How many times have you thought of a great new product idea to solve a particular problem you were facing but did nothing to execute on it? Luckily for people who wear hair pieces and suffer from an itchy scalp and hair loss, Tanya Lyles had a great idea and decided to do something about it.
Ms. Lyles is the CEO of One Soul Priority, a member of Launch Workplaces in Gaithersburg. As an African American female suffering from hair loss, Tanya relied on hair pieces and weaves most of her life. While the hair pieces made her look better and feel more confident, she was suffering because her scalp was dry and itchy underneath the hair. There was no way to get relief from the itchiness, prevent dry scalp to begin with, or help her natural hair grow back. Tanya thought what if there was a way to scratch the itch while at the same time deliver nourishing conditioners to the scalp? She set out to create a product and in November 2017, Slay That Itch was born!
Working with the assistance of Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore (MICA), Tanya invented a comb that also contains moisturizing hair product. The patent pending design has a mechanism for storing hair conditioners or oils in a reservoir and delivering the product through the comb teeth. Unlike most combs already on the market, the comb can penetrate through hair, wig caps, corn rows, and extensions and deposit hair product directly on the scalp.
Tanya is a Brooklyn native who grew up in an entrepreneurial household. She is currently an insurance agent and previously worked as a corrections officer, but she always was passionate about hair and hair loss. She styled hair for people in their homes while living in New York and became familiar with hair issues many African American women face. “People are embarrassed with their hair loss,” she explains. “If I can make them more comfortable and help soothe their scalp with conditioning products, I can give them a healthy platform for natural hair and avoid shame.” In fact, that’s the passion that motivates her to keep working on her product to get it to market.
African American women are not the only target market for this product. Anyone who wears a wig or hair extensions could be a potential customer for Slay That Itch including people suffering from hair loss due to cancer and other illnesses. It is not available in stores yet, but Tanya believes it could sell in beauty stores and drug stores at a reasonable price. When the first product is in production, she already has ideas for a second type of comb for thinner hair and a line of vegan hair conditioning oils. Tanya is currently raising capital to fund initial production of the product. She plans to manufacture everything in the state of Maryland.
Tanya came to Launch Workplaces to help her concentrate on the business. “Having an office at Launch gives me peace of mind with no distractions. It has changed my life and is the best thing I could have done. I can come here anytime 24/7. If I need something, it’s at my fingertips. Being around other people working is motivating, and I draw energy from them,” she says.
It’s thanks to people like Tanya who not only have a vision, but also the determination to provide solutions to everyday problems and make everyone’s lives better. If you are interested in this product or know someone who could help Tanya continue her dream, contact her at [email protected].