Dermatologist’s natural hair journey inspired her entrepreneurship: ‘No one thought about how Black women were doing their hair’

The founder of Girl and Hair, Dr. Camille Verovic talks about how she sought out to find healthy products to care for her natural hair

Video Transcript

DR. CAMILLE HOWARD-VEROVIC: I just couldn't understand it. How these huge companies here and, like, no one really thought about how Black women were doing their hair.

DANA OLIVER: Hi, beauties. I'm Dana Oliver and on this episode of "My Beauty, My Way", I'm talking skincare during COVID, smart ways to shop the drugstore beauty aisle, and more, with Dr. Camille Howard-Verovic. Camille is a dermatologist and the founder of Girl + Hair, a line of products to promote healthy scalp and hair.

How has the coronavirus changed your life as a dermatologist?

DR. CAMILLE HOWARD-VEROVIC: Surprisingly, people are more interested in aesthetics. So maybe because we're all virtual and we're paying attention to our faces and our skin way more, so that's actually an upswing in dermatology that I've noticed.

DANA OLIVER: So what are the top three concerns patients has been bringing to you recently with their telemedicine appointments?

DR. CAMILLE HOWARD-VEROVIC: People are concerned with mild, moderate, severe acne. Two, is a skincare routine. For some reason I think that patients are more interested curing their acne, but also assessing their-- and evaluating their skincare routine. You know, I feel like we're at home, we're thinking about our health a lot more. And perhaps we have some more time to get to the doctor or talk to a doctor on telemedicine.

DANA OLIVER: Social media has reshaped the field of medicine, with dermatologists like yourself using the tools to educate and inform. How are you having fun with the tools to engage and inspire your own patients?

DR. CAMILLE HOWARD-VEROVIC: So if you're in the habit of getting up and putting on your clothes every day, washing your face, and putting on your sunscreen, that the good habit because we're not always going to be inside. Ultraviolet radiation is made up of UVA rays, UVB rays, UVC. You have the ultraviolet light that we're worried about when it comes to premature aging. So if you sit by a window like I do, you actually want to wear sunscreen because a certain percentage of the UVA rays can penetrate the glass and still, you know, interact with the cells on-- in your skin.

DANA OLIVER: So what's a good routine to put in place to make sure that you're really cleansing and hydrating and taking care of your skin when you're wearing a mask and when you're not?

DR. CAMILLE HOWARD-VEROVIC: I think that you really need to be cognizant about, like, having a system of cleaning the mask. Or just perhaps having four or five masks if you're going to be out every single day.

The second thing is, like, if you use foundation, I really don't feel like people need to wear foundation. If you do like to have makeup on, perhaps just saving it for the top half of your face. And then having a good, simple, cohesive skincare routine. Washing your face twice a day, making sure that you're moisturizing. I think those simple steps can help most of us when it comes to the acne.

DANA OLIVER: You've worn different hairstyles throughout your career. How has your own natural hair journey influenced the creation of Girl + Hair?

DR. CAMILLE HOWARD-VEROVIC: At some point in 2006, 2007, I was relaxed in my hair and getting something called, like, a sew-in weave. And I realized, like, my hair was breaking off and I didn't like it. I just-- I feel like a lot of the products in the textured haircare aisle didn't really meet, like, a utility demand at the time. You know, there was shampoo and conditioner. Really great butters, really great creams.

And I didn't understand why-- out of so many shampoos and conditioners-- why I couldn't find one to help me wash my hair quickly and had really good ingredients in it while I had a protective style. So I didn't understand why companies weren't paying attention to, like, the life cycle, like, of our hairstyles throughout the [INAUDIBLE].

I feel like it's something very intimate to Black women that no one was paying attention to and I didn't understand why. So I created Girl + Hair, and it's basically a system to help you take care of your hair and your scalp in and out of a protective style.

DANA OLIVER: So what skincare and haircare products are currently taking up real estate in your vanity? And what do you love about them? Still in love with our shampoo.


DR. CAMILLE HOWARD-VEROVIC: I love, love, love our daily moisturizer. So I have, like, something called refresh.


DR. CAMILLE HOWARD-VEROVIC: Its our daily hydrating milk. It's, like, great when you have braids in. You just kind of, like, put it on your braids. Your hair feels nice and moisturized. I'm big on sunscreen.


DR. CAMILLE HOWARD-VEROVIC: So Elta MD UV Clear. That's like--

DANA OLIVER: Oh, that's a favorite of mine.

DR. CAMILLE HOWARD-VEROVIC: Oh my god. I love it. I still haven't found anything that's, like, like it quite yet.


DR. CAMILLE HOWARD-VEROVIC: Oh, PCA Skin. They have this, like, moisturizer called hydro- HyrdaLuxe. I don't know why. Like, something-- something's in this moisturizer. Oh, it feels so good.

DANA OLIVER: Can you complete the sentence for me? My beauty is.

DR. CAMILLE HOWARD-VEROVIC: Well, my beauty is patience and acceptance. I think there is this pressure to look a certain way, be a certain way. You don't have to. I think that it's important for our soul to extend grace when it comes to beauty. And finding something other than the exterior that we find beautiful.