( ENSPIRE She Did That ) An Exclusive ENSPIRE Interview with Janie Van Throo Who is Belgium’s Finest
ENSPIRE Contributor: Janelle Harris
Describing herself as an “every woman,” Janine Van Throo is certainly that (and more) as a natural hair therapist with over 15 years in the cosmetics industry as well as an entrepreneur, author, IT expert, and product developer. Janine is best-known for her approach to natural hair therapy through the NISH philosophy as well as her work as the founder of NISHPRESS, an online magazine featuring natural hair and lifestyle topics designed to empower women. This work keeps Janine incredibly busy, which is why it was a special treat to sit down with her for this ENSPIRE exclusive!
Who is Janine Van Throo?
I’m a woman, entrepreneur, author, natural hair therapist, educator, and product developer. I hold a bachelor’s degree in Business Informatics and run an IT company. I was born in Suriname, South America, grew up in the Netherlands, and currently live in Belgium where I am the head formulator for Sisay Cosmetics. I am also the founder of the NISH holistic hair care philosophy and NISHPRESS. I opened one of the first natural hair wellness boutiques (Sisay’s Wellness Boutique) in Amsterdam and am currently looking to expand to Africa.
Tell us more about Sisay Cosmetics.
Sisay Cosmetics is a natural hair, scalp, and skincare brand featuring products that I formulated myself using natural and chemical-free ingredients. The cosmetics line embraces the NISH (Nutrition, Ingredients, Scalp, Hair) holistic hair care philosophy that encourages people to look at the products they use not only in their hair but as part of their lifestyle. We recently launched the 90 Day NISH Program where we help people create hair care routines that fit their lifestyle. Of course, the NISH program is also focused on nutrition, adopting a healthy diet, balancing your gut, and boosting your immune system.
I’m extremely proud to announce that NISH will launch in the United States soon thanks to our distributor, Janelle Harris of She Exist. As for Sisay Cosmetics, we remain committed to helping women and have noticed a rise in sales during the pandemic. Now, every customer who likes our products can earn commission by promoting the product. It’s time to change word-of-mouth marketing so that our loyal customers are rewarded for promoting our brand.
What happens during a hair consultation?
Clients first complete a questionnaire that we go through with them to analyze the challenges they face, such as hair loss, etc. During the consultation, we use the NISH as a guideline and ask questions about nutrition, products used (ingredients and potential allergic reactions), lifestyle habits like alcohol or drug use, medications, exercise, etc. We ask so many in-depth questions to better understand the cause. Then, we use devices like a Trichoscope and quantum body scan to determine the scalp’s current situation and the body’s nutrition level. These facts give us more information about the possible cause of the problem. Once we find the cause, we can find a solution.
What’s the best way to have healthy hair?
Most people approach hair from the outside and look at what product to use when there’s an issue. Healthy hair comes from inside. If you have an issue with your hair, whether it’s dry or breaking, dull or falling out, the first place to look is inside. Nutrients are the building blocks of hair and we must give our body the right nutrients to make healthy hair. This doesn’t usually happen in the current culture. From an early age, we deprive our bodies of the needed nutrients by eating processed food rather than healthy, fresh food. This eventually leads to deficiency, which affects our hair, skin, and nails.
Tell us more about how you develop products.
When formulating a product, I start at the end—the goal and purpose. Everyone has unique problems, which is why we formulate our products differently. The Okra Line is one of our best-sellers, but it doesn’t work for everyone because everyone is different. This is a huge lesson for my clients because we first must look at what your hair needs and then find the right product.
The best way to test our products is through the 90-Day NISH Box, which contains five product samples. These samples include a scalp cleanser, shampoo, deep conditioner, regular conditioner, and leave-in conditioner.
What are your greatest accomplishments?
I’ve been in the natural hair care business for 15+ years and have worked with many women. I opened the first natural hair Wellness Boutique in the Netherlands and have traveled worldwide holding seminars and workshops. I’ve been featured in numerous magazines, made the cover of a South African magazine, won awards and written books, but my greatest accomplishment is helping and serving others.
One of my clients wrote to me saying, “I finally feel like a woman again,” after suffering from hair loss and bald spots. NISH worked for her and that message truly touched my heart because it’s why I do what I do. Another client told me that she “finally learned how to love herself through her hair.” I love to see how black women recognize their worth and step into queendom again. I love when my teenage daughter looks in the mirror and tells me how proud she is of her hair and the color of her skin. Those are my greatest accomplishments.
What advice do you have for someone who wants to mirror your success?
I would love to see more people learn about NISH and become natural hair therapists. There is a growing awareness and acceptance of natural hair, which means more people need to be educated. This would also pave the way for aspiring entrepreneurs to start their own businesses.
What sense of purpose do you draw from your culture and community?
It’s a combination of who I am—a Black woman from the Marron people of Suriname—and the vast life experiences I have. I was raised in a predominantly white community, but my family was incredibly proud of their heritage, which gave me the best of both worlds. This, combined with being taught to give back to others and to never forget who I am or where I came from, led me to where I am today. I live intentionally and am content with what I have as I work to achieve my next goal.
Where can we find you?