Sal Wyn-Baxter is a formidable businesswoman with an unmatched passion for natural hair care. Sal founded ROOT2Tip in 2012 after a bout of hair loss, as well as struggling to find a range suitable for her daughter’s natural hair. Using her research skills amassed as a student and practitioner of Law, Sal began creating and formulating products which would then become ROOT2Tip, one the most trusted and respected Black owned boutique natural hair brands. We caught up with Sal to learn more about her inspiring journey.
What was the impetus behind starting ROOT2TIP?
When I initially started out five years ago I was trying to create a solution to a problem I had. I suffered from a scalp condition which is like cradle cap for adults, and it caused me to lose my hair. There weren’t many products out on the market that were made from natural ingredients that would enable my hair to grow back naturally. As a result, I formulated my first product, Roots Energizer Liquid. I also needed a product to help with my daughter’s hair, which was very thick and long and needed a product that would help to untangle it.
Prior to becoming a beauty entrepreneur, you were pursuing a career in law. Talk to us about that…
Yes, I studied law and from a very young age I decided I was going to be a Barrister. I went along that pathway until I was around 22. I was working as a paralegal for a law firm but fell out of love with it and decided I didn’t want to do it anymore. I craved something more creative that would give me a bit more freedom. My mother had her own catering business and I was drawn to the lifestyle of being a business owner. When I had my daughter I became obsessed with hair care for reasons mentioned previously. I became absorbed in it and my business just developed from there. I registered the name, started a blog and began conducting hair workshops for local authorities. In addition to the product range, I became really passionate about hair education.
Who has most inspired you on your entrepreneurial journey?
My biggest role model is my mum. She was a single parent who had five children, and yet, she was determined to create the life she wanted for herself. She has always had her own business in catering and has won numerous awards for her services. My mum has taught me that no matter what your obstacles, you can always have ambitions. She also taught me that you should never take no for an answer. So just seeing how she has conducted herself, has inspired me.
Describe your work routine.
I used to work in an office so I had quite a set routine. Having recently had a baby things have changed somewhat. I now wake up between 6 and 7am and work around the baby’s routine when he’s sleeping. Eventually I would like to have another office but this routine is fine for now, I’m getting things done slowly but surely.
What’s the most challenging but rewarding thing you’ve done in your career so far?
I went on the Dragons Den. It never aired but the experience was certainly challenging. What many people don’t see is the sheer amount of paper work that you have to prepare prior to going on the show. Even though I didn’t receive any investment it was a valuable experience, now I don’t fear anything in terms of my business, I’m willing to do what I need to do to get where I need to be.
What do you hope to achieve next?
What I’d love to achieve next is what I tried last year – to try and get Root2Tip into a chain of stores. A mainstream chain store like Superdrug would be great. Although we are considered a niche brand I believe we can sit right next to brands like Tresemme or L’Oreal. We’ve had partnership opportunities in the past but we just haven’t met the right match as yet. It’s not just about the money, it’s about cementing a brand that is authentic. I want to leave a positive legacy behind that represents quality hair care and hair education.
To learn more about ROOT2TIP visit the website here.