To #supportblackownedbusinesses means to tip the economic disparities of the social inequalities across our nation. Racism and discrimination against afro-textured hair have led the Black community to create their own products. It wasn’t too long ago that our curl-friends first gained widespread access to Black-owned hair products that are uniquely suitable for them. Black-owned hair companies offer what other mainstream companies cannot. Many mainstream companies are switching to the paraben-free and sulfate-free formulas, which is a great switch to maintain healthy hair of any texture. What Black-owned products offer are specially curated formulas hand-crafted by their founders to guarantee moisture for those textures unfulfilled by other products.
As a biracial woman, finding products that worked and kept my hair healthy was a struggle. I was damaging my curls with a flatiron and blow dryer every Sunday, instead of caring for them. With some hair-care research I began my “curly hair journey.” Over the next 5 years I found that I actually had a curl pattern along with the products to help. Not only was I able to find products that saved my curls, but I’ve been able to support Black-owned businesses and advocate for marginalized communities in one of the simplest ways. By purchasing these products, by learning about their founders, you are able to show your support. Here are my favorite Black-Owned curly products to rock those curls.
- Miss Jessie’s
Founded by sisters Miko and Titi Branch in 2004, Miss Jessie’s was named after their paternal grandmother, Miss Jessie Mae Branch. Like all our curl-friends, Miss Jessie would concoct formulas – of mayonnaise and eggs – in her kitchen to find the perfect solution for her granddaughter’s. The two sisters were able to perfect their grandmother’s concoctions, open up Miss Jessie’s Salon and create products for all types and textures. To this day, Miko and Titi continue to enhance their formulas. Among their newest products being two additions to the Honey Collection, Honey Harmless Gentle Wash and Honey Sweet & Nice Moisturizing Conditioner creating the perfect wash day duo. Trust me, they smell as good as they sound.
CURLS was founded in 2002 by Mahisha Dellinger, a former marketing manager turned CEO. Racism in corporate America led Dellinger to leave, to create her own destiny. She would never work for anyone else besides herself, again. What she calls her “hair love affair” began when she was little. Creating mixtures of water and grease was the best solution out there. Decades later women going natural with their hair share the same dilemma. Driven to create a solution, her love made a revival. After years of perfecting CURLS, it made its way to stores. The high quality of CURLS offers accessibility to everyones wants in a product as well as needs. CURLS not only offers its mainline, but an alternate line of certified organic ingredients. CURLS continues to stand for the empowerment of women and beautifully moisturized curls.
- Camille Rose
Like a passed down family recipe, founder Janell Stephans passes her love and joy through her gourmet, ingredient inspired products. What was supposed to be a family wide solution of products, blossomed into retail based collections. After years of making products in her kitchen, Camille Rose officially sprouted in 2011. Taking over national retail chains like Target and CVS. Camille Rose has come a long way in only a few short years. From honey to coconut to pear scented products your curls will thank you after Camille Rose.
- Uncle Funky’s Daughter
The magic of Uncle Funky’s Daughter is no secret act. It’s sustainable, chemical-free hair care products were designed for kinky and curly textures, and completely “junk-free” of any damaging chemicals. The founder, Tonya Reed, got the name for her products from her father, who was deemed with the name ‘Uncle Funky’ because of his creative spirit. In 2003 Uncle Funky’s Daughter was born and around 2009 it finally found its place on shelves. The Current Chief Curl Officer, Renee Rhoten Morris, took over Uncle Funky’s Daughter driven to uplift her community and celebrate natural beauty. Going natural saves hours of hair care, so instead of relaxing those curls, Uncle Funky’s Daughter will allow you to define and tame your curls.
Within a decade Black-owned hair products are on shelves next to mainstream lines. For me, my hair has become a part of my identity and I know the same goes for many others, so it’s no surprise these products have a similar journey of creation. In the most efficient way of communication, advocacy and entertainment, curlfriends throughout the world share their hair care journey’s through social media. This community discusses new products, new methods and overall what works for them. Influencers such as Luhhsetty (@lisette), Jasmine Brown (@jameannnn), Joyjah Estrada (@joyjah), Bianca Renee (@mzbiancarenee), and so many more are among the faces of this online community. Whether you are an influencer or that go-to friend for hair advice, remember promoting these products means more than just hair care. It means bringing awareness to social inequalities and simple steps towards change.
We have a long way to go, but a simple purchase could have a big impact.