3 Generations of HAIR + LOVE + PURPOSE
"It' time to set the NU STANDARD™ by breaking down barriers to be a Black-owned haircare business made for ALL.”
- Autumn Yarbrough, Founder
Autumn Yarbrough didn’t want to go bald like the three generations of women before her. So, she created a company to ensure no woman ever does.
“Women with textured hair suffer hair loss more than any other group,” she said. “I wanted to address this problem because it had been ignored far too long.”
What she created is Nu Standard.
Even though she is third generation in the haircare business, this isn’t a legacy company where she’s maintaining something her parents or grandfather created. This is a revolutionary company with a hair wellness approach toward textured hair based on the generations of women before her and her own experiences. Nu Standard’s products aren’t just for black women because it’s a black-owned company; Nu Standard’s products are designed to help ALL women with textured hair. It’s groundbreaking, but what would you expect from someone who grew up in a family of entrepreneurs.
Autumn’s company is committed to helping women overcome their hair challenges and achieve their hair goals. It’s about setting a Nu Standard in the haircare industry. But it’s not just about hair wellness. Autumn caters to busy women on the go - Busy Queens she calls them – whether they work from home, corporate America or spend the day as CEO of their families. Bottom line: They don’t have time to sort through a litany of products to solve their hair challenges. She understands some women have a few minutes not hours to get their hair just right, so they feel confident while avoiding what seems inevitable: hair damage and hair loss.
Autumn wanted to create products that made it easy to care for textured hair without damaging or losing it. You see, she saw her mother losing her hair, and it was happening to her grandmother too. Then she remembered the stories about her grandmother’s mother losing her hair.
“Baby, this is something you will need to just deal with,” Autumn’s mother once told her.” This is a part of the process when making your hair look good and you don’t have time.”
Autumn refused to accept that. She was determined to develop a solution for her Busy Queens, especially those with textured hair, to prevent hair loss.
“I’m a forward thinker and I didn’t want to end up that way,” Autumn said. “I did not want to lose my hair because my schedule prevented me from caring for it. I love hair. I love my hair. I love celebrating textured hair. Even if losing my hair was inevitable, I wanted to figure out how to push that clock back as far as possible. What really expedited my sense of urgency was when I started to lose my hair in my late 30s from mental and physical stress. I thought to myself, no way my mother is right. She is right 99% of the time but this 1% needed for me to prove her otherwise... show her, myself, and us hope.”
Autumn’s blessing is that the haircare industry has been part of her life since birth. Literally. It’s not like she had a choice. After all, her grandfather, Comer Cottrell Jr., created a haircare company in the late 60s that became a global company. Her mom created successful brands that still thrive and her father has helped restructure several haircare companies and some have grown into overnight successes. Autumn grew up in the business. She worked on the assembly line as an eight-year-old and dabbled in a variety of departments until she went to college.
“I’m sure some child-labor laws were broken but I loved working and learning my family’s labor of love,” she said laughing. “I found it fascinating to see how an idea became a real product. Watching my parents and grandfather work all the time made me understand their motto, ‘No Action, No Result,’ which is why I work the way I do.”
After graduating from USC, Autumn found success in the world of finance and insurance. But the stress from running her company was starting to affect her hair. The more she thought about it, the more Autumn knew she needed to follow her passion and help those women with textured hair keep it healthy and strong. She initially struggled with changing her career midlife but she wanted to do something that would really affect people's lives.
“I always feared failure. But now, I fear regret” she said. “And I would regret not committing my life to hair wellness.”
To build her company, Autumn emphasized one of her grandfather’s tenets of business: Build a team of people who are smarter than you to make the dream come true. She set her ego aside, and asked the best in the industry for help.
“My grandfather left the haircare industry and this Earth with integrity, so asking for help worldwide was hopeful,” Autumn said, “And now we’ve been able to build a team that can give every Busy Queen what she deserves and needs.”