ENGLEWOOD — When Iris Nicole Patterson began losing her hair just months before her wedding, she knew she had to find a hair growth solution, she said.
The Englewood native began experimenting in her kitchen after doing some research. Patterson said she suffered from alopecia because of a careless removal of glued-in hair extensions. She was left bald around her hairline. She began looking up recipes that combined essential oils with carrier oils to help stimulate the hair follicles that were still active.
Rejuvenating Hair Butter was the first product in her natural hair care line and her company, Iris Botanicals, was born.
It has been one year since she launched in Englewood’s Whole Foods, 832 W. 63rd St. With business being so successful, she’s now in stores in the South Loop, Hyde Park and Lincoln Park.
“When I did the research, I created a concoction and it worked,” Patterson said. “I ranted on social media and people were like ‘I’m sorry about the hair loss, but what happened, what did you do to grow it back?’”
At first she just gave it away to friends and family, she said, but then she decided to start selling her product.
“Word of mouth grew and spread because of women,” Patterson said. “Before I knew it, I needed [to form a corporation]. People wanted to restore their hair under these glue-ins, wigs and sew-ins and so that became my demographic, women with damaged hair.”
She also said that officials have told her her hair care line is among the top 30-selling products at Englewood Whole Foods.
To have her products on the shelves in the community she grew up in has been “awesome.” Patterson also said it’s been amazing to witness the rise of Englewood again.
“It wasn’t always this pretty,” she said. “To see it beautiful again, it’s really amazing. I’m proud of my neighborhood and I’m proud of what they’re doing.”