Latina aromatherapist and herbalist entrepreneur advocating wellness through hair
The Latino culture continues to face many barriers in healthcare and wellness. Latinos continue to look for ways to foster and understand wellness behaviors for a healthier lifestyle that will lead to healthy habits.
Cultural wellness experiences are at the core of awareness after the pandemic. Still, one of the key obstacles is the lack of information structures and the language barrier to Latino's health and wellness.
Her name is Jennifer Calvillo. A Latina aromatherapist and herbalist entrepreneur advocating wellness through hair. She explores natural botanical ingredients and biological sources that can nourish and replenish the skin, hair, and body and bring wellness to anyone's lifestyle.
She is breaking barriers in the wellness industry and focusing on holistic wellness inside and out.
Her journey and skills in hair healing began at the age of seven, after seeing her mother battle Cancer and lose her identity and battle. Jennifer is a licensed cosmetologist and educator for the state of Illinois. She is breaking barriers in the wellness industry and focusing on holistic wellness inside and out. She is a Chicago native, the CEO of Unique Hair Boutique, and the creator of JCALS Beauty Co. based and founded in Chicago, Illinois. Her wellness services and holistic handmade wellness products are enhancing her clients' lifestyles.
Jennifer's entire thought process behind her wellness business and brand began after her excessive research on daily used wellness and haircare products. She was not surprised to discover how many harmful ingredients many wellness and haircare products contain, causing the scalp and skin to feel dry, rough, and brittle. She also mentioned during her interview with Our Latinx Magazine that the pandemic impacted the wellness industry in many ways. It definitely, depleted her clients of healthy hair and skin, leaving them with many issues and concerns.
As a retired hair colorist, Jennifer had the time to explore further her Mexican heritage. She needed to discover what needed to be modified in the hair and wellness industry. And the timing couldn’t have been better as Jennifer was struggling with hair loss and severe adult acne at the time.
She quickly realized that as an industry professional, the products to which she had exclusive access were the cause of her issues, not to mention her children were affected as well by these harmful ingredients and formulations. As confused and frustrated as she was with the industry and the wellness and beauty products offered in stores, she began to do her research immediately, as time was of the essence during the pandemic.
After trying many wellness and haircare products in the personal care market and never getting positive results, Jennifer believes she has been spiritually guided with the vision to handmake her skincare and haircare products. Jennifer is not a newcomer to the science and power behind natural formulas and their ability to heal the skin, body, and mind. She believes that growing up with her Mexican heritage background and being raised by her farmer father in Mexico gave her the upper hand in learning early on about holistic herbs and passed on family generation hair techniques.
She is always advocating and recommending her client's impactful results by simply using clean products with clean ingredients and safe formulations. Her entire wellness collection of personal care products is handmade using herbs with a key focus on healing the skin. JCALS Beauty Co.'s personal care products have rapidly grown in her salon. She believes that after helping thousands of women and men from around the world. She helps them regain confidence and re-grow hair by removing and balancing stubborn sebum without using harmful chemicals that could cause damage.
Jennifer believes that in today's hairdressing industry, professional hairstylists are not advocating or trained to offer this particular service. Allowing JCALS Scalp and Skin Systems to help industry professionals and anyone interested in trichology education, and clean personal care products.
Being a trainer educator herself has allowed her to create opportunities for many industry professionals who want to help their clients achieve healthy hair results without the unsafe ingredients in personal care products. Jennifer's excessive knowledge has been passed down from her family generations. Her excessive research and passion for holistic wellness have allowed her to create an entirely new collection of wellness personal care products. Her wellness personal care products collection has been doing amazing and selling nationwide, allowing everyone to experience JCALS Beauty Co.
Jennifer is the mom of 4 daughters, and she believes hair is not just hair to her and her family. It’s her family's crown, their thought haven, and she believes there needs to be more advocating about this in particular education. Unique Hair Boutique is a salon that will surely leave anyone inspired, motivated, and confident.
I had the pleasure of meeting Jennifer Calvillo during the Chicago Latina Expo 2022. Her entrepreneurial story during her fireside chat captivated me with her determination to advocate and educate the public, and her peers about safety ingredients and available resources in the wellness haircare and skincare industry. Here is what Jennifer had to say during her interview with Our Latinx Magazine.
OLM: How did you become interested in your field?
Jennifer: I became interested in my field believe it or not at the age of seven. I witnessed my mother battle and lose her life to cancer before my eyes. Not only was I left with sadness and confusion, but I was also left questioning what disease and hair had in common.
Growing up I always knew hair was my gift, but I knew it more so in a spiritual realm. I’m an optimistic person. So I used my hurt and trauma to help me get closer to my mother by helping women and men regrow their hair, change their mindset, forgive, and love themselves. At thirteen, I began my plan as to what I wanted for my future and what I wanted to offer the world. It had to be different, and it simply had to be unique.
OLM: How did you begin your career?
Jennifer: My career began at the age of 25. I worked for corporate America for 5 years straight and I saw what went on, I saw how people would get treated firsthand, favoritism involved, and beginning as a single mom I hung on for as long as I could to reap the “benefits” of having a secured job.
But the reality was I was so over it! I was unhappy, and I was tired. I knew I wasn’t fulfilling my gift, so I went to Cosmetology School, saved my money, and opened up my first Salon. It was so hard, but I knew that this was my time to grow, evolve, and show my daughters that no matter what happens in life, all that matters is living for today, and giving it our all.
OLM: What do you like most about your work?
Jennifer: I love servicing my clients! The feeling of making a change in someone’s life is truly rewarding. Knowing that together we are powerful beings, knowing that I have an opportunity to help someone change, whether, for a moment or a lifetime, to me, brings me back to connecting with my mother and I treat every person with the same respect and values which I practice.
OLM: What kind of accomplishments tend to be valued and rewarded in your field?
Jennifer: Hard work gets noticed by the people, the referrals, the reviews, the press, everything for our industry involves other people noticing us, and they reward us by keeping us in business. I can’t stress that enough. My industry is a bit different than most, without the people there is no us.
OLM: How does your position fit within the organization/career/field/ industry?
Jennifer: My career is changing, and I am making sure of that! I am opening new doors to our field by truly educating stylists on the importance of not only our hair but our scalp. Our scalp is where all hair problems begin.
I am changing hair myths and incorporating my Mexican roots into everything. My herbs, tinctures, oils, handmade shampoo, and conditioners. What I am doing is setting a standard for every individual who seeks to resolve hair problems.
OLM: Why do you feel you are best suited for this role?
Jennifer: I feel I am best suited for this role because of my experience. Going back to the age of 7 and seeing my mother transition from healthy (strong hair) to weak with disease (Hair fall- bald).
It is there that opened my eyes, and I experienced Hair loss issues, and Skin issues. I knew my industry lacked knowledge. My father harvested our own produce in our yard, so I was always drawn to the real plantation, and I have seen what herbs can do for my well-being, so it was only the right thing for me to master my craft learn about Holistic wellness but with Hair, I helped hundreds of women and men & I know this is only the beginning.
OLM: What kind of mindset is required for your duties and responsibilities?
Jennifer: The mindset required for what I do, is Gratitude. Every day no matter what I go through in life, no matter what happens, no matter how upset, no matter who lets me down, no matter what! I always thank God for everything I have, and the people who are here and living life with me.
OLM: What are the areas of opportunity that you foresee in your role?
Jennifer: The areas of opportunity I foresee in this industry are more stylists becoming aware of the gap which needs to be taken care of. There is enough hair coloring & cutting. But is there anyone taking care of the Scalp and the emotional wellness of others? Contributing to natural and holistic Hair Approach.
We are front liners to being able to change how someone feels, so why not become a start of this development which is already beginning to trend? So, I foresee many stylists making this change with me, and creating more around the world.
OLM: How do you stay inspired and motivated in your role?
Jennifer: I stay motivated by remembering my parents and my aunt who came to this country to give my family a better opportunity. I have seen what it was like for my parents who loved the US because of the opportunities presented, I hold that thought in my mind, & close to my heart.
When you’ve been losing since the age of 7, you have to dig deep. I have to continue to break barriers and leave a legacy for my Calvillo family. To my father & aunt who left this world to soon, “ Siempre estaran en mi corazon, gracias por guiar me desde chiquita”. My daughters also keep me in check with my motivation, they challenge me daily, and seeing the twinkle in their eyes, leaves me to stay focused on our legacy.
OLM: What advice would you give to today’s Latina and the future Latina?
Jennifer: As a Latina woman who has been through so much in life. The best advice I can give is to always, always live in gratitude.
You will be tested and face defeat in your way, time & time again, Life may seem unfair, a challenge, but when you shift your mindset to be grateful for the things in life, often taken for granted, you begin to see things differently.
I promise you there is light at the end of the tunnel. Just focus on your plan, and the good that is around you, and trust that we are surrounded by good, even when it looks bad. Just whatever you do, do not allow the challenges of life to defeat and force you to give up your dream, it was given carefully to you.