By Jalen Dixon
NCCU Staff Writer
the Durham VOICE
Nov. 20 marks the launch of Pür Bella, a set of aromatherapy oils that are 100 percent all natural, organic and chemical free. Lashanda DeBerry, a hair stylist of 20 years and Durham native, invented Pür Bella and will be selling at her hair salon The Beauty Café at 4420 North Roxboro Rd.
“I didn’t want to do a regular aromatherapy product line with shampoo and conditioner,” said DeBerry. “Everybody has those.”
DeBerry was born Sept. 13, 1973. She specializes in extensions, hair restoration and natural hair care at her salon. When it comes to hair, she says, “I can do it in my sleep.”
Talitha Batts, of Raleigh, a fairly new client of DeBerry has high praise for her work. “Everyone I have talked to is pleased with her. She is not allowed to ever stop doing hair,” joked Batts.
“The service is excellent. It’s punctual. The hair is always great. People are always asking me who does my hair,” said Batts.
DeBerry credits her grandmother, Hattie Williams, for the teaching her about wild herbs and berries that could also be used as healing elements.
“She would have me stop on the side of the road sometimes and pick stuff for her,” said DeBerry. “Or go through the yard, pick it, and boil it to heal this and that element… that peaked my interest into it.”
DeBerry has been studying herbs and essential oils since she was 19 years old. She has always made hair care products for family and friends; but it wasn’t until her fight with cancer that she decided it time to incorporate it with her career.
She was diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma some years back. According to the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health, Hodgkin Lymphoma is a cancer of the immune system that is marked by the presence of a type of cell called the Reed-Sternberg cell. The symptoms range from fever, weight loss, fatigue, or night sweats. Other symptoms are the enlargement of lymph nodes, spleen, or other immune tissue.
“Dealing with cancer was a life-changing situation,” said DeBerry. “You hear the saying people never begin to live until they experience near death, and that’s totally true.”
According to the NCI, studies show that there have been an estimated 9,060 new cases and 1190 deaths from Hodgkin Lymphoma in the United States in 2012.
DeBerry is a cancer survivor and has only become more motivated to follow her passion.
“It made me think about my life, my career, and which direction I wanted to head in,” said DeBerry. “And now I’m actually doing the things in my career I always wanted to do but never implemented.”
Tonja Holman, a Durham resident and longtime friend is very proud of DeBerry for overcoming her illness. The two have known each other for over 20 years.
“She was always a true entrepreneur,” said Holman. “If she can’t find a job, she’ll make a job.”
“Even when she was in chemotherapy and had to cut her hair, she embraced losing her hair more than anybody else I’ve seen,” said Holman.
“It was a long struggle but it gave her motivation,” said Holman.
DeBerry and Holman have worked together in past years, and still have a good friendship.
Most of DeBerry’s time before her battle with cancer was spent on her career.
“The money was great, bills were paid… until I got sick I didn’t realize I wasn’t living like I should,” said DeBerry.
“Money is not as important as time with my kids and husband is,” said DeBerry.
Pür Bella is set for a release late November, and is perfect for African American women who are deciding to be part of the natural trend.
“I been using her products for approximately six months,” said Batts.
“It has been unbelievable for stimulating hair growth… I’m excited about the changes and status of my hair,” said Batts.
DeBerry is hoping to correct scalp disorders and hair restoration with her Pür Bella Naturals product line.
You can find more information on this aromatherapy on its Facebook fan page Pur Bella Naturals. DeBerry gives daily tips, provides information and holds contests and giveaways on hair, health, and beauty products.