Co-Founder of Miss Jessie’s, TiTi Branch, Passed Away

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Titi Branch, one of the co-founders of the successful natural hair care line, Miss Jessie’s, died Dec. 4 at the age of 45, according to an obituary by NV Magazine. The magazine said it was an apparent suicide but there was no confirmation of that. A family friend confirmed to the Washington Post that Branch had indeed died. With her sister Miko, Branch ran a popular New York salon. Tweets from Miko and the Miss Jessie’s Twitter account appeared to be small tributes to the entrepreneur.

Andre Robert Lee, director and producer of the documentary “Prep School Negro,” posted a video tribute set to Frankie Beverly and Maze’s “Before I Let Go.” It concluded with a shot of the program from Branch’s funeral. He also retweeted Miko’s short tribute to her sister.

Miss Jessie’s was one of the first major hair care lines to distribute in Target for their new wave of natural hair enthusiasm. Miss Jessie’s products became a epic sensation, resulting in the company products expanding to Wal-Mart and several drug store chains. The success of lines such as Miss Jessie’s and Mixed Chicks helped spearhead substantial expansions of real estate dedicated not just to black hair care, but natural hair. Titi, known for her fluffy blonde tresses, was credited with creating Miss Jessie’s Curly Pudding, one of the brand’s signature products.

The sisters opened their Brooklyn salon dedicated to curly hair in 1997 and launched their product line, named after their grandmother, in 2004. Their products became a hit with many natural-hair celebrities like Marsha Ambrosius of Floetry.

“I get so inspired when people meet us,” Titi Branch told Ozy last December. “It’s just a hair product but to them it’s so much more. It has such an impact.”

This tragic loss comes as a serious disappointment to natural hair divas everywhere. We are praying for the Branch family in their time of mourning.

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