to see how hair treatment solutions are mislabelled, and the gross total of miscommunication all-around some of them,” states Nabi, who was recently nominated for an RBC Canadian Females Entrepreneur Award.

At the very same time, she saw an inequity in how people ended up recovering from the stress of the pandemic. For the duration of lockdowns, for illustration, some escaped to cottages or 2nd properties, but other folks – particularly essential workers – lacked a related luxury.

She requested herself what a fulsome crack could look like for persons not able to get away or just take prolonged time for them selves.

“In the absence of goods that targeted on genuine wellness, I started out to dig into my possess knowledge.”

To generate possibilities for hassle-free, restful breaks – which she terms “micro-recoveries” – Nabi questioned how her ancestors may well have identified chances to rest and chill out. She landed on the scalp massage, which her mother did for her as a boy or girl. Scalp massages, popular in numerous South Asian households, are meaningful moments for link and restoration.  

“I needed to revive some of people beautiful traditions and honour some of the ancestral knowledge my very own family handed together to me,” she suggests. “The scalp therapeutic massage is a recovery ritual that doesn’t call for you to bodily take away by yourself from a site or get on a aircraft. It just looks so great for the times we’re in.” 

The inspirations culminated in a line of hair care goods made of all-natural, botanical components and a model that emphasizes self-care rituals such as scalp massages. By reducing chemicals that can accumulate in hair and trigger damage, this sort of as silicones and artificial fragrances, Nabi says Glow Ritual is having a “long-phrase method to hair treatment.” The business also gives a free workbook with ideas and a weekly template for clients to design their very own hair rituals.

“It’s these minimal micro-investments that remind you of your self-worthy of and give you that wholesome glow from the inside of out,” she states. “There’s no splendor without the need of wellness and wellness is a course of action.” 

Even though commencing a organization for the duration of a pandemic has not been straightforward, Nabi’s journey is a single of silver linings. Skyrocketing world shipping and delivery rates and disruptions in intercontinental offer chains pushed her to resource sustainable elements near to the Larger Toronto Area. At the identical time, the incapacity to network at area markets or functions compelled her to reach out internationally by almost attending conferences and connecting with individuals who she might never ever have attained in-particular person. 

Nabi appreciates she is up versus giants in a discipline dominated by conglomerates and undertaking-backed corporations, but she’s not fussed. She states her expertise in community coverage, advising senior conclusion-makers and planning community programs prepared her for entrepreneurship since each fields count on approach, diligence and a people-first mentality.

Glow Ritual is now building good a reaction. The company a short while ago got an Instagram shout-out from Rick Caroto, hair stylist for stars which includes Mindy Kaling. Nabi suggests that proves there is a need to have for her products and solutions that existing providers aren’t conference.

Her assistance for aspiring entrepreneurs is to “start tiny, start out terrified, begin someplace. Start off not knowing all the responses.” 

“Don’t overthink it, just go ahead and start out and you can start out pivoting, you can commence evolving, you may go in the route your group wants you to go,” she says.