"Who is the person behind Kozma Curl?"
Hi! I'm Hillary Kozma. Welcome to Kozma Curl!
I'd like to start by saying that I'm a bit of a introvert and I feel a little self conscious about my picture being posted here. I have for so long resisted mentioning myself on this site because I don't want to be "the face of the brand". After all, it's not about ME! It was never about me. It's all about YOU! However, I've come to realize through your many inquiries that naturally you'd like to know who made the products and why.
So here is a little bit about me:
I am the founder and creator of the Kozma Curl products.
I come from Oregon State, U.S.A. where I was born and raised.
I'm a U.S. licensed master stylist since 2002 who has trained and lived in the States, Europe and Middle East.
My husband Mike (also from the U.S.A.) and I co-own and manage the Kozma & Kozma Salons and Kozma Curl salons (which are salons dedicated to curly hair) together. We are a husband and wife team.
I am the founder of the Kozma Curl Method which is a special method of cutting, coloring, styling, and caring for curly hair. This method is taught in our salons to all of our stylists.
You might be asking yourself if I have curly hair. Yes, I do. My relationship with my own hair has been complicated. For the longest time I used to blow-dry my hair straight into a sleek blonde bob! Only in the last seven years have I really started on my own curl journey. I think I didn't focus on myself because I was so busy helping everyone else with their curly hair! My top section is wavy and the curls get tighter towards the neck. At times my waves and loose curls transform themselves into the cutest curly ringlets (especially near my neck I'll find a perfect ringlet and snap a pic) but that is depending on the mood + barometric pressure + humidity + products used + stars aligned perfectly. All joking aside, I know what it's like to feel frustrated and this has given me empathy for what other curly women struggle with and additional motivation to help them. My curls have been my best teacher because of how difficult they are. They can be beautiful and cooperative if I do the right things, or they can be puffy and frizzy.
When not obsessing over curls, I love coffee and riding my horse Napoleon.
"What is the story behind the products? Why were they created?"
I'd love to tell you our story! It's a bit of a long one though.
Let’s start from the beginning.
I started the Kozma salon's in 2007. I worked as a stylist in our salons for many years.
A large number of my customers had curly hair. I've always loved curls, but we were never taught how to work with curly hair in beauty school. In fact, we were taught it was ugly and a problem. We were taught how to straighten it, to make the problem go away. I've always been a bit of a rebel against the so-called-norm, I'm not someone who is easily told what to do. I didn't see curly hair as the enemy and as a burden as so many in our society did during that time. I believed curly hair was beautiful and that it is a gift.
Back then, I was always trying to encourage customers to wear their hair naturally. I'd beg them to let me style them curly instead of doing a blow-dry and flat iron. Keep in mind, this was back before the curl movement was really a thing. It wasn't always an easy task to convince customers to wear their hair curly. Of course her hair had to look great so she'd love her curls and want to wear it natural, more frequently. I wanted these women to wear their hair curly outside of the salon too. I had to figure things out for myself and I spent over a decade doing so. I started experimenting with curly customers, talking to the curly community, researching and generally just learning from mistakes. The combined knowledge and experience has evolved and improved over the years into what is known today as "The Kozma Curl Method".
I'm really proud to have created a system of cutting, coloring, styling and caring for curls that helps women with all curl types. I started teaching this to all of the stylists who join our company. I taught them everything I had learned. As a team, we loved watching transformations take place. There is something liberating and empowering about taking this first step and embracing your curls- working with them, instead of against them and celebrating them. My team started telling me how satisfied they felt making a difference in these women's life. We all went home content at night knowing that we are helping women to work with and love their curly hair. If you are a person with curly hair, you know and understand when I say there are deeper meanings and strong associated emotions connected to curly hair. When the emotions are positive about our hair, we learn to love and accept ourselves in deep way.
Around 2015, the Kozma Curl Method started gaining momentum. Curly customers were telling their friends about us, and we started experiencing a surge of curly traffic. Our salons had earned a solid reputation as the go-to curl experts. People were even flying in just to visit us.
There was just one problem. We lacked curl friendly products.
The hair care industry still caters at large to the straight hair type. With only a small handful of quality curly product lines out there, curly hair remains overlooked and neglected. With so few options available to us as a salon, at that time we were just having to do our best with what was available. However, we were not satisfied by this, and neither were our curly customers.
Our salon customers often pleaded with us to find a solution. We imported some other curly brands but it fell flat - unfortunately those products still did not address the needs of ALL curl types. We needed something that would work not only for curly hair but also wavy and super curly. We are a all-inclusive salon meaning we welcome all curl types, and this meant we needed products for all of our customers- not just some of them.
In 2017, finally the idea came to me to make my own products. And so began the journey into manufacturing.
I narrowed down the list of manufacturers I wanted to work with, and found a lab in Italy that supported my vision and goals to make safe, gentle products. Together, we spent a full year carefully researching ingredients and talking with the curl community before developing the products. My goal was to develop and cultivate products that are made with love- this means no silicones, no sulfates and no parabens.”
I'd first test the products at home on myself. If I liked them and got good results, I'd send them to the salons.
We tested the products on our willing salon customers. I also put together a dedicated focus group who took the products home, used them in different variables and sent back a survey to give me feedback. With their help I re-formulated many times over before settling on the final product.
Every product is infused with high quality natural key ingredients such as macadamia nut oil, aloe leaf, coconut oil, and Barbary Fig.
We are proud to be a full concept brand today with our own products, method and salons that cater to curly hair.
My team and I are ever committed to providing you the highest quality curly hair services and products. We are devoted in our mission to support you in embracing and loving your authentic hair texture. We will continue to find solutions that respect and preserve the integrity and health of curly hair.
"What's next? Any new products coming?"
There are currently 8 new exciting products in the pipeline!
Stay tuned for more news, including our upcoming launch of a Curl Cream.
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