5 Natural Hair Brands Owned by Women of Color
It is said that brands born out of necessity are the ones to accommodate specific communities the most. In the past two decades, we have not only seen a growth in the natural hair community on social media and other outlets but also a rise in natural hair products owned by women of color. With a vast range of hair textures to cater to, not one product is fit for all hair types — and who better than the women ignored in the hair industry to create the products they're most in need of.
These hair products should be supported by our communities so that retail stores can continue to diversify and understand the high demand in products formulated for the Latinx and black consumer.
Below are five to check out.
Owner Shelley Davis has been a naturalista for more than two decades and creating hair formulas since 2003. She decided to stop relaxing her hair in 1998 after years of chemical-treating her hair. She was introduced to her first formula during a trip to her hometown of St Vincent & the Grenadines when she lost her luggage (which included her hair products). When Davis was unable to find products in local markets, a family friend came to the rescue, creating a homemade cream from aloe vera and herbs.
2. Mielle Organics
Focusing on scalp health and organic growth, this line is conscious about the ingredients included in the products. After realizing that our bloodstream absorbs whatever our skin absorbs from the products we use, registered nurse Monique Rodriguez was motivated to be more conscious of what she put in her hair, to read labels. During this research, she realized most products were unsafe for the body. Thus, as someone with a background in science who understands what stimulates hair follicles, how the body works and what produces hair growth, she started her own line.
3. Rizos Curls
We spoke to Julissa Prado, a Mexican-American from Cali who spent years figuring out a way to create the perfect curl concoction for her hair community in Mid-City, Los Angeles — a predominantly Latinx-oriented neighborhood. The entrepreneur started saving her money at 15 and explored different formulas throughout college, grad school and while working for PepsiCo.
4. Honey Baby Naturals
The Latina-led family-focused brand is the first Latinx-owned natural hair and skin care brand to hit major retailers. Aisha Ceballos-Crump's homemade products' key ingredient is miel or honey — and passed down by her grandmother. Having worked as a product developer for several brands, this CEO was already well-experienced in the hair and beauty world before pursuing her own business.
5. Camille Rose
Created by former therapist Janell Stephens, the brand is found in selected retailers like Target, Walmart, Whole Foods, Salley Beauty and Bed, Bath and Beyond. The black product maker and mother of five founded her line to accommodate her children's skin ailments. Surprised when she first read the list of ingredients included in products, aware of the chemicals she decided to move forward with creating Camille Rose, doing extensive research for about a year. The brand started as a hobby and grew along with the numerous requests she started to receive from other mothers.