20 Black-Owned Afro Hair Care Brands To Support
At Beauty and Style Edit, supporting and uplifting women of colour is at the heart of everything we do, it is the reason BASE was created. A space in which women of colour are represented, our needs, wants and concerns addressed. A place where we are centred in the conversation, the main focus and not a one-off feature as is often the case in mainstream media. But we all know we can do more, as a platform we feature products and services that cater to or benefit women of colour but not all of these products are owned by people of colour. And so we will make a concerted effort to support and spotlight brands that are black-owned or owned by POC. Brands who like BASE have created their businesses for the sole purpose of catering to women of colour and help make the decision of supporting these businesses and communities easier and more convenient for our readers.
The black hair industry in the UK is worth an estimated £88 million and with black women spending six times more than our white counterparts on hair and beauty products it is time for us to pause and review our shopping habits as we have the spending power to make a real difference and impact on which businesses are successful and which ones are not.
Over the next few weeks we will provide you with lists of beauty and wellness companies that are black-owned in our new ‘The Black Beauty Files’ series. These resources will be ongoing and will be updated as and when we come across new brands. This week we kick start our series with a list of black-owned afro hair care brands the majority of which are plant-based, organic and eco-friendly but most importantly the majority were founded by women of colour.
“After years of working up to eight products through my hair every morning, and carrying half a drugstore with me everywhere I went, I will never get bored of the feeling of waking up – day after day after day – with the most amazing hair. It smells divine” says founder Kim Cowans. She describes her products as “essentially, it’s a mix of science (a high-tech, highly-concentrated formula of non-toxic copolymers) and nature (restorative conditioning and protein from jojoba and sunflower seed oils plus a good dose of vitamin B5) that delivers hair that’s both high-impact and effortless.”
Described as ‘plant powered food for your curls’. Flora & Curl founded by Rose Ovenshei is formulated without the use of harsh, harmful and barrier-forming ingredients found in many conventional haircare products that can disrupt the natural harmony and balance of our scalp which can often prevent moisture and exacerbating dry hair and scalp issues. Flora & Curl products are formulated using clean, gentle, potent, plant derived ingredients.
Loretta De Feo ‘a Londoner with massive hair & a deep-rooted understanding’ created Dizziak after spotting a gap in the afro-hair market for a deep conditioner that was also packaged beautifully. Her deep conditioner which has very quickly amassed a cult following is a hard-hitting assortment of naturally nourishing powerhouses the rich, creamy concoction is formulated with Aloe Vera, Argan Oil, Babassu Oil, Castor Oil, Quinoa Protein, Shea Butter the ultimate shine-enhancer.
Created by Ibi Meier-Oruitemeka UK based The Afro Hair & Skin Company specialise in providing high quality eco-friendly products that “meet the unique needs of afro textured hair in all its forms as well as skincare that addresses some of the concerns that come with having melanin rich skin”. Products are handmade with locally sourced ingredients making it a great brand to invest in if you are interested in green beauty and also want to support women entrepreneurs.
“We should treat our hair the same way we treat our skin; by nurturing it with ingredients that detoxify, hydrate, and protect” says CEO & Founder Nancy Twine. Briogeo is 6-free hair care; free from sulfates, silicones, parabens, phthalates, DEA and synthetic colour. All products are 90 to 100 percent naturally derived in addition to this Briogeo formulas are cruelty-free, gluten free and mostly vegan. What is not to love about this amazing brand.
After finding herself in hospital after her hands were badly blistered by a lotion that contained propylene glycol an ingredient that is widely used in hair care products, car antifreeze, and is generally referred to as safe, Anita decided to create her own hair range. She decided, “No more off-the-shelf cosmetics, for me, ever! I stopped straightening my hair with harsh chemicals, and began my journey from bone-straight relaxed to natural fluffy Afro. I began experimenting with ingredients from my kitchen; virgin coconut oil, coffee grinds, sugar, extra virgin olive oil and flaxseeds.” A few years later her range of products now include fair trade and organic deep conditioners, shampoo bars, leave-ins, cleansers, hair and body oils.
Created by Tammy Facey, Jim + Henry are a natural hair care brand for afro and curly hair types. Their products are formulated with ingredients such as rosemary and mandarin essential oils and shea butter. They pride themselves on using the highest quality natural ingredients and go to great length to avoid fillers and unnecessary gunk. Each product is named after the number of ingredients it contains allowing for more transparency. They also encourage their consumers to reuse their jars and make use of their return and refill policy.
Tracy Ellis Ross’ afro hair care range Pattern main focus is on embracing natural curls in all its ‘other worldly’ glory. The brand promotes ‘hair health & encourages each hair texture to take up as much space as it desires. Don’t feel the need to “tame”, “control” or “stifle” your curls & coils. Let them free’. Is the companies’ message. The product range of shampoos, conditioners, deep conditioners, and leave-ins ‘promise to nourish your hair with affordable and effective products & cherish your health with safe ingredients – and to keep your hair healthy & hydrated, juicy & joyful.’
After experiencing devastating hair loss founder Ekwy Chukwuji-Nnene set out to educate herself on caring for her natural hair. Several years later she launched Equi Botantics with a mission to “avoid any doubtful and unsafe ingredients. We carefully excluded the obviously controversial synthetics such as phthalates in fragrances, polyethylene glycols and toxins that are linked to internal health disruption and allergies and we pushed the boundaries by only using active plant ingredients at their highest percentages ensuring all our products are safe for scalp health.”
Celebrity hairstylist Vernon François’ mission is to ‘connect with all generations showing them the strength and versatility of their hair’s true texture – with the right tools and knowledge for every step of the hair journey’. Sourcing the highest quality organic natural oils his ingredients are ethically harvested and are free from parabens, sulfates, phthalates, cruelty, gluten, DEA and dye.
Chris-Tia Donaldson is the Founder and CEO of Thank God It’s Natural (TGIN). Harnessing the healing power of nature their products are formulated using natural ingredients like African shea butter and olive oil soaps. Made in small batches their products are free from parabens and phthalates and are also cruelty free.
After years of trying to mix and blend several products from different brands in the hope of finding something to help care for their hair and not being able to wear their natural curls out Wendi Levy and Kim Etheredge decided to create their own line ‘Mixed Chicks’. Their range has now grown to include products for men and children.
‘We focus on creating solutions that solve your biggest hair problems’ reads the mission statement on the brands website’. Founded by Dwan White Aunt Jackie’s products like many of the others on our list are infused with natural oils and butters that nourish and moisturise and like the other brands they are free from sulphates, parabens, minerals and petroleum.
Founded by two friends, Rachael Corson and Jocelyn Mate who met whilst at University. Jocelyn suffered from alopecia and Rachael had sensitive skin and so they set out to create Afrocenchix a product range with ingredients that are 90% naturally derived, non-toxic but do not compromise on efficacy.
“You can’t sugarcoat the natural hair journey” says Melissa Sinclair founder of Big Hair + Beauty. And anyone who has just started or has gone through their natural hair journey can relate to this, Melissa has turned the struggle and frustration that she faced into a thriving business. After years of researching and experimenting her natural haircare range provides the care and nourishment that those with curly, kinky and coily hair need.