Tue | Oct 20, 2020

Anatomy student launches vegan haircare products for recovering cancer patients

Published:Saturday | October 17, 2020 | 12:07 AMJonielle Daley/Gleaner Writer
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“I wanted to provide a healthy haircare choice for cancer patients,” said Kimorra Lucas, owner of Treats 4 Kinks.

The idea was highly influenced by her mother, Beverly Lucas, a five-year cancer survivor who finished chemotherapy four months ago and is currently undergoing her radiation treatment. Lucas said that after chemotherapy, her mother started growing back her hair and became the first ambassador of the haircare line.

“Once they are finished with chemotherapy or radiation therapy and they decide to regrow their hair, I want Treats 4 Kinks to be one of those choices that they can go to,” said the 23-year-old.

With a heart for advocacy, Lucas has long awaited Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Though her initial plans were cancelled because of the pandemic, the company will be donating 10 per cent of this month’s profits to the Jamaica Cancer Society to subsidise the cost of mammograms. They will also be hosting sessions via social media to educate viewers on the importance of early detection and how to check for lumps in the breasts.

In support of wellness, Lucas wants Treats 4 Kinks to be among the vegan options for people who want to switch over to a plant-based diet and lifestyle. As such, the products mainly include natural oils found in African and Indian hair culture.

“One of our main ingredients is couscous oil, found in our Sweet Spot Hair Oil Blend, and also moringa extract, as well as cocoa butter and mango butter. We try to use ingredients that are a part of African and Indian haircare culture. We found that integrating both aspects would create good products for persons with kinky hair,” she explained.

She added that though it was extremely difficult for her to source affordable and organic products locally, she was hell-bent on supporting local brands instead of outsourcing and shipping the products to Jamaica.

With a deliberate goal to comb through the discrimination surrounding hair loss due to chemotherapy, as well as natural kinky hair, the platform aims to provide haircare tips and create a safe space for persons to see other people that look like them.

ORIGIN OF COMPANY NAME

The name Treats 4 Kinks came from a long-lost dream of Lucas to open a candy shop with her sister. Not having the financial background to do so, the next big dream of hers was to create a haircare company.

As such, she integrated some of her initial ideas, which influenced the coinage of the name and the marketing of the products.

“The packaging was really a marketing strategy. I really wanted to stand out, especially knowing it’s a brand-new business,” Lucas said. “It was really just brainstorming, and I worked on it and tried to perfect it as much as possible.”

“I usually have a nine-to-five while going to school, which I would contribute my income to growing the business, so it’s hard to get funds to continually sustain it,” she said, lamenting the loss of her job because of COVID-19.

The young entrepreneur’s marketing strategy was heavily dependent on pop-up shops and events catering to small local businesses, entrepreneurs, and breast cancer awareness.

She is open to partnership and funding to assist with the survival of her dream. Currently, there are three products: Sweet Spot Oil Blend, Sweet Cherry Hair Moisturiser, and Sweet Tooth Scalp Treatment. But in faith, she plans to expand the line.