Velocity Concept 5K winner solves hair care issue at the root

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Adanna Amechi holding $5,000 cheque

Did you know that chemical engineering can help you be more attractive? The beauty and cosmetic industry is one of the many sectors where chemical engineers apply their skills. Third-year student Adanna Amechi set out to demonstrate that with her initiative, The President Braids. Amechi was one of the winners of the Velocity Concept 5K Pitch Competition this month. Her start-up aims to create hair products designed specifically for some people of colour that have dry, curly or “coily” hair.

After arriving in Canada from Nigeria in 2019, Amechi found that there were no affordable hair salons catering to her hair type. After being turned away from many salons, she realized that there was a need for products and salon professionals in Ontario specifically trained to work with her type of hair, referred to as type 3 and 4 hair. Amechi decided to create her own solution and that was the inspiration behind her pitch. The name ,The President Braids, comes from Amechi’s childhood nickname, "The President."

 The President Braids was created to provide reliable, quality and easily accessible hair care and braiding services for people of colour in Ontario. Amechi also intends to formulate hair care products including shampoos, conditioners, pre-shampoos and creams for type 3 and 4 hair using her chemical engineering skillset.

I am able to identify the most practical and suitable hair care product formulations for our clientele. Chemical Engineering has helped me properly solve this problem from the root. Through analytical thinking, I was able to discover that there are not enough stylists trained in these skills in Ontario. The President Braids sources people willing and able to learn the skills and techniques required to successfully complete a hair care or braiding service.

Winning the pitch competition held special meaning for Amechi,

Winning the Concept $5K competition means we are being heard, it means we have a feasible and scalable solution to the problem and are making adequate use of the opportunity in the market. 

Amechi plans to leverage the money from her win to expand and train a team of stylists. Her hope is to have 50 stylists across 25 locations in the province by this time next year and have a platform completed at the end of the year to automate services and increase efficiency.

Listen to an interview with Adanna on Beyond the Bulletin.