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Myleik Teele Is Fighting the Patriarchy (And Its Receding Hairline)

The Curlbox founder is changing Black women’s lives from the follicle on down, but she has some advice for men, too

Shane Paul Neil
Published in
5 min readFeb 5, 2020

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Illustration: Olivia Fields

Update 6/7/22: Level has a new home. You can read this article and other new articles by visiting LEVELMAN.com.

IIt’s all too rare to find a business coach whose business isn’t just coaching, but Myleik Teele has built an empire of her own — while teaching others how to craft theirs.

If you’ve seen a Curlbox package show up on your front door, you can thank Teele: the subscription-based business catering to women with curly hair has been growing steadily since she founded it in 2011. By now, the Atlanta-based, former public relations executive has partnered with companies like Target, Shea Moisture, and Procter & Gamble, all of which were eager to cater to Curlbox’s loyal fan base. (Seriously, the monthly boxes sell out like they’re Jordan retros.)

“I can’t say too much, but there are men who are still adjusting to a Black woman being in charge.”

In spite of her success, there’s no bravado here. A conversation with Teele showcases a “you can too!” attitude that makes you appreciate her journey as well as your own. Prepared to be inspired.

Well, unless you’re wearing straight back cornrows.

LEVEL: In the least surprising news possible, we’re totally confused by our wives’ and girlfriends’ hair. There are so many products! What does it all do? Do you really need all those different things?

Myleik Teel: You have to understand, a Black woman’s hair is often joyless and stressful. It looks amazing, but it takes work. When we go to the salon it takes a long time; pressing combs hurt. It’s just a lot. So I wanted to figure out how to put the joy Black women deserved into a box, and that’s what we did with Curlbox.

There’s also a magazine inside each box. Why?

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Shane Paul Neil
LEVEL
Writer for

Writer (duh) and photographer. Bylines @levelmag @complex @ebony @huffpo shanepaulneil.com