Versatility Beauty&Fashion has had the major opportunity to interview a creator of a product that most women with dry hair or dry scalp desire. Yes, what most women with DRY HAIR and DRY SCALP desire! Versatility Beauty&Fashion proudly presents Ken Burkeen, the founder and the creator of Huetiful Steamer – the steamer that will restore moisture in your hair 5 times better than conditioner or deep conditioner alone. Huetiful Steamer is not only for haircare, but also provides innovative and effective beauty-facial care solutions for women of all Hues.
Versatility Beauty&Fashion wants to know who Ken Burkeen is?
Wow. How much time do we have? I can give you the short story. Ken Burkeen was born in Chicago and raised outside of Philadelphia. I now call Atlanta my home and absolutely love the balance between major laid back southern cosmopolitan style and charm that the city offers. Some call Atlanta the “Hair Capital of the World” due to the Bronner Brothers and World Natural Hair Shows that are here twice a year. My passion has always pushed my focus towards entrepreneurship but my practicality has always pushed me towards Corporate America. I’m glad that I’ve found a nice balance these days. When not managing business you can find me hosting gatherings at the house; shaking up craft cocktails and working the stove and oven. There is nothing better or more enjoyable than friends or family, food, good conversation and great drinks.
You are the founder of the Huetiful Steamer. Give a description of the product, the benefits of using it and why people should try Huetiful Steamer?
The product is a lightweight, portable hair care tool designed to restore moisture and hydration to hair more effectively than with conditioners or treatments alone. It is also designed to promote hair and scalp health. It accomplishes this through ozonized steam therapy. The steam lifts the cuticles that cover the hair shaft; allowing for the oils and moisturizing agents in the conditioner to deeply penetrate into the hair shaft. While the hair cuticle is open, warm steam is infused inside the hair shaft as well. This provides a deeper conditioning plus added hydration. In addition, the ozone feature coverts the steam to ozonized steam. The benefit of ozonized steam versus regular steam is that the ozone will help neutralize bacteria that forms on the scalp and that leads to itchiness or even dandruff.
My interest started while working as in marketing and brand management at Procter & Gamble; the makers of beauty care brands such as Olay, Pantene, Head & Shoulders, and Cover Girl. While I found that these brands spoke to women of different hues or different shades, I didn’t always find that the products were designed for these same women. I wanted to – someday – have a brand that was exclusively focused on designing effective and innovative products for women of all shades or hues. And I wanted to do it for women not just in the United States, but rather all across the world.
The Huetiful Hair Steamer is made for women who have wavy to coily curls and medium to very thick hair. Regardless of whether or not the hair is natural & curly, natural & heat straightened, or relaxed, the most common frustrations are breakage, split ends, dryness, and lack of strength. The benefits that Huetiful provides address all of these benefits and a few more (such as scalp irritation and reduction of frizz). Interestingly, those with relaxed or color treated hair are more likely to notice a more significant improvement in the health of their hair when they use the Huetiful Hair Steamer. I still have a long way to go to get women who relax to adopt steam therapy into their hair care regimen. As your hair is naturally straighter or more fine, you require less moisture and hydration. Your typical frustrations will be lack of volume and too oily. The steamer is less ideal for those types. It is also ideal for use with sew-ins or weaves.
Do you have workshops to promote your brand? If so when and where will you have workshop this year?
We are always doing workshops and hair care trade shows. Most of them are in major US cities, but we’ve also done smaller cities over the last few months (2011). In addition, we have sponsored two events in the UK and were featured at another event in Lagos, Nigeria (2011). I love the fact that the product is starting to be recognized across the world as a great enabler for healthy hair.
Huetiful Steamer can only be purchased in the US and Canada. Will you in the near future sell the Huetiful Steamer in other countries?
Absolutely. We are working very hard to establish a presence in Europe and in Africa. Most importantly, I want to ensure that the price is low, the service is impeccable, and the speed of delivery is in less than one week; preferably with free shipping. Our customers abroad should get what the Huetiful community gets here – just in a 220 volt version.
Can Huetiful Steamer be used when ones hair is braided, weaved, dreadlocked
Yes. I know of one famous R&B singer who has a weave and who travels with one. It really helps get down to the scalp and hydrate the hair that is underneath the weave or that is braided. As for locs, the number one complaint is “dry hair” and those with really dry locs even experience breakage of the loc. I strongly recommend using an oil (such as jojoba) for dreadlocks. Simply apply the oil to the locs and then steam the dreadlocks to infuse the dry locs with ozonized steam.
Is there a time limit for using the steamer or can you use it daily?
The steamer takes 12oz of water (tap or distilled is fine) and one treatment lasts approximately 18 minutes. The steamer will turn itself off after 18 minutes when the water has run low. It does this automatically. We recommend doing it once a week or whenever you do your deep conditioning treatment. You should do it without a cap on and try to do it on a regular, weekly or bi-weekly basis.
The hair trend in the US, especially amongst African Americans is to stop using straight relaxers, do the big chop/transitioning and become natural. Moreover, this natural trend has affected other women with curly and kinky hair textures around the world. Versatility Beauty&Fashion wants to know your thoughts about the hairtrend, meaning should everyone that straight relaxes their mane follow the natural hair trend?
We are, first and foremost, an advocate for healthy beauty care solutions. If you decide that relaxers or even keratin treatments fit your lifestyle the best, we firmly believe that you should do the things to help maintain your hair as healthy as possible once you’ve made that decision. Having said that, we don’t believe that “going natural” is a trend. Women with curly hair have been natural for millenniums. What we are seeing is an emergence of new, effective products and an unprecedented amount of information to help those with natural hair navigate the waters of “going natural”. The combination of effective products and access to information will forever shift more women back to natural styles. I’m glad that we are in the middle of the style revolution.
In every interview, Versatility Beauty&Fashion asks the interviewers to share their perspective on the dominant ideal of beauty. Therefore Versatility Beauty&Fashion is curious on your thoughts about the dominant ideal of beauty?
That is a very interesting question. I want to share a short story about a conversation I once had with an “expert” on beauty. After her presentation I stated that different cultures and people had different perceptions about beauty – such as the type of nose, the hip-to-waist-to-chest ratio, or even the type of hair. She admonished me and told me that there were universally accepted standards of beauty. I don’t buy that. And the name of my company reflects that. “Huetiful”.Because I believe that beauty among women of different “hues” or “shades” can vary. What is important is that we as a society embrace this and that manufacturers design products in recognition of it. Hopefully, Huetiful can be a voice for the diverse ideals of beauty.
Interview: by Charity Odum
Text: by Charity Odum
Photos: borrowed from Ken Burkeen
Make sure to visit Huetiful Steamer website here