Think back with me to circa 08, if you have been natural for awhile you probably just did the big chop and you were literally obsessed with your hair journey. Personally, I had a routine – go to work, come home, make dinner and watch youtube tutorials and chats from a select few vloggers who were sharing their journeys online.
Rochelle Graham-Campbell or Blackonyx77 on youtube was my go-to girl for everything natural hair and she doesn’t know it, but her theme song “Way you Whine” by Hype D ft Dre T that she used in the intro to most of her videos was my joint!
Blackonyx77 on social media and youtube is now the owner of the multi-million dollar natural hair and beauty brand Alikay Naturals and the epitome of what embodies Black Girl Magic.
Listen, my acquaintance with Rochelle should not be taken lightly, this lady along wth her hubby “Dre T” from that song or Mr. Alikay as we all like to call him are building an empire and mentioning that she is super busy would be quite the understatement.
Rochelle used to make videos in a small bathroom in her college apartment and while she worked on her education she would give us all our natural hair fix every week with gems, tips, setbacks, and wins from her own natural hair journey. She was my best friend in my head and her channel was enjoyed by literally thousands of women hanging on to her every word.
I like to think I watched it all happen, I was there when she taught me how to add extensions to my hair, and when she coined the LOC method and the day she used that bentonite clay on her face and hair as a thumbnail and had us all asking “girl what is you doing?” before even clicking play on her video.
I am also here now, watching her build a legacy and share her experience with the world as a businesswoman, mom and Influencer with a beauty brand second to none.
What would you ask Rochelle if you met her? I had two things in mind! One, what is your hair regimen now and two, how did you build your business? Two loaded questions, one much easier than the other and both of which she graciously obliged to share what she could with limited time.
It was apparent to us very early on that Rochelle knew the value of using quality ingredients in our natural hair because of how responsive her hair was to it.
But where did Alikay Naturals really start?
She was born in Montego Bay Jamaica and as an expat myself I understood the heavy influence of using natural ingredients on our hair and body. Her grandmother was a herbalist and many of the things she taught Rochelle in her early days was what she used to create the foundation of her natural hair line.
Rochelle shared that she had always struggled with finding natural products for textured hair and after going with the trends that left her hair tired from bad products she started to document her own hair care journey fully embracing her natural texture.
She used her Youtube channel to keep track of her new styles in between her classes at the University of South Florida.
She began to incorporate content surrounding self-love and used her platform to educate viewers on the importance of ingredients and healthy styling options.
At this time the natural hair community was growing but we lacked quality products for our diverse hair textures. Rochelle was so frustrated with the lack of availability of affordable products and began the research on how she could bring some of the holistic hair and skin remedies that she learned from her grandmother to life.
She created custom blended products composed of the richest natural and organic ingredients enriched with healing properties and natural humectants to not only define curls, but nurture and replenish moisture from root to tip.
With a loyal YouTube following under her belt and a $100 initial investment from her savings account, Rochelle and her husband converted their kitchen into the Graham’s first laboratory for their Alikay Naturals. No sulfates, no mineral oils, no alcohol and no petroleum and millions of happy customers.
Now, nine years later after launching in late 2008, Alikay Naturals™ has flourished to become one of the fastest growing, multi-million dollar natural beauty brands.
The award winning hair, skin and body care line is currently available online at Alikaynaturals.com and select Target, Sally’s Beauty, Rite Aid, Kroger, Meijer, Face Values, CVS stores nationwide and over 150 retail locations worldwide including our little island of Jamaica!
Rochelle’s hair regimen
As if she had not shared enough, I still wanted to know how Rochelle took care of her hair and to that question, she gave me a week in the life of her natural hair.
Wash day I start off by deep conditioning my hair for a few hours using Alikay Naturals Honey and Sage Deep Conditioner.
Then to get my hair and scalp clean, I wash with Moisturizing Black Soap Shampoo and Detangle in the shower with Caribbean Coconut Milk Conditioner.
Once my hair is clean, I do the LOC Method on my hair to ensure it’s super moisturized for the whole week since my schedule is busy. I typically style with Lemongrass Leave In Conditioner, Shine Crave Hair Glosser and the Shea Yogurt Hair Moisturizer; twisting my hair to prepare for a twist out for the week.
I wear my hair in a twist out Monday- Wednesday. I wake up, undo my twists and fluff my hair with a hair pick. The higher the better! By Wednesday, I typically have to re-twist my hair to keep it looking fabulous. I don’t do the entire routine again I keep it simple and use Lemongrass leave in conditioner and Glazed Argan Oil Hair Silkener.
By Wednesday, I typically have to re-twist my hair to keep it looking fabulous. I don’t do the entire routine again I keep it simple and use Lemongrass leave in conditioner and Glazed Argan Oil Hair Silkener.
I sleep with my hair in my Aunt Bonnie love hair bonnet to protect my style and keep it from drying out.
I usually wear a twist out again on this day, but I don’t re-twist at night I pull my hair in a hair pineapple to keep my style protected. I also may do two French braids in this day.
I wear my hair in an old hair twist out or I play with my style a bit and slick my hair up in a cute puff using the Aloe Berry Styling Gel.
I may keep my hair in a puff or if hubby and I have a date night I tweak my style into a cute updo with some bobby pins.
This is my typical week Styling on weeks that I’m in the office if I have a hair show or appearances my style routine is fancier.
To have had the privilege to watch her grow from the little bathroom with the big blue polka dot decor to a flourishing on -air personality, natural hair expert, and self-made mogul is beyond remarkable and to have the opportunity to add to her growing list of features and publications is pretty humbling for me personally.
Rochelle has been featured in publications such as The New York Times, Black Enterprise, Inside Edition, Essence Magazine the Business Observer and awarded Gulf Shore Business Magazine’s “40 under 40” award for business excellence.
The crazy part of this is, she isn’t done! As a matter of fact, she might be just getting started and already giving back in a major way.
The CEO, and mommy to her baby boy Landon is building a legacy and uses her brands across multiple industries (Alikay Naturals, Mogul University™, Rochelle Alikay and BlackOnyx77™) as platforms to inspire and motivate women to look beyond their circumstances to achieve their dreams.
When she is not traveling the globe educating and speaking to audiences about fashion, beauty, and entrepreneurship; she gives back through the charitable events hosted by her Alikay Cares Foundation. Thank you Rochelle for sharing your story and hair regimen with us, color us inspired! You can follow Rochelle on her Instagram here and follow #Alikaynation here.