Creating Technical Solutions for Hair-Care Problems for Black Women

Marlyse Reeves, COO and Co-Founder Hairtelligence

Passionate about STEM and robotics, Marlyse Reeves can “talk tech” all day long. But the woman who has a BS from MIT in aeronautics and astronautics and a master’s in computer science calls herself “beauty lazy”;  she has never liked spending a lot of time or money on her appearance. Growing up, she wanted perms and blowouts because it was easier to manage than her own hair— but all the damage from the harsh treatments drove her to “go natural.”

It was her best friend, Ifueko Igbidnedion, who introduced her to wigs. As she learned more, she saw how antiquated the human hair industry is and how that leads to poor experiences for business owners and customers alike. As someone who researches robotics and automation, Marlyse found the situation appalling. She saw a global market that was ripe for innovation and technology.

Along with Ifueko, Marlyse is a co-founder of Hairtelligence, a platform that helps Black women find better hair care solutions. She sees their company as serving a community traditionally neglected by the beauty industry and says she’s passionate about revolutionizing the way hair products are produced to improve every step of the supply chain and, ultimately, the customer’s experience.

About Marlyse Reeves

Marlyse Reeves is the COO and Co-Founder of Hairtelligence, a beauty tech start-up leveraging AI and manufacturing technology to revolutionize custom hair products. In her role at Hairtelligence, Marlyse facilitates the creation of high-quality custom wigs, ensures that customers have the best experience possible, and researches new innovations in manufacturing automation. Marlyse is also a PhD student in computer science at MIT, focusing on multi-agent autonomous systems. She earned her BS in aeronautics and astronautics from MIT in 2017 and her master’s in computer science in 2020. Marlyse loves doing STEM outreach and mentors two all-girls high school robotics teams. Her other hobbies include playing soccer, baking, dancing, and reading science fiction. Marlyse grew up in Los Angeles, California.

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Rusty Dornin
Rusty Dornin is the director of marketing and communications for Ulu Ventures. An award-winning radio and television journalist, she was a CNN correspondent for nearly 18 years covering domestic and world news ranging from war to natural disasters and tales of crime and politics.
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