KAIKE Founder Keli Smith Shares How Her Natural Hair Journey Inspired Sweet New Hair And Body Care Line

Keli Smith X Kaike

Photo Credit: Queensview Creative Studios

What do you get when you combine all-natural ingredients like mango butter, green tea and apricot oil with mouthwatering scents like vanilla? KAIKE, of course! Serving up body and skin care as delicious as it sounds, the indie brand is taking the market by storm with its unique lineup of handmade beauty offerings that are good enough for your skin to eat.

[SEE ALSO:11 Indie Hair & Beauty Brands You Should Know About]

Standouts from the vegan and preservative-free brand include Frosting, a hydrating skin and body offering made with mango butter and coconut and apricot kernel oils and an all-purpose Cleansing Oil made with a blend of grapeseed, apricot, hemp and castor oils.

We caught up with the beauty brand’s founder Keli Smith to get into the inspiration behind the brand and what it really means to be all-natural.


Photo Credit: Kyra Littlejohn

Hype Hair: What inspired you to create KAIKE?
Keli Smith: It started a few years ago. When I was pregnant with our second [child], I started having migraines and I remember watching the movie Good Hair by Chris Rock and the scene where he melted the Coke can with a relaxer. I was like ‘Oh my gosh is that what I’m doing? Is all of that getting into my skin? Is that where my migraines are coming from?’ That was the trigger that launched my natural hair journey. If a relaxer and the chemicals that are in that are possibly affecting my scalp and who knows what else, then maybe there are some other chemicals in my other body products that might be affecting other things that I might not be aware of.

HH: So really just learning about what’s in your hair products got you started?
KS: That not only launched the natural hair journey, but also a more holistic look at the products that I’m putting on my body. That caused me to start making my own. A little bit of DIY, trial and error and a lot of Google searches.

HH: When did you officially launch?
KS: I first started sharing those products that I made with friends. After about a year of my friends encouraging me to sell it, I finally took them seriously and here we are. That was November 1, 2015, so we’re coming up on our second birthday.

HH: Tell us how you came up with the name.
KS: I wanted it to be something fun, something exciting and celebrating our natural beauty and there’s usually cake at the center of every celebration. And, the “K” is kind of an homage to my family. The initial desire to even launch a business was for them. My name starts with a ‘K’, my husband’s name starts with a ‘K’ and so does all of our kids.

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About The Author

Stephenetta (isis) Harmon

isis is a music, hair and communications junkie. founder of Sadiaa and editor for HypeHair.com.