Exotic Naturals is where you come to get the only certified Exotic Curls done. Oneka Simmons is the owner and developer of this braiding style and she has certified independent contractors in which whom she has trained, Stephanie and Kijonna.
The Exotic Curl costs $150 and hair is included in this price. CASH ONLY IS ACCEPTED. The hair colors available are black, off black, dark brown, medium brown, auburn and blond and the hair is synthetic. The colors vary from the human hair colors, human hair is lighter. The hair can be worn in all different ways because they are individuals braids. The style takes a couple hours to complete and it lasts 12 weeks. It can be washed and conditioned like you normally do with your regular hair, BUT it has to be air dried. No heat whatsoever, heat will straighten the curl out and once it is straight, it cannot come back curly. You oil your scalp and spray some light oil sheen on the hair, the oil sheen cannot have alcohol in it. If you wear it in a ponytail during the day, make sure you take it down at night, because the continuos tension can straighten it out. Tie it up at night with a scarf, leaving the hair hanging loose. Once a week, I recommend clipping the strings on the ends of the hair to keep the Exotic Curl looking neat.
Oneka also travels to different states to do the Exotic Curl, As of now she travels to Maryland, two locations (laurel and Bel Air), and Charlotte, North Carolina. The prices are different when she travels, depending on travel expenses. The current price in Maryland and North Carolina is $190. Prices are subject to change, so it is wise to confirm the price when scheduling the appointment.
Oneka started braiding hair in 1992, in her 10th grade year of high school. Braiding was self taught and from practicing on her mom and herself, this was the beginning of it all. She taught herself to do all types of braids while in high school.
The summer before she entered college, summer of 1995, she began working on something different, not really knowing what she was doing, but boredom developed what everyone now knows as the Exotic Curl. A technique she developed where none of the hair is out in the curl but at the top (root). This style does not damage the hair if it is taken care of and removed properly. It can be considered as a protective style and it can be done on all types of hair. After graduating from college in May 2001, Oneka worked in her field as a Wellness Coordinator for Corporate Sports Unlimited at a number of their facilities and also taught aerobics classes. Oneka still braided. Finally in 2003, Oneka decided to step out on faith and quit her job and braid full time. Even though she had 2 boys she supported by herself at that time, she believed God would provide. And God did provide, in no time at all, Oneka was braiding daily and more calls for the Exotic Curl was coming in. Today, Oneka is well sought after for the Exotic Curl, she has too many clients to count, and she has a wonderful family, a very supportive husband, 3 awesome sons, a gorgeous daughter and a great stepson.
She has been so busy with clients, she has had to bring more braiders into her business, to be able to accomodate all the great ladies that want to experience the Exotic Curl and all the wonderful ladies that have supported her business for this number of years. Also, Oneka is ready to begin her next path in life, with her Naturopathic training in many different modalities, open up her Vegan restaurant and still be able to accomodate her long list of regular clients. So she asks for you all to be open minded and patient with her certified contractors and give them a try if you can not get to Oneka.
Stephanie was certified as an independent contractor of Exotic
Naturals in June 2011, after months of training, leadership, and
advice from owner and friend Oneka. Stephanie was one of Oneka's
regular "original" clients from high school, where they first meet on
their high school track team. After high school graduation, the two
lost contact for a while as they went their separate way to pursue
their college degrees. In late 2006, Stephanie saw the exotic curl
hair design for the very first time...it was love at first glance. She
quickly inquired the contact information of the stylist, and to her
suprise it was her old high school braidist Oneka. About a month
later, she was yet again sitting in Oneka's chair, but had no clue at
the time that the experience would have such a wonderful impact on her
life. Stephanie, who has natural hair herself became a regular exotic
curl client from that point on, as she had found the one thing that
every natural woman desires....a style that has you looking young, and
F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S every time you leave the house. During a regular
appointment in mid 2010, Oneka began to express how the business was
growing so fast (a 2-3 month long waiting list was proof of that), and
that she was thinking of training another person. It was an
opportunity to learn and develop a skill, in an industry that as long
as women are on earth will prosper. Stephanie, who washed, treated,
and styled hair for extra income while in college, thought this would
be a great side hustle. She expressed to Oneka that she would be
interested, if she did decide to certify new braiders. In late
December 2010, Stephanie received a call from Oneka that she was
extending the opportunity for her to become the first certified
contractor of Exotic Naturals. Stephanie gladly accepted.
Today, Stephanie executes the exotic curl hair design currently on a
part time basis, usually 3-4 days a week east of Atlanta in the
Conyers/Covington area. Her clientele has grown greatly over the last
year. Stephanie holds college degrees in both psychology and
healthcare administration, where she currently works full time as an
outside field manager in the healthcare field. Stephanie is married,
has one awesome son, a beautiful daughter, and a dog.
Kijonna was born in Kentucky and lived
all over the world thanks to the military service of her father. She is
the oldest of three girls. While she was born in America, Kijonna is first
Generation American born, by way of Guyana, South America. She is very
attached to her Caribbean heritage and identifies with being Guyanese.
Kijonna started braiding at an early age. After mimicking her mother, she
taught herself how to braid by practicing on dolls, friends, and her sisters.
In High School, Kijonna worked as an assistant for Master Stylist Kim Francis
at Kimani's Hair Studio where she learned about working on different types
of hair. To make extra money in college, she did hair in the lobby of her
dorm at Fort Valley State University. Although she cared for perm hair,
Kijonna's passion was working with natural hair. During her own natural
journey, she has developed hair products that her friends and family would
always refer to as hair crack.
After transferring to Georgia State
University, Kijonna decided it was time to try something new. Her mom had
been wearing exotic curl for a while and she thought it was time to try
it. After getting it the first time, she fell in love. During this time,
she was starting to find that her passion was for natural living and educating
people on living holistically. In 2012, after having her daughter, Kijonna
was offered at the opportunity to train with Oneka to learn how to do exotic
curl. By practicing on clients with Oneka's assistance, she finished her
certification in March of 2013 and has already started booking appointments.
She is excited about this new venture in life and is welcoming new clients.