Love Harlem is a family venture founded by 2 sisters in London and here’s our story…
Name: Erica “Harlem” Rutherford
Favourite part of London: Angel, Islington. So much of my life has happened there, day or night it has a great vibe… and a karaoke bar!!!
Hair type: Texture-wise it’s thick and kinky. If you’re in to hair typing I guess that would make it a 4C.
Hair tip: “The better condition your hair is in after the washing the easier everything else is. Rhassoul Clay is my favourite for great cleansing and leaving my hair defined and in great condition. None of that stripped and matted feeling from my old shampoos.”
“It all began when I decided to go natural after almost 11 years of relaxing my hair.
Not long after I trimmed off the last of my relaxed ends I found my usual shampoos and conditioners left my natural hair dry and matted I just felt that something wasn’t right…
repeatedly asking me how on earth I got my hair to look so glossy?
So that was it. I started researching natural hair and the best ingredients for it, eventually throwing out quite a few things and replacing them with a collection of organic oils, natural butters, fragrant essential oils and clays from around the world.
I spent hours in the kitchen whipping up new recipes for pomades, butters, cleansers and conditioners. I distinctly remember after experimenting with one conditioner, my sister just stared at my hair repeatedly asking me how on earth I got my hair to look so glossy?
Those were the recipes I starred! The hero products that seemed to draw attention from friends and family who in turn wanted to not just try but buy what I was making.
So with that Love Harlem was born. A chance for us to share the natural and organic treasures we’ve created. I’ve rediscovered my hair all over again and it’s so exciting we just had to share. Hope you enjoy it with us.”
Name: Aretha “Ritzy” Rutherford
Favourite part of London: Clerkenwell, Islington. It’s bubbling over with creativity and history. When I was younger I used to love running through its back streets they usually connect up to these little pretty pockets of London life.
Hair Type: Fine and flyaway. Probably a 3C – 4A
Hair tip: “Pomades are great for control and flexible hold. I always hated leaving the house one way and coming back to find humidity or wind decided to give me a restyle. Now I find whether I have a pony tail or a twist out my style says soft and exactly how I want it.”
“In 17 years of relaxing I’ve transitioned to natural hair several times before but always went back. I was fed up of relaxing but reluctant to go natural. To be honest, I never really understood my natural hair, didn’t think it suited me and it seemed like a lot of hard work.
I think the difference this time was Love Harlem. In using the clays, butters and pomades I rediscovered my hair. It’s like for the first time my hair had a personality and it was one I liked.
I was just amazed at the condition of my hair. My hair changed. Noticeably.
I was just amazed at the condition of my hair. My hair changed. Noticeably. Even my own mum had to ask where my hair came from as it was nothing like we remembered.
I just felt these recipes were a gift that need to be shared and given my sister’s nickname… Love Harlem was born. Soon enough I began working on our design and branding.
To be honest it almost felt wrong to keep to ourselves. Everyone should get to treat themselves to this kind of goodness.”