Baby Heir Speaks: Founder Trio Behind AMP Beauty
Written by Baby Tress Marketing
In the Baby Heir Speaks Series, we rep the baby hair set: a coterie of beauty girls who are entrepreneurs, artists, and all-around interesting and intentional human beings. Here, we ask questions that illuminate the ritual of swooped edges and discuss the essence of self-care which makes those details meaningful. Today, we're chatting Angel, Montré, and Phyllicia, the founders of AMP Beauty LA. AMP Beauty is a tech-forward beauty supply store on a mission to redefine beauty culture through technology, #AMPlifyBlackBeauty, and bring the best of beauty straight to their customers.
Tell us about yourselves. Where are you from & what moved you to LA?
ANGEL: I’m originally from Dallas, Texas, but spent the last decade in New York City. Before that, I was in Atlanta, for undergrad, at Clark Atlanta University, where I met my line-sisters-turned-business partners, Montré and Phyllicia.
MONTRÉ: Born in Los Angeles. After college, I moved back home to DTLA.
PHYLLICIA: I’m from Gardena, California. I moved to DTLA after college because I was craving a New York style, “Sex and The City” type environment. My line sister Montre lived downtown as well, so it was a very comfortable place to grow in my 20’s.
How did AMP Beauty LA begin? Tell us about your mission.
It all started with a conversation about edge control and the lack of ACCESS to Black-owned beauty products for the modern woman.
We are three HBCU sorority sisters on a mission to #AMPlifyBlackBeauty. Our ten-year friendship started with Clark Atlanta University and Alpha Kappa Alpha. At AMP Beauty LA, we are creating an easy and convenient way to shop a curated edit of #Blackowned beauty products from brands that cater to all textures and all shades, use quality ingredients, and are created FOR US and BY US.
Define what elevation is to each of you.
ANGEL: Elevation is amplifying others. It’s building your own table and empowering others to do the same.
MONTRÉ: Pushing yourself to achieve more than your personal best.
PHYLLICIA: Striving for more from yourself and those around you. Aiming to get better and grow from a personal standpoint.
As entrepreneurs, how do you incorporate self-care into your beauty ritual?
MONTRÉ: First, water all day. In the morning, I indulge in skincare. At night it’s body care.
ANGEL: My morning and nighttime skincare routines are so therapeutic. I’m an only child, so it’s important that I carve out time, daily, to just be with self. No distractions. No noise. Just 100% focus on me. I use those moments to pray, manifest, affirm and vibe out to my favorite songs.
PHYLLICIA: Booking hair appointments weeks in advance. I sometimes go to Melanin on 6th salon, where the ladies always have a cocktail for me and Afrobeats jamming while I’m getting styled. I also keep a cucumber sheet mask with me when I’m at the salon to hydrate my face while I’m under the dryers. Self-care for me is not only maintenance, but self-love.
Let's throw it back for a sec. Who’s the first person you remember seeing with laid edges?
MONTRÉ: Let’s talk about effortless baby hairs! Chilli from TLC.
ANGEL: Chilli! Definitely. I have to add Natalie Desselle Reid, who played Mickey in BAPS to that list, too. And, of course, every other woman who was a model in Hype Hair magazine.
PHYLLICIA: There was this super popular girl in my middle school named Shafonda. She would wear her hair in this tight bun - you know, the kind with the sock in the middle - and she had curly hair and sideburns like Chilli. Her edges and baby hair were always laid.
Shout out to Shafonda & Chilli. When did you each first style your own baby hairs & who taught you?
PHYLLICIA: Okay, so when I was growing up, I would spend the summers in Carson with my cousins and our little neighborhood crew. We would braid each other’s hair. The final touch was baby hairs. My little cousin first taught me. Take a toothbrush, Ampro pro style gel, straighten out the hair with the brush and then use the metal part of a rat tail comb to design your style. It was a Black girl bonding moment. We would style our edges and pair the look with gold bamboo earrings with our names written in them that we got from the Compton swap meet. That was summer for me.
ANGEL: Baby hair is a new frontier for me — something I didn’t really attempt to style until I became an adult. I had weekly press appointments growing up, but started getting relaxers in the first grade to make my hair more “manageable.” Baby hair was never part of that equation. I thought that baby hair only existed for girls and women with “good hair,” not for someone with coarse, dry, thick hair like me. It wasn’t until I moved to NYC in 2010, and stopped getting relaxers, that I was able to experience my texture in its purest form. That’s when the baby hairs I never knew I had, came through. As for styling them, my braiders are the best. I have two in New York, and they introduced me to the edge controls and gels that keep my baby hairs in place, without reverting.
MONTRÉ: My first attempt at styling my baby hairs, I was 14 years old. My older cousin Pepper taught me. I’d watch her style her baby hairs for what seemed like seconds then immediately run into the bathroom using gel or even water to slick down my edges. Pepper would make a joke about it then take me to her room, grab a toothbrush and gel then carve fabulous swirls around my hairline. It felt and looked so good!
Let's bring it back to the present. Tell us your edge-laying technique using the Edge Styler®. When do you most like to style them?
ANGEL: I keep it super simple, but it’s important that my edges are sleek, especially because I normally wear straight styles. When I wear my hair up or have braids, that’s when I’ll add a swirl, or three. I prep my edges with the Hair Crack REMIX from Mel’s Butter Blends, then use the Camille Rose Lavender Edge Glaze or Shine N Jam Extra Hold Conditioning Gel to swoop. If I really want to lock my baby hairs in, I’ll finish with a liiiiiitle Got2B Ultra Glued.
MONTRÉ: The Edge Styler® helps me protect and care for my edges. I love to brush them before bed then wrap my hair with a silk scarf. Depending on the LA humidity, I’ll keep the edge styler in my purse.
PHYLLICIA: I tend to style my edges based on certain styles, like a ponytail or feed-in braids. I like to use my Edge Styler® and Ebin edge control. I prefer to style my edges when my hair is fresh.
Describe your baby hair style in 4 words:
PHYLLICIA: Stylish, edgy, low-profile.
MONTRÉ: It’s basic, but classy.
ANGEL: Simple, clean, sleek, low-maintenance.
What songs are you listening to when you’re doing your beauty ritual?
PHYLLICIA: I normally listen to very aggressive and gritty hip hop, but for my beauty ritual, I like a chill vibe. Sometimes if I’m craving the sound of home, I’ll listen to Boogie (from Compton), and I’ll put on "Skydive II ft. 6lack" from his Everything’s for Sale Album.
MONTRÉ: Jhené Aiko on repeat is transformative.
ANGEL: Megan Thee Stallion, Mulatto, or Flo Milli when I’m in my bag. Jhené or Summer Walker when I want to keep it lowkey. Lucky Daye, Usher, or Victoria Monet when I’m getting ready for date night.
To close it out, tell us something super random about yourselves.
ANGEL: Hot sauce is mandatory. Every meal.
MONTRÉ: I’m afraid of snails.
PHYLLICIA: I’m left-handed.
Oh, but there's more. Watch the replay of our IG Live conversation below:
Follow Angel, Montré & Phyllicia on IG and Twitter at @ampbeautyla. Shop their curated beauty selection at AMPBeautyLA.com