By Zoë Huey, Staff Writer
Khalil Battle chats about what went into crafting the KingCurls brand and what customers can expect in the future.
In October of 2020, Khalil Battle launched KingCurls with the hopes of shifting the narrative surrounding boys’ hair care. In March of 2021, the 17-year-old high schooler sat down for an interview with Maroon Tiger to discuss what inspired his entrepreneurial debut and what he has in store for the brand.
Although the business has obtained great success, the road to KingCurls’ inception was a rocky one. When Battle was younger, he had a love-hate relationship with his hair texture.
“Growing up, I was really insecure about my hair,” Battle said. “Me and my brother would often texturize our hair to get a looser curl pattern… It was kind of a trend to be, you know, multicultural at that time… and we just wanted to fit in.”
However, this phase didn’t last long. In due time, Battle attained an appreciation for his natural hair.
“I cut all my hair off and started regrowing it,” Battle said. “I started falling in love with my natural texture.”
This newfound appreciation for natural hair inspired Battle to take more pride in his hair care, and that meant paying more attention to the kinds of hair products he bought. While experimenting with different products, Battle came to the realization that many of them on the market did not cater to boys.
“You see a lot of women’s brands marketing ‘women-only,’ but boys are the same people who are buying those products,” Battle said. “I kind of wanted to change the game and put us in the frame of things… Boys have hair too.”
This is how Battle got the idea to start KingCurls, a haircare brand catered to boys with curly hair. The next step was to market it and get the public interested. With a combined total of over 1.1 million followers on Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok, Battle had no trouble spreading the word on social media.
Credit: @KhalilGotTheJuice on Instagram
Caption: A jar of “Curls for the Girls,” the brand’s star product.
Battle believes that a lot of his business’ success has to do with his well-established following on social media. Because people were familiar with his social media presence, they were confident in supporting his business.
“A platform is very important when you’re trying to start a business or any entrepreneurship endeavor, because… people trust you,” Battle said. “Now, people trust my brand because they trusted me.”
However, Battle’s social media influence is not the only thing attributed to KingCurls’ success. There was a lot of brainpower and planning that went into the launch.
“This summer during quarantine is when we really started working hard on the business,” Battle said. “We would have meetings once a week at 8 am and talk with the brand consultants.”
As for the future of the company, Battle has a lot in store. In addition to new products, potential pop-up shops, and hiring a larger team, Battle also gave Maroon Tiger the exclusive on an upcoming collaboration. When asked whom the mystery collab was with, Battle spilled the tea and shared that Loyal Armani will soon be rocking KingCurls.
Loyal is only a toddler, but he’s well-known because his dad is a famous rapper, Lil Baby. Battle believes collaborations like this will help to heighten KingCurls’ success. As it relates to other future collaborations, Battle also hopes to have high school basketball star Mikey Williams rocking his product someday.
“People look up to [Mikey], and people like his hair, so I just think that it would be an all-time good collab,” Battle said. “It will be coming. I’m putting that into the universe!”
One of the many things that have given Battle this confidence to set such high goals for himself is his mother. Battle credits her for instilling in him the drive to work hard.
“My mom was always teaching me and my brother how to hustle,” Battle said. “She had a food truck in Atlanta when we first moved down here from New Jersey, so I was always watching her grind… I get a lot of that from her.”
With the help of his mom, Battle has been able to make KingCurls one of the most sought-after hair brands for young men. On whether or not KingCurls is helping to end the stigma around boys taking pride in their personal hygiene, Battle believes the brand has been very impactful in doing so.
“We have definitely put a mark in that stigma, and we’re breaking the barrier every single day,” Battle said. “We get DMs every single day that say, ‘Hey, thank you for creating this product and putting boys on the map.’”
Battle often engages with the young boys who reach out to him on social media for hair care advice, but he also leaves advice for those who have an entrepreneurial spirit like himself. His tips for them are: focus on your goals and make a five-year plan, but as for his own business, Battle expects that KingCurls’ success will far exceed that of five years.
“I promise you that we will be the number one haircare brand for boys across the world,” Battle said.
Link to watch the full interview: https://youtu.be/EyRzs0hC-2o
Credit: @KhalilGotTheJuice on Instagram
Caption: Battle (front) coaches one of the KingCurls models before a photo shoot.
Keep up with Khalil Battle and King Curls:
- @KhalilGotTheJuice on Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter
- @ShopKingCurls on TikTok and Instagram