Maya Smith

Meet The Doux's gregarious founder whose passion for all things 1990s influences her super dope salon quality haircare range...

The Doux originally launched in Germany – what was it like starting your own business in a foreign country?

I loved living and working in Europe. Transitioning from being a stylist in the U.S. to becoming a salon owner in Germany was a pivotal time in my career, because I was creating a salon environment that, at that time, didn’t exist.

In your opinion, how far has African American culture influenced the way women of colour in Europe see themselves?

Black hair care and beauty trends overseas are definitely influenced by African American culture, hip hop, and street style. It's very apparent when you visit the streets, clubs, and art scenes of Paris, London, and Berlin.

The Doux

How long did it take you to perfect the first few formulas you launched under The Doux label?

Using my clients as my focus group, I researched and developed my products over the course of about 3 years.

You’ve said previously that you’re the ‘happiest hairstylist alive’ – what brings you the most happiness in your line of work?

Having an impact on the way that ordinary people see themselves brings me the most joy as a cosmetologist. To see the change in confidence and self-awareness in a client is not only rewarding, but is the very thing that fuels my desire to educate the natural hair community about the love and care of their hair.

Whose hair would you love to work on?

I would love to work with Erykah Badu (@erykahbadu).

The Doux

As well as working in the hair industry, you’re also a long-time artist – what direction are you taking your art these days?

I’m in the process of exploring more of my interest in the connection between art and culture. Street art, graffiti, and sneaker design have always been my thing, and my work tends to echo my love for both.

The Doux has an undoubtedly 90s feel. Would you say that the 90s is having a renaissance in 2020?

The 90s has certainly re-emerged as a cultural influence. I think the boldness and emphasis on self-expression of the 90s resonates with today’s youth. They don’t completely understand what they’re imitating, but they’re drawn to it in a way that is really interesting to me. Everything that’s old is new again.

The Doux

If you could choose between living in the 90s and living today, which would you pick, and why?

While I’m big on nostalgia, I would rather be here now. If the 17-year-old me had access to the technology available to us today, I would be dangerous as a creative! I love the idea of bringing the consciousness and innovation of the 90s into the tech age of the present.

Which 90s hairstyle would you like to see make a revival?

I love geometric cuts. It would be dope if the MC Lyte shag made a comeback.

Who are your 3 favourite 90s style icons?

For me, they would be MC Lyte, TLC, and Missy Elliot.

Shop The Doux here and follow Maya on Instagram.

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