As a single parent of two girls, Boyce Clark had struggled in vain for years to comb through the tangles and unruly frizz of his daughter Alden’s hair each morning.
Wary of harsh chemical solutions like Keratin straightening treatments, Clark set out two years ago in search of a hair care solution with his Ph.D. in biogeochemistry, a lab coat and a KitchenAid mixer.
“After almost nine months, it was formula 17,” he tells Business Report in the Entrepreneur feature in the new issue. “Immediately when I put it on her hair, I could tell the difference.”
He mixed up five gallons of his homemade hair treatment in orange Home Depot buckets, assuming it would get them through Alden’s teenage years. After sharing his treatment in Tupperware containers with curious friends and family members, a small business began to form as word spread throughout Baton Rouge about Clark’s creation.
Two months after sending his daughter to school with her new, shiny locks, Clark received an unexpected call: Local spa and salon Bumble Lane wanted to carry his product line.
“While the owner is on the phone saying this, I’m looking at the orange Home Depot buckets thinking, ‘My product line?’” Clark recalls. He spent the next month making bigger batches, designing his own labels and ordering bottles.
Today, Clark’s handcrafted hair therapy business Lubricity Labs has its products in six Baton Rouge salons and a growing online following. Along with the two-step system, Lubricity Labs also offers Q-Shampoo and Q-Conditioner for maintaining results, and a line of men’s products.
Fresh off winning the 2016 Pitch Night competition at Baton Rouge Entrepreneurship Week, Clark is using the $250,000 prize to move into lab space at the Louisiana Business and Technology Center. He’s also investing in a sales force to expand into more salons, grow his social media presence and increase marketing efforts, which have proven effective in netting new customers outside Baton Rouge.