Criminal court judge invents The Hair Shield, helping Black women save money by protecting their extensions

By Megan Sayles, AFRO Business Writer,
Report for America Corps Member
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Dallas County Criminal Court Judge Shequitta Kelly used to be a self-professed penny pincher. Being a single, teenage mother, she lived her life on a strict budget to be able to provide for her family while putting herself through law school. 

Her lifelong dream to become a judge was inspired by her grandfather, who Kelly considers her hero, and in 2015, after years of working as a prosecutor, she achieved her judicial goal. She’s presided over all domestic violence cases in Dallas County for almost eight years, and she’s about to enter her next term. 

Throughout her life, Kelly has always been a woman who cherishes her hair, but the expensive costs of hair extensions, weaves and wigs frustrated her, especially considering her inclination to save money.  

“After becoming a successful career woman, I found myself wasting money, and it just didn’t sit well with me,” said Kelly. “But, I still had this need to want to look good and make sure that my hair looked good.” 

The hair used for weaves can cost anywhere from $80 to $600, and the viability of the hair is dependent on how well a person maintains and stores it. After noticing that she was spending a significant amount of money to replace her weaves, she tried to preserve them. 

She would throw them in grocery and ziplock bags intending to use them again, but they would get tangled and damaged. Kelly went to the internet to see if she could buy a product to store her weaves, but her search was unsuccessful. 

Rather than continue to be plagued by recurrent high costs, Kelly designed her own product to keep the hair fresh and protected. In her sewing closet, she stitched pieces of satin together to create what she dubbed The…

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