I fought depression after my hair fell out in clumps at 27 – I made my own hair oil with £700 & it's turned over £1M

A WOMAN has revealed how she was left battling depression after her hair started falling out at 27 – but she’s now made her own hair oil that is set to turnover £2million.

London-based Nosheen Choudhry, now 32, struggled for years with alopecia and telogen effluvium – a skin disorder that causes hair to shed from the scalp. 

  • Nosheen Hair Oil, £33 from Nosheen Hair Oil – buy now

Nosheen revealed she was horrified when clumps of her hair started falling out and it led to her struggling with her mental health.

At her lowest point she would only leave the house when she was wearing a hat.

However, her hair started to improve dramatically after trying a home oil recipe that had been passed down through her family over the generations.

The vast change prompted Nosheen to realise there was a gap in the market for her to sell the oil to help other people improve the quality of their hair.

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Despite having no business experience, the former childcare worker launched Nosheen Hair Oil in September 2020 and invested £700 of her own money to buy the raw ingredients, and it turned over £1million last year.

Speaking exclusively to Fabulous for our #BOSSINGIT series, Nosheen said her telogen effluvium was triggered by the trauma her body suffered from losing 50lb in a quick space of time.

She explained: “I lost 50 per cent of my hair, it was scary.

“I had a whole ball of hair in my hand and I remember crying and running to my mum saying ‘oh my god, what's happening?’

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“I tried to get help and went to see doctors to try to find someone that could help me stop the hair loss.

“I was told ‘just put your hair up or do a different style’ and it just wasn't taken seriously.

“This hair loss lasted about a year.

“I went through depression and the lowest point of my life during this period.

“I just had to hide my hair away and I would wear caps or have my hair up in a bun.

“Most of the time I didn't really want to do anything and I'd stay at home.”

I had a whole ball of hair in my hand and I remember crying and running to my mum saying ‘oh my god, what's happening?’

Her family saw the trauma she was going through and told her to regularly use a hair oil that had been passed down over the generations among her relatives.

Nosheen continued: “It's something that's been passed down from my grandparents and got passed down to my mum and then my mum passed it down to us.

“My mum said to me ‘you need to start oiling your hair, you need to start taking care of it’. 

“She began oiling my hair twice a week, religiously. 

“And then I saw such a huge improvement with my hair, the hair loss slowed down and it eventually stopped. 

“My hair grew back and it grew so much better than it was before.”

Nosheen felt so happy with the oil that she wanted to share it with other sufferers.

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She said: “I really wanted to help other people, there's so many others out there that are probably suffering like me and not getting the help that they need. 

“I just thought I want to share this recipe with everyone else. 

“Whoever needs it, men, women children, and just help them with their hair needs.”

Alongside working her full-time childcare job, Nosheen spent £700 of savings buying the 10 ingredients in the oil, so she could start producing her own product.

Although it was “a lot of money” for her at the time, Nosheen said: “It’s the same ingredients I was using on my head when I went through my hair loss.

“I just wanted the best ingredients and I got them in bulk and literally started making them from my kitchen.”

1. Identify your purpose

Think about why you want to start up a business, who is it for and what are you trying to achieve.

2. Get out your comfort zone

This really can help you take challenges, learn new skills and help you to grow further. Be willing to try new things.

3. Come up with a business plan

Brainstorm any ideas that come to mind. I usually carry a small note book in my handbag, every time I have a random idea or a thought i jot this down. A business plan helps with planning and making decisions. 

4. Get networking 

Get involved in trade shows and begin to showcase what you got to offer. This give brands the opportunity to gain awareness, meet existing and potential partners who can help to build the buisness. Social media is such a powerful tool to get awareness too.

5. Be patient 

Remember everything takes time so don't give up. Keep your day job and build your business after hours. Hard work and dedication will definitely pay off. 

Nosheen got her new product certified with health regulators, and started putting pictures up on Instagram. 

At first it was just her making beauty videos about the oil and her own experience.

Despite having a relatively small following at the start, Nosheen was overjoyed when she got three sales in one day and admitted: “I was so excited.”

Over the following weeks and months, people started sharing their own testimonials and "before and after" photos from using Nosheen Hair Oil, which is priced at £33 per 100ml bottle or £92 for a 300ml bottle.

Nosheen added: “From there it was all hands on deck in the family home packing up orders to sending them off to customers.”

She invested £300 in paying someone to set up a very basic website, but later upgraded to a pricier one when she got more money. 

The entrepreneur said: “I've had no experience in business.

“I didn't study any kind of business and I was in childcare for 10 years so this was all new to me.

“I did everything from scratch on my own.” 

We’ve made £1million turnover since we launched Nosheen Hair Oil and we are hoping to make £2million by next year.

Although her sisters help her with the business when it comes to fulfilling orders, Nosheen said she's had no one help her financially and no external investors – and has put all profits back into the business.

As more money came in, she started buying other items for her shop, including eco-friendly £18 bamboo hair massages, £22 hair brushes, £15 microfiber turbans and £72 silk pillowcases.

By the end of 2020, she had sold 500 bottles of the hair oil, a number which increased to 10,000 in 2021.

Nosheen said the huge increase was down to increasing brand awareness on social media and doing paid advertising on Instagram. 

She also cites the pandemic as playing a big part in the success, and added: “A lot of people were going through stress and they were losing their hair as a side effect.

“It was during that time, my Instagram followers went up, and up and up.

“I would be posting more and more and be constantly active on my social media and alot of people were buying.

“They were buying it for friends, it wasn’t just one bottle, they were buying in bulk.

“It was nice seeing people have their trust in my product – they were recommending it.”

She now has 30,000 followers and advised that people enjoy seeing what she is doing “behind-the-scenes” and like to see her hair care tips.

Nosheen explained: “They love seeing what's going on when I'm packing the units, when I'm doing my work, they like the day-to-day life.”

As business boomed, she realised she had to move Nosheen Hair Oil out of the London home she shares with her mum and sisters, and found a premises close by in 2021.

Nosheen said: “I did need the space.

“Around a similar time I left my job. I was taking it a lot more seriously. Whatever I had made I put back in the business.

“We’ve made £1million turnover since we launched Nosheen Hair Oil and we are hoping to make £2million by next year.

“I am sensible with money and I do invest a lot back into the business, I would rather use it wisely.

“My day is always really busy, I don’t have much of a social life at the moment, not that I’m complaining.”

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Nosheen’s business highlight so far has been winning Highly Commended at the ASOS Awards for the Best Hair Treatment for 2022, competing against the likes of Olaplex and Philip Kingsley.

Speaking of people she’s helped, she said: “In the next few years, you know, we're coming up with a lot more products, including shampoos, conditioners and supplements.

“It is just really, really rewarding to know how many people that we have helped.”

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