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April 27, 2023 | Shannon Smith

Hairston’s Naturals has the natural beauty products you’re looking for 

After launching her all-natural beauty product line in 2020, Tonya Hairston is opening her first storefront in East Knoxville.

Tonya Hairston has great skin and great hair.  

“Dermatology was always a passion for me. Skin and hair. That’s my thing,” she said. 

Her secret? Every product she uses, she makes herself. 

“When I worked in dermatology, I noticed that there was some demand for more natural products for conditions such as alopecia, eczema, psoriasis, and acne,” said Hairston. “So as a solution to that problem, I went back to school studied herbs and became an herbalist and a holistic health practitioner.” 

Her skincare and hair product line, Hairston’s Naturals, was the solution to the problems she saw at the dermatology office. 

Tonya Hairston, owner, Hairston’s Naturals

“A lot of the things on the earth are here to heal. A lot of plants are healing plants, and we just don’t utilize that,” she said. 

Hairston started experimenting with all-natural products in her home in 2012. “I have a whole lab at home where I make these products,” she said. “And with all my products, whatever you see on the label, that’s what it is. There are no chemicals.” 

She finally started selling her products in 2020, and Hairston’s Naturals took off. 

“I started to get reviews from people that go to dermatologists,” she said. “They will say my product worked better than a product they received from the dermatologist, and I was like, whoa. I wasn’t expecting it. But I did get a lot of ‘I’ve tried everything, then I tried your product, and it solved the problem.”  

Some of those products include detangling spray for curly hair, liquid foaming shampoo, a full skincare line, shea body butter, beard balm, and even dried herbs she uses in her products. But her biggest seller is her hair growth serum. 

“I actually made this for people with alopecia. Alopecia patients were dear to my heart in dermatology,” said Hairston. “So this is made with organic herbs and oils. I picked herbs that I knew would help stimulate hair growth. You can use it if you have sensitive skin, you can use it on children, men can use it, women, everyone can use this product. You can even use it on babies. This will actually help you stimulate the growth.” 

And it works, thanks to all-natural ingredients. That’s also what sets her apart from other natural beauty product companies.

“I don’t cut corners,” said Hairston. “You will get exactly what would benefit your skin or your hair. A lot of companies that make natural products, they may use synthetic oils, they might use fillers and things in their products. I don’t cut corners on my products at all.” 

That’s important to consumers now seemingly more than ever. 

“People are, I believe, being educated on what’s in products now,” said Hairston. “And with the risk of cancer and things of that nature, I think people are paying more attention to what they’re putting on their skin and inside of their bodies. There’s a lot of awareness about products and what you’re actually absorbing.” 

For all those reasons combined, Hairston saw her brand take off. She has customers from across the country who buy her products through her website, Etsy and Facebook pages, and even through Walmart’s website. 

Before and after photos of a customer who used Hairston’s Naturals Hair Growth Serum.

In an effort to grow her business even more, Hairston applied and was accepted into Cohort 6 of 100Knoxville, an initiative to help double the revenue of local Black-owned businesses through the investment of time, talent, and access to social, political, and financial capital. 100Knoxville’s goal is to help Black-owned businesses in Knoxville grow by $10,000,000 in five years. 

“It was like business boot camp,” she said. “One thing I like about the program is that it’s not so textbook. You actually have real business issues that people deal with on a day-to-day basis. We discussed how to maneuver those issues, what the solution could be, and how we can look at the situation in real life.” 

Her mentors also encouraged her to raise her prices. 

“I was underselling myself. I learned that if you provide a great product and excellent service, people will pay for that,” she said. 

Hairston is now preparing to open her first storefront on April 29, after recently quitting her day job to go “full force” with Hairston’s Naturals. 

She’s located at 3907 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue in the Burlington Community of East Knoxville. 

“I noticed that I have a lot of customers in East Knoxville, and I heard the history of the Burlington Community. Back in the day that it was a thriving Black community and I know they’re in the works of trying to build that back,” she said. 

You can celebrate the grand opening of Hairston’s Naturals from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, April 29. There will be food, drinks, entertainment, and music from DJ Pryme Time, and the chance to see, try, and purchase all of Hairston’s products. 

“We just want the community and everyone to come out and celebrate the first building over here in the Burlington Community to open up to some business,” she said.

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