If you’re a fan of Bravo’s Real Housewives of Atlanta, chances are you know each of the cast members and their friends on the show. One of the most notable acquaintances is Atlanta tastemaker and entrepreneur Marlo Hampton, who is known for her designer-studded ensembles and flawlessly-styled tresses. In fact, her perfectly-styled coif had become her calling card on the show.
“Anytime I posted something, or I was seen somewhere, people always complimented my hair. Like, ‘Oh my God, it’s so pretty. How is it laying down? How don’t I really see your scalp?’ And I was like, wait, let me create a wig line to where it looks like what Marlo would wear,” she told Hype Hair. “These wigs will make them feel just as pretty and feel the same way.”
Marlo partnered with beauty veteran Karen Mitchell, owner of True Indian Hair, and launched HER Hair, a wig collection that offers a style for every day of the week. The project was two years in the making, with no detail being spared—not even the name of the brand, she said. “Any time I do something, it has to have meaning to it. I’m an Aquarius. I’m a rebel—like a Haute, Elegant Rebel,” Marlo said, adding that the name of the collection was also a play on an acronym. “It’s going to be called HER, because when I get my hair and nails done, and I leave that hair salon, I feel like, her.”
Hype Hair caught up with Marlo to dish about her newest venture and to get some tips on how to seamlessly slay your wig and your side hustle.
— Jessica De Vault Hale
HYPE HAIR: Congratulations on your new wig collection!
MARLO: Thank you so much. I’m super excited about it. I can’t wait for filming to stop so I can go ahead and get more into it.
HH: I hear that these are glueless wigs. What made you go in that direction?
MARLO: Now listen, I don’t know if you have this issue, but unfortunately I do. I’ve always worn braids. Whenever people would compliment my hair, one of my secrets was to glue it in the front. So guess what? That damaged my edges. So, I was like, you know what? No more glue. I want a wig that I can just slip on. So, with them being glueless inside, there are combs, and there’s this black band that you can tighten and adjust.
HH: That’s perfect. Can your wigs accommodate a variety of head sizes?
MARLO: Absolutely! All of my wigs are large or extra-large. I have a tank up here! And it’s adjustable for the smaller heads, too.
HH: What are your wig do’s and don’ts?
MARLO: Do make sure it’s right above your hairline. Don’t wear it too far down. Don’t wear it too far back because, in the beginning, I had issues with that. You need to treat the wig as if it’s your own hair. That’s another thing where people go wrong. When I go in the house, I have a mannequin head. I put it on my mannequin head.
On Fridays, I take at least three of my wigs, and I drop them off to my cousin or whichever hairstylist is doing my hair. I let them shampoo and condition it. Condition your wig! Treat it like it’s your actual hair. These wigs can last up to a year if you really take care of them. Don’t over-process them with color. Don’t just go crazy with the heat.
HH: How have your wigs helped your own hair regimen?
MARLO: Before it was glued down or sewed down, I wasn’t able to take care of my hair underneath. So right now with the wigs, I feel so good because I can take my wig off when I get home. I get my hair braided maybe every four to six weeks, and my cousin would trim my ends. I could put a little oil on my scalp.
HH: Do you have any advice for people who are trying to be entrepreneurs like yourself?
MARLO: The only advice I have is to do it. Don’t make an excuse, don’t say because of this I can’t. Just start doing it. It’s as easy as just getting that paper and pencil and writing down your ideas. It’s as easy as just, hey, “‘I’m starting that Instagram account.” If you don’t have the shoes, but you want to start a shoe line, just start giving information on shoes; posting every day, show pretty shoes. You have to believe in yourself. You just have to do it and learn as you go. I’ve made mistakes, but I’m still learning.
And take your time, too. Don’t rush it, because I’m telling you—it took two-and-a-half years for me to do it. I was analyzing my packaging like, nope, I don’t want that ribbon. No, I want silk on the inside. No, I want this, I want that. I want it to look a little richer. So, take your time, give it your all. And you have to invest in yourself. The same way you’re going to go buy shoes and a purse, or you’re going to go out to eat that lobster, go buy yourself some lunch meat to make a sandwich, and invest in your business instead. You have to sacrifice.