Many women have trouble managing and feeling confident wearing their natural hair, but Tracy Golbourne believes that all naturals, no matter what their hair texture, should walk with their heads high and feel beautiful, confident and proud of their hair.
Golbourne is a mother and entrepreneur who endured a hard-knock life that included being raised by a single mother, growing up in a troubled Brooklyn neighborhood and attending classes in a school system that did a poor job of educating its students.
“When I was a child, I used to study the words in the dictionary, read the encyclopedia and visit museums,” she says. “I did all of this on my own to educate myself since there wasn’t much being taught in the schools I attended.” At an early age, she realized that she was different, and she was determined to be more than another statistic.
She was able to defy the odds of others in her neighborhood and become a financial analyst. It wasn’t long, however, before Golbourne began to feel empty and unfulfilled in her profession, desiring to help others. She picked up and left New York to pursue a nursing career in Georgia. Before she could fully pursue her career as a nurse, she was met with a problem that ultimately set her entrepreneurial endeavors into motion. Like many entrepreneurs, her introduction to business grew out of a personal problem she wanted to solve.
Living in a predominantly White neighborhood and experiencing trouble finding a stylist to do her hair, she made a drastic change: she cut off her relaxed hair and underwent two big chops as made the transition from permed to natural hair.
Having no idea how to manage her newly natural hair, Golbourne turned to YouTube tutorials. She began to buy the most popular hair products, only to find that none of them worked for her hair. She even began to experience shedding and breakage. That prompted her to do research to get to the root of her problem dryness and breakage. “At the time, I didn’t do it with the intention of starting a business,” she said. “I was simply trying to fix my own hair issues.”
She performed test after test on her own hair, successfully formulating the first product — a reconstructing deep conditioner to hydrate hair strands while simultaneously strengthening them enough to stop breakage. Realizing how important her accomplishment was, Golbourne felt it necessary to share what she learned with other women who were experiencing the same issues.
With her background in finance and her desire to solve her hair problems, Fortifydnaturals was born.
“I was able to create and maintain my own budget without having to take on another professional expense,” she explained. “It also helped me to be able to break down the percentages of ingredients in each formula so that I could build out the pricing structure.”
What sets Goldbourne’s products apart from other natural hair-care lines is that Fortifydnaturals focuses on hydration, using vegan-certified ingredients.
“Our approach is to use ingredients that penetrate deep into the strands and seal them in without forming a film and leaving buildup behind,” Goldbourne explained.
We can all take a page from Golbourne’s book on not letting our temporary circumstances define our ultimate outcome.
“I am resilient, and I don’t allow myself to be overwhelmed by obstacles but rather view them as tools that will be necessary for my journey of life,” she says. “I don’t believe there is a limit. Today my focus is to live a happy and purpose-filled life.”