What may have started in 2007 as a bad hair-day horror story, ended up launching vivacious Latina Carmen Tal into the queen of a multimillion-dollar beauty product fiefdom.  The Chilean born mother of three, was on a trip to Israel, when she had to make a much-needed emergency stop at a local hair salon.  “Mainly due to color over-processing, my hair had been badly damaged.  I literally went into the salon with my hair a total broken mess and emerged a new woman. My hair felt silky soft and dramatically more healthy,” Tal says.

Tal learned her hair had been treated with Argan oil. An oil extracted from nuts of the Argan tree and used for centuries throughout Southwestern Morocco, for everything from cooking, to cosmetics, to treating rheumatism and the healing of burns.

When Tal returned to Montreal, she had a conversation with her husband (now ex), about mass-producing the miracle elixir and exporting it to Northern America. They would call it Moroccanoil. Tal owned a salon at the time and though she wasn’t a licensed cosmetologist, she knew enough about the beauty industry, and the amazing transformation of her own hair to know that the oil had the potential to be a huge hit.

Tal says she brings to her super-successful business the experience of being an immigrant. “Having moved from Chile to Montreal, and now in New York, I had to learn a new languages and adapt to a new cultures, and these are challenges that give me a great feeling of empowerment and push me to succeed,” she says.

Tal gives huge credit to the team she works with. From her ex-husband who manages the financial side, allowing her to be creative and the time to manage her family, to her marketing people, the stylists who use and essentially sell the product, and to the educators who teach the many stylists how to apply it.

A industry favorite with celebrities like Scarlett Johansson and Jessica Simpson, last fall, Moroccanoil expanded into the highest-end of fashion, and partnered with designers like Carolina Herrera and Badgley Mischka during New York Fashion Week.

Even Tal admits to being a bit surprised by the magnitude of the sales her product line produces, but says she’s more moved when women express to her how much their hair has been helped by Moroccanoil. “It makes you feel like you’ve contributed a small part to a better world for women.  My products have also changed the lives of many of the women who work for me in salons using my products. I try to help and encourage to further job opportunities through more education and increasing the revenue of their businesses--and in this way I feel we’re all blessed to have succeeded,” says Tal.

The company started with ten employees in the first six months and today there are over 150 employees worldwide and growing.  

At the moment Moroccanoil doesn’t have a celebrity face associated with the product line, but Tal says if she were to choose one, hands down it’d be Penelope Cruise—not a surprise, like Tal herself, Cruise is a working mother with a strong identity and a fantastic head of beautiful hair.

Rebekah Sager is a nationally published lifestyle and culture writer. She's a regular contributor to Fox News Latino. Follow Rebekah on Twitter @Rebekah_Sager

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