BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The humidity in Louisiana presents a constant battle for people who have frizzy hair.
Alden Clark, 13, says she used to battle a rats' nest on her head every morning before school.
"Every morning, we'd have to brush it through and it was…pain," Clark said.
Her dad is a single father and often tried to help her.
"We tried over the counter products to no avail," Boyce Clark, Ph.D. said. "I looked into Keratin straightening treatments and I wasn't comfortable with the safety factor because they all use formaldehyde."
Clark would watch the humidity go up and his daughter's hair would get bigger. He wanted to know why and set out to come up with a safe way to help her. Clark has a Ph.D. in Uranium Biogeochemistry and used to work all over the world. Two years ago, he decided to pick up some reading for one of his trips.
"I checked out two books about the anatomy, physiology and morphology of hair and took them to the Arctic Circle. When it's negative 30 degrees and you're there, there's a lot of down time. So, I taught myself about hair," Clark explained.
He then reached out to pharmaceutical and personal care companies. They sent him samples to his "lab," which was actually his kitchen. Clark said he used a KitchenAid mixer to test out formulas. After months of testing out various combinations on his daughter's hair, they had a breakthrough.
"My dad got many phone calls from my principal and my teachers asking, 'What did you do to her hair?'" Alden Clark said.
Her father called his new treatment, "Lubricity." It won him a $200,000 gr ant at a pitch contest in Baton Rouge in 2016. He is now out of his kitchen and out of the corporate world.
"We're in a legit lab space. It's less breaking bad," Clark joked.
Lubricity Labs, LLC is now set up at the LSU Innovation Park, which Clark encourages anyone with a startup company to visit.
"I showed up with an idea, a couple of bottles of shampoo and they put a team on me," Clark said.
Lubricity Labs, LLL now puts out 1,600 bottles of product a day with a growing number of online orders across the United States.
"It's exciting both on the fact that it helps people. When I worked for corporate America, you work projects that could go decades and you never may see fruition. Making something now and having clients stop me on the street and say, "I use your product. My hair was insane spending two hours every morning to do my hair. Now I spend eight minutes. It changed my life.' It's fulfilling," Clark added.
Since he started his operation at LSU's Innovation Park and airing on our show in February, Dr. Clark reports that sales are up 16,000% thanks to television stations across the country picking up his story. Currently, because of a recent spike in demand, it will take about 3 weeks for Lubricity Labs to fulfill your order.
"We exploded. The website crashed multiple times. We, one day, got 1,600 emails saying 'I'm trying to place order and I can't get through'. We've literally been working around the clock like 18 hours a day for the last 30 days to churn these orders out." Dr. Clark added in a recent interview.
Yahoo's beauty editor contacted Dr. Clark and for two days his story was the top trending story on Yahoo's website. To keep up with demand, Dr. Clark has had to hire four more employees, occupies four additional labs at Innovation Park, and has enlisted the help of his son and daughter to ship out orders.
To Clark, it is a rewarding adventure that all started with his love for his daughter.
You can find more information about the company and pricing at http://lubricitylabs.com/.