Alumni revamp durag, improving convenience, compression and comfort | Mercer Made

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Royalty Headwear co-founders Jabril Edmondson, left and DeShun Gilchrist, are pictured in the Mercer Innovation Center.
Royalty Headwear co-founders Jabril Edmondson, left and DeShun Gilchrist, are pictured in the Mercer Innovation Center.

Frustrated with the traditional durags they were using to care for their hair, Jabril Edmondson and DeShun Gilchrist decided to make their own — and do it better.

“We wanted to improve on three main things: convenience, compression and comfort,” said Edmondson, who, along with Gilchrist, earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from Mercer University‘s Stetson-Hatcher School of Business.

ABOVE: Royalty Headwear co-founder Jabril Edmondson puts on the Royalty Rag. TOP: Royalty Headwear co-founders Jabril Edmondson, left, and DeShun Gilchrist, are pictured in the Mercer Innovation Center.

In 2019, the pair started selling the Royalty Rag, a new and improved durag and the flagship product of their company, Royalty Headwear. On their website, royaltyheadwear.com, along with the rag, they sell the Royalty Cap, a compression headpiece; brushes; and pomade.

A traditional durag has two straps and is made of satin polyester, which is cheap and doesn’t conform to the head, Edmondson said. The Royalty Rag has only one strap and is made of soft spandex that maintains moisture and provides better compression, he said. 

In 2019, Royalty Headwear was named to the Mercer Innovation Center’s fourth class of fellows. Royalty Headwear also won second place in the Center’s The Next Big Idea competition, which helps student entrepreneurs launch their businesses.

“The goal is to be seen as the most innovative hair care company,” Gilchrist said. “That encompasses everything from durags to conditioners, shampoos and whatever the case may be.” 

Mercer Made is a series in which we feature notable people, businesses, products and inventions connected to Mercer University.

 

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Jennifer Falk
Jennifer Falk is a digital content specialist at Mercer University. She creates and maintains written and multimedia content for primary University web pages. She collaborates with various schools and departments to ensure timely and consistent web page content is maintained. She also examines web data and analytics to drive content creation decisions