TAMPA, Fla. — People like Najay Brown are a key component of today's billion dollar cosmetics industry.
"I make the formulas from scratch," she said.
Brown formulates all personal care products — from shampoos to conditioners and styling products — out of Slarutan Labs in Tampa.
What You Need To Know
- Najay Brown creates personal care products from scratch out of Slarutan Labs in Tampa
- Brown was inspired to create her own line after seeing her favorite social media influencer, Jaclyn Hill, posted a YouTube video about her makeup line
- She hopes others will have the same experience when she leads classes as a guest presenter in the upcoming Science of Beauty Summer Camp
Growing up in New York, Brown always had a love for beauty and hair care. While in high school, and as a student at Florida State University, she was an A+ student in chemistry and biology.
She uses both disciplines daily now.
"I do a lot of research on chemicals so that they do what I want them to do," said Brown.
Initially, she had no idea that her two passions could compliment each other in a career. Then, her favorite social media influencer, Jaclyn Hill, posted a YouTube video about her makeup line.
"She showed her walking around the laboratory talking to the cosmetic chemist," Brown said. "She spoke to them about what she wanted her product to be, and I just had an immediate light bulb go off in my head."
Brown hopes others will have the same experience when she leads classes as a guest presenter in the upcoming Science of Beauty Summer Camp.
The event, hosted by STEM Xposure, is open to students 10 and older who want to learn about Brown's field.
"I think its important for young women, especially young black women, to see that there are other avenues in life," she said.
It's a path that Brown said she's glad she chose to help develop solutions to existing problems, like she did for her mother who dealt with severe dandruff.
Brown is now pursuing a master’s degree in cosmetic science from the University of Cincinnati. Her master's thesis focuses on seborrhoeic dermatitis (dandruff). She wants her research to be a tool for dermatologists and hair care professionals.
The Science of Beauty Camp will take place August 1-6 at Glazer's Children Museum.
The registration is open to Tampa youth aged 10 years and up.