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Damn Gina is the Australian hair accessory brand celebrating curls in all their forms

IMAGE VIA @FLEXMAMI/INSTAGRAM

WORDS BY JONTI RIDLEY

With great curls comes great responsibility.

The widespread popularity of the curly hair movement has been an unexpected delight of 2020. For the first time, possibly ever, the haircare market is no longer overwhelmingly dominated with straight, silky, Caucasian hair.

Curl-adjacent hashtags have flooded platforms like Instagram and TikTok. On TikTok, #curlyhair has over four billion views, with #curlyhairtutorial and #curlyhairroutine holding over 100 million each.

Lockdown seems to have revealed itself as the perfect time for people to start investing in their curls, with all that free time being used to perfect their very own ‘plopping’ method.

But when it comes to accessories for curly-haired women in Australia, there’s been a gap in the market for some time. Enter Damn Gina, the Australian silk hair accessory brand popularising the #curlygirl movement on our shores.

With a diverse range – think silk scrunchies, silk pillowcases and even silk-lined hats – Damn Gina’s use of natural 100 per cent mulberry silk is an asset to anyone in search of a healthy hair revival, curls or otherwise.

Damn Gina’s creator, Sumana Jayanth, is a curly-haired queen herself, who grew tired of the lousy rep curly hair often receives (and the damage that can have on your self-esteem). Sumana believed it was time the self-love moment took a second to truly celebrate curls.

“It was time we loved our frizzy, unruly, luscious curls in all its glory. Hair inclusivity is important for not only your self-identity but for the health of your hair too,” she tells me.

“For as long as I can remember, curly hair has been associated with an ‘unkempt’ and ‘unprofessional’ look. If there’s one story you hear again and again from all curly-haired girls, it’s how much they hate their hair, how hard it is to maintain, how they envy straight hair and how much they have spent (both time and money) straightening their hair.”

 

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If you’re wondering where the brand’s name came from, don’t worry, you’re not alone. However, if your first instinct is something along the lines of “Daaaaamn, Gina!”, then you’re already halfway there.

Sumana says Damn Gina aims to be everyone’s ‘sassy aunt’ – never preachy, judgment-free and always full of good advice. The brand’s name is a tribute to every excited and heartfelt compliment you’ve dished out (or received).

Now, if you’ve come this far and have absolutely no idea why you would ever want silk near your hair, luckily for you, I also had no idea, so I asked Sumana.

“Our hair is mainly made of keratin. Keratin gives hair the strength and structure. With factors like sun, pollution, heat and chemical treatments and age, the keratin bonds in our hair can break, thus making the hair lose its shine, strength and structure,” she explains.

“Silk contains the same amino acids that bond the keratin in our hair, supplementing the health of your hair. Also, the texture of silk is smooth, making it especially beneficial for curly hair as curly hair is more prone to breakage and frizz.”

Damn Gina’s signature product is its silk hair turban, designed to keep your curls safe overnight and protect your hair from unwanted friction and consequential damage. With a soft silk lining, topped with organic cotton jersey, it’s not a shock to see them on preorder. The brand’s success, however, took Sumana very much by surprise.

“I started the brand with my savings, and I wasn’t even sure if anyone would be interested in something like a hair turban. I started small, with 100-ish turbans when the brand launched. We sold out overnight when we were spotted on a notable influencer, who was raving about the turbans effect on her curls,” she says.

This was when she realised the brand needed to “amp up” production. Since then, it has produced (and sold) thousands of turbans, but it often relies on preorders to ensure nobody misses out when the stock goes live – because oh boy, they can go quickly.

Although Damn Gina welcomes straight-haired customers with open arms, curly and afro-textured hair is where its heart is. Equal representation and inclusivity within the hair and beauty industry are at the core of the brand’s ethos.

“Hair is as much a part of our identity and our journey as our skin colour. Textured hair has often been dissed as ‘ugly’, ‘uncool’ and ‘rebellious’. It’s important to normalise textured hair – just like straight hair,” Sumana explains.

While entering the mostly White beauty industry with no prior business experience or contacts was intimidating at first, Sumana says her first-hand experience as a migrant was a journey she felt empowered by, and Damn Gina’s success story is one she feels lucky to be able to tell.

“When I look back, I can honestly say that I have experienced nothing but love and support from fellow Australians, and that is a big reason for the success of the brand,” she tells me.

With all this talk about curly hair, I’m sure you’re curious about Sumana’s best hair tip. You’ll be happy to know it’s short, sweet and simple. “The greatest curly-hair tip? That your hair is beautiful! And sleep on silk.”

damngina.com.au

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