Founder and product formulator, Jamille Robinson, started her haircare journey at the age of 14. Growing up, Jamille wasn't allowed to go to the salon because according to her mom, she "didn't have the type of hair that needs salon care.” However, Jamille still wanted to have all the cool hair styles that her classmates wore so she figured a way around “not being about to go to the salon.” She enrolled in cosmetology at the Richmond Technical Center while still in high school. There she learned all the basic cosmetology and chemical processes. Unfortunately, natural hair care and extension install and maintenance was not offered as part of her cosmetology training. Jamille took her cosmetology foundation and taught herself how to do braids, weaves and sculpting work. She could easily look at a style and replicate it on her self perfectly.
Ten years later, she had obtained her Bachelor’s in Biochemistry with a minor in Chemistry and Biotechnology from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech). All the while she was styling hair on the side. She traveled to Nashville, TN in 2008 to work on her PhD in Pharmacology at Vanderbilt. There her hair styling business, Hair By Jamille, grew by leaps and bounds. Jamille had no intention on doing hair while in school but soon found that the reward of making someone fall in love with her style offset the frustrations of lab experiments not going well on the pharmacological side. The thing with research is that you can work for months on one experiment and still not get any gratification. Meanwhile, you can display art in the form of hair styling and get immediate gratification.
Passion for Science meets Passion for Healthy Hair
Jamille’s passion for hair care grew as her business grew. She also grew concerned with the hair health many of her new clients presented. She realized that there was a lot of misinformation out there about how to care for curly/kinky hair. The last straw came when she decided to compare ingredients of mainstream hair products to commercially advertised "ethnic" products. She was enraged to see a lot of the “ethnic line” had the EXACT same ingredients as the CHEAPER mainstream line. The only difference was that shea butter and olive oil was added as an ingredient. This marketing method exploited the chemically ignorant that was in search of something for “us.”
It was at this point that Jamille decided that she had to combine her passion for healthy hair with her professional background in science. She started Phoenix Deep Rooted haircare as a medium to offer natural hair care products and to educate the public about ingredients. She is a die-hard scientist and welcomes the chance to simplify and inform the public abut the science of haircare. Don’t be afraid of the big names! A Big name does not equal bad ingredient. It’s just “nomenclature”
On a more Personal Note...
There was another factor that acted as a Prometheus to Jamille starting the Phoenix. She suddenly became very sick and was hospitalized multiple times in March 2016. Many blood tests, cat scans and IV therapies later no one knew what was wrong. She was in extreme pain and had to stop doing hair for a while (which resulted in many angry clients). She finally got her answer. She was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). She knew she was polycystic because she was getting cysts removed from her joints since she was a teenager but she had no clue the effect of them growing on her organs.
Now for a little science....Cysts that grow on ovaries block ovulation. This blockage causes huge disruptions in sex hormones. We learn in basic biology that testosterone rule men and estrogen rules women. Well what many of us forget that both of those hormones share origins and the imbalance can cause sufferers to lose scalp hair due to the overbearing influence of testosterone. Testosterone is turned into DHT by enzymes and DHT causes hair follicles to shrink. In short, PCOS = hair loss (in some cases). Now we have a problem...How could Jamille preach about healthy hair when her own hair was falling out? Who wants to take advice from a stylist with bald spots? Most people pay attention to what their stylist hair looks like and Jamille was always a walking advertisement of healthy hair. Bald spots would definitely pose an issue. She was determined to find a natural option supplement her medications and lifestyle changes. Phoenix Deep Rooted Haircare was born.