When COVID put her fertility treatments on pause, Brittany Johnson shifted her focus from having a baby to starting a business.
Enter: Heatless Babe Waves. This pandemic-born beauty brand eliminates the need for heat and gives womxn a simple solution for effortless curls. We sat down with Brittany to learn how her fertility struggles inspired a brand that would make other womxn feel beautiful, confident, and in control.
Tell us about Heatless Babe Waves!
Heatless Babe Waves is the ultimate hair hack for busy womxn. Created to solve a common hair pain point, we removed the need for damaging heated tools and nixed hours spent on styling. You can get the glamorous waves of your dreams (without the heat damage) and your time back. This was a game-changer for me, and I knew so many other womxn would feel exactly the same. Seeing this business grow has been an absolute dream come true.
What inspired you to create your own heatless curls product?
Last fall there was a TikTok trend based on using your bathrobe belt to wrap and curl your hair overnight. I tried it, but couldn’t get it consistent. Plus, I found it uncomfortable to sleep on. I knew I didn’t want the damage from heated tools, and I also didn’t want to have to spend hours styling my hair. I knew this was also a pain for many friends and womxn in my circles, especially young mothers, so I decided I would play around with the idea and see where it went. The bathrobe gimmick never really worked for me and didn’t provide consistent results, so I experimented for a few months until Heatless Babe Waves was born. I originally made it to use myself, but then so many friends were interested that I decided to launch it as an ecommerce business.
How did your fertility journey factor into your decision to launch a business?
The fertility journey is an exhausting one and a journey that can completely take over your body, mind, and life if you let it. And even if you’re very cognizant of it, it’s hard not to let it overwhelm you when you so desperately want a child. I know that personally because I’ve lived there for much of my 2+ year journey.
When the world closed down due to the pandemic, treatments were halted, drawn-out or cancelled altogether. Procedures and monitoring I had scheduled for that month became “not an option” due to capacity issues, and the “fear of the unknown” stress and frustration from cancellations really took its toll on me, mentally and physically. I was feeling very depressed and scared (as many others were during this time) and completely tapped out creatively from putting all of my hope and energy into something that was so quickly taken away. I needed a place to channel my helpless feelings in a way that would help someone else. I wanted to raise other women up. I wanted to share an amazing hair hack that would make their lives easier, and make them feel beautiful and confident. I wanted to put out in the world the things I was struggling to feel. Maybe if I lifted others up, I would, in turn, be lifted up.
What has been your biggest challenge throughout your fertility journey?
I know so many womxn who go through this process and never breathe a word of it because of how much pain they carry, how “broken” and “othered” they feel. And I believe it’s a deeply personal journey that no one is entitled to but you. That said, if you do want to step out and share your story, like I have, you will absolutely feel less alone. When I spoke up about my story, an unbelievable amount of womxn reached out to me and told me about their personal journeys and offered help or hope. It was healing to know we are not alone in this.
The hardest part for me has been befriending my body throughout this process. I think it can be very easy to disassociate from your body during this time, looking at it as “sick,” “not working,” or “betraying you.” I have spent many days with those thoughts, and they will truly eat away at you if you don’t stop them.
What about your greatest success?
I would say my greatest success during this time has been slowly unlearning the years of “hustle for your worthiness” culture I was raised on. I am an A-type personality and have been a high achiever from a young age. I was taught that if you put in the work, you will get the results. But throughout all of this, I have learned that it doesn’t matter how big your resume is, how much money you have, or how in-control of every single aspect of your life you are. Fertility doesn’t care. It doesn’t discriminate.
What advice do you have for women who are also struggling with fertility?
“You are not alone. Read that and repeat. No one is prepared for this. And it is not your fault. We have not been provided proper education about our bodies as women. The system has really failed us and dropped the ball, in my opinion. And it is absolutely horrific that, until you are smack dab in the middle of the storm, you are provided no education, resources, or empowering information. I believe our healthcare system needs to do better, not only to educate young womxn about their fertility, but also to provide better care for those on their fertility journey.“Brittany Johnson
How can we get our hands on Heatless Babe Waves! Any tips for first-time users?
Your hair’s new best friend and the best hair hack can be found at www.heatlessbabewaves.com! For first-time users and best results, wrap hair when it is 95% dry. Wrap tighter than you think you have to, as the silky material of the curling cushion will naturally loosen as you go about your day, or during sleep overnight.
I absolutely love the community we have built in our short amount of time on the market. We have a ton of tutorials, reviews, tips and tricks on our Instagram page. I would love for you to check us out and become part of our amazing hair community.
And please feel free to reach out to me personally about your fertility journey if you need a shoulder to lean on, or if you are feeling alone. We’re in this together.