When Londie Nichole lost her 2-year-old daughter McKenzie Price to cerebral edema in 2009, she faced a difficult life decision.
“Losing a child is either going to bring out the best or worst in you and I chose the best,” Nichole told ABC News.
Nichole, 39, of Chattanooga, Tennessee, is the owner and master stylist at Levelz Salon, which she has had for four years. She has been a licensed stylist for 15 years but said she’d been doing hair since high school.
She said she’d experienced no complications during her pregnancy with her first daughter, McKenzie, in 2007.
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“I [had a] hard time getting pregnant in general so getting pregnant with her was [a] miracle,” Nichole said.
Courtesy Londie Nichole
McKenzie celebrates her 2nd birthday party in June 2009.
McKenzie was born 17 weeks premature and suffered four brain bleeds immediately after her delivery at Parkridge East Hospital. She was immediately transferred to Children’s Hospital at Erlanger for multiple surgeries and was in the hospital for 117 days. Doctors later diagnosed McKenzie with cerebral palsy.
Nichole said McKenzie was a good toddler — “she was always smiling” — but in 2009, the little girl passed away.
“It was a true miracle that she made it to 2,” Nichole said.
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In the years since McKenzie’s death, Nichole said she’d turned the pain of losing her child into a business that aims to help people who suffer from hair loss.
As a stylist and educator to other cosmetologists in her area, Nichole told ABC News that she’d “seen so many people suffer from hair loss.”
In 2017, Nichole came up with McKenzie Oil. It’s made up of a variety of oils that makes hair grow back longer and stronger, she said. She sells it for $24.99 and the proceeds go to building her salon and creating more products.
Nichole said she created the product “with a miracle in mind.”
“At first people would buy to just support me but then when they kept coming back for more bottles. I knew it was working,” she said.
The same year that she created the oil, she began to notice her own hair loss from an unknown cause. She began using her own product and realized just how well it worked, she said.
Courtesy Londie Nichole
Londie Nichole mixes and bottles the oil. She is working on mass manufacturing for the future. She named the oil after her daughter, McKenzie, who was born prematurely.
“This oil represents my daughter’s life,” Nichole told ABC News. “McKenzie is in all the drops of the oil.”
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She said that she believed that McKenzie would be proud of how she’d chosen to honor the 2-year-old’s legacy.
Since 2017, Nichole has created Moriah Oil, which is named after her second daughter who is 8 years old. Nichole also has two stepchildren.
She said Moriah Oil had been “created with hope in mind” and was meant to help people who suffer from alopecia.
Nichole is also studying hair loss at the National Trichology Training Institute in Georgia. She told ABC News that she shared her story so that people would know that anyone can take their pain and turn it into a purpose. In November, she and her family will celebrate the 10-year anniversary of McKenzie’s passing.