Black people have been discriminated against for their hair for centuries. We’ve been denied jobs, sent home from work and school, and many other racist acts. But Black people are resilient, the discrimination and offense often associated with texture hair has inspired Black creatives to manufacture haircare products that embrace our curls. For the people, buy the people.
In most drugstores and department stores, you’ll find haircare dedicated to our heritage: deep conditioners, leave-ins, oils, and curl creams to nourish our hair. But here is the scary thing: not all brands that produce Black-hair products are Black-owned. Some like Shea Moisture and Carol’s Daughter started Black-owned but for other reasons have sold to white counterparts.
If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that we can’t assume someone is an ally, we must know. We want to encourage you to properly research the products you are spending your coins on. And, we want you to hold yourself as accountable as you are holding said “allies.”
Finding out so many of our favorite hair care brands weren’t Black-owned, inspired the below list of brands who started Black, and are still Black. In case you need help deciphering and want to support the culture, feel free to use our list.
I just started using Uncle Funky’s daughter and boy am I glad I found it. If you have curls, you must pick up some of their product.
The minimalist packaging that comes with Adwoa products really is soothing. Founder Julian Addo created six products that use essential oils and peppermint to make everyday, a good hair day.
Founded by Sherrel Sampson in 2014 in efforts to create a product that didn’t irritate the scalp. Canviiy has oil-based serums, a foaming treatment, shampoo bar and many other products – made of aloe leaf juice, peppermint oil, manuka honey and many other healthy ingredients.
If you wear your hair out, you know the pain it is to use multiple products on your hair. Depending on the day, it takes at least 2 sometimes 5 products to form and hydrate my curl. This brand was created to take out the number of products, great for loose or tighter textures.
Shawna Moses is the founder of this great brand for type 4 hair. She sells shampoo, conditioner, ahir butter, leave-in milk and multi-use oil treatments.
I’m in it for the sulfate-free shampoo in this collection, created by Nickie Nougaisse.
The main ingredient in Alaffia, founded by Olowo-n’djo Tchala is shea butter. Sourced in Togo, the cream shea butter is great for refreshing and moisturizing all textured hair.
Ever since I went vegan, I’ve been looking for a Black-owned vegan hair brand and I found it in Rucker Roots. Founded by sisters Ellen and Lone Rucker, the brand uses ginger, turmeric and carrot root oils to take dry and brittle hair to strong and shiny.
Founded in 2004 by Felis Butler, the brand sells 11 products. If you aren’t sure what products to use, try their handy product guide and input your texture, porosity and density to find your hair routine and products to match.
The couple times I had locs, I loved them but didn’t like how easily dry they become. I wish I knew about Ooli back then. Founded by Jessica Pritchett, the lightweight products are great for loc wearing folks and natural folks as it moisturizes the hair and prevents buildup.
Founder Whitney White is very well known in the natural hair industry. She has loads of YouTube videos about her experience as a natural and sells three types of styling products. My personal favorite is the multi-use softening leave-in conditioner.
Photo via Canviiy
Words by Natasha Marsh