2022 Alumni April 2022 News

Changing the narrative on natural hair

As a student, Mona El-Gharby ’21 won funding from SMU’s Big iDeas program, created her business plan and developed products for CURLē, her natural hair care company.

Startup founder Mona El-Gharby ’21 won seed funding from SMU’s Big iDeas program three years in a row as a student. D Magazine writes about El-Gharby, founder of CURLē, “a customized haircare company that’s making curls luxurious,” and her entrepreneurial journey in the March 2022 issue.
“Take a single strand of your hair and roll it between your fingers with your eyes closed.”
Can you feel it? Is it thin or thick? Is it straight or curly? Odds are, if it’s straight, you’ve never had to think about this before.
But CURLē founder Mona El-Gharby has.
The Egyptian American Dallas native says her classmates used to bully her growing up over her natural hair texture. Her parents had raised her to be confident and elegant, but it was hard to feel that way about her curly hair. Like many other women, she felt her hair wasn’t “professional” or fit European beauty ideals.
And when her peers teased her, El-Gharby didn’t have any celebrities or television characters to point to and say, “these people have beautiful hair, they’re doing great things, they’re representing me.”
Read more.

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