Marietta, GA — As we celebrate Black History Month, inventor of the PuffCuff® Hair Clamp and the first black woman to hold two natural hair accessory patents, Ceata Lash, stands out as a living legend who is blazing a new path in the hair industry. Her rise to success is chronicled in her newly released mini-documentary, which is accessible at www.ThePuffCuff.com. This documentary offers viewers a raw, honest story of how Ceata Lash turned her idea born out of personal frustration into a global empire for textured and curly hair accessories.About 12 years ago Ceata decided to stop chemically straightening her hair. “I actually had no idea what the hair growing out of my scalp would look like, so I didn’t know how to take care of it… Ever since the days of Madam CJ Walker, all we’ve ever known was straight hair,” Ceata states in the opening of the mini-documentary. After much research on natural hair styling, she found that most of the current hair accessories were designed with a bias towards straight hair. Ceata felt it wasn’t fair and realized she was facing a problem bigger than just her. She, along with many others with textured hair, needed a product to style thick, natural hair in an afro puff without the breakage or pain usually associated with using rubber or elastic bands that tug and rip the hair. “All I needed was something to hold my hair, not cinch it down,” she explains in the mini-documentary.
The mini-documentary continues where Ceata’s recounts her experience working as a senior graphic designer at a community college where she was the only black person in the department. During this time, she began experimenting with ways to style her natural hair, so that she would feel comfortable in a predominantly white environment. She decided to keep her hairstyling simple with a single afro puff but in order to achieve this style, Ceata had to use boot length shoestrings to gather her thick mane into a puff and keep it in place. However, she found that the tension and tightness created unbearable headaches throughout the day. She was sure others were suffering through the same issue. It was this very reason that inspired her to create a solution that ultimately became known as the PuffCuff– the only clamp for thick, curly hair on the market. The PuffCuff launched in 2013, and in 2017 Ceata became the first black woman to hold two natural hair accessory patents.
Over the years, Ceata and her innovative PuffCuff have been featured in Allure, Kontrol Magazine, Marie Claire, Black Enterprise, and more media outlets. In 2018, the leadership team of beauty retail pioneer, Sally Beauty, chose to grant Ceata the President’s Innovation Award for her invention of the ingenious PuffCuff as a part of Sally Beauty’s Cultivate Program. This program is aligned with Sally Beauty’s new business accelerator initiatives to help women beauty entrepreneurs grow their businesses. As a result of having received this coveted recognition, PuffCuff was granted fast track distribution into all 3,000 Sally Beauty stores and website by the end of 2019.
Toward the end of the mini-documentary, Ceata ends offering some words of encouragement, “Don’t give up. Keep running when you’re tired, and you don’t stop until the Lord tells you too. And he hasn’t told us to.”
A proven success story, Ceata’s legacy will serve to help pave the way for ushering in future generations of black inventors, especially those seeking to contribute to breakthroughs within the beauty industry. As for Ceata, she’ll remain on the front lines toward innovating solutions to end common beauty and grooming problems, all while further solidifying her spot as a game-changer in black history.