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The Black hair market has made leaps and bounds since the days of Just For Me relaxers and that one pink bottle of hair lotion that every single member of my family used (if you know, you know). Today, there are so many amazing products that not only cater to the diversity of Black hair but are also Black-founded and just plain amazing.
It’s important to note that products made for Black people aren’t always made by Black people—and that products made by Black people can still often be used by everyone. If you’re not sure where to start on your quest for quality Black-owned hair products, we’ve got you. Whether you’re looking for a new independent brand, a beauty supply favorite, or a drugstore option, use this guide to buy Black now (and always, because Blackness is not a trend).
When looking for Black-owned hair products, the perfect place to start is with the basics you already use. You'll want to look for ingredients your hair will benefit from, as well. As for how to know if a product is Black-owned? We've got you covered: Read on for the best Black-owned hair products to snag now.
Best Shampoo: Pattern Hydration Shampoo
First things first, all shampoos are not created equal, so you should always prioritize a cleanser that can remove dirt and buildup without stripping your hair. Curlies of all patterns say that this hydrating shampoo is the perfect first step towards curls that pop. The gentle formula skips harsh ingredients like sulfates and parabens, instead infusing your tresses with moisture-rich ingredients like aloe vera, coconut oil, and honey.
Best Conditioner: Carol’s Daughter Monoi Repairing Conditioner
Calling all dry, strained, and damaged strands—this is the conditioner to help bring your hair back to life. While Carol’s Daughter is no longer Black-owned (Lisa Price sold to L’Oréal), it is Black-founded and holds true to the brand’s core values. This conditioner is infused with monoi oil and pro-vitamin B5 to restore damaged hair and prevent future breakage. Personally, it was one of the first conditioners I used when my hair became brittle due to too much dying during my blue phase, and it nurtured my curls back to life.
Best Leave-In Conditioner: TGIN Green Tea Super Moist Leave-in Conditioner
Apply this leave-in to wet hair for tresses that are softer, more hydrated, and easier to detangle. The lightweight formula makes it a great go-to for various hair types to experience moisture without being weighed down. It’s packed with green tea, shea butter, and argan oil to improve manageability and fight frizz.
Best Co-Wash: Mielle Organics Detangling Co-wash
Cleanse, condition, and detangle in one step with this co-wash. In order to maintain moisture in textured hair, you can benefit from skipping shampoo every now and then. Instead, reach for this lightweight organic formula to remove buildup while nourishing your hair. Use it consistently to experience less breakage, shedding, and fewer knots.
Best Deep Conditioner: Naturall Club Strengthening Ice Cream Treatment with Jamaican Black Castor Oil
When I first used one of the innovative Ice Cream Treatments from NaturAll Club, I was so amazed at the softness, shine, and curl definition that it delivered to my thirsty strands. It’s so freshly made that it has to be frozen, and this particular formula is noteworthy for its replenishing benefits of fresh avocados, carrot, Jamaican black castor oil, and monoi. It also delivers nutrients to dry, brittle hair so that you can potentially see less shedding on wash days.
Best Hair Mask: Briogeo Don't Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask
This powerful hair mask has a reputation for uplifting hair of all types and textures. It’s an intensive formula for weekly use, that promises to restore essential moisture to enhance hair’s resilience and strength, helping prevent future damage.
Best Hair Serum: Vernon François Lightweight Styling Serum
This non-sticky lightweight serum is a great multitasker, working well as a detangler, a heat protectant, and a quick style refresher for all hair textures. Reviewers call it a frizz fighter and a great option for softer, more manageable hair. Massage it onto wet or dry hair to add shine and definition.
Best Growth System: DreamGirls Healthy Hair Care System Starter Kit
Tonya Thompson and Sharie Wilson are no strangers to growing long, healthy hair from their salon chairs, but they’ve now bottled their secrets to help you grow your hair longer and stronger at home. The system includes a pre-poo detangler, shampoo, a deep treatment, conditioner, and an oil blend to rejuvenate your hair and promote growth. The exotic blend contains bamboo, ginseng, and coconut oil, which work together to improve elasticity, strength, and more.
Best Wash Day Kit: Bread Beauty Wash-Day Essentials Kit for Curly & Textured Hair
For those that want to turn wash day into wash hour, this essentials kit is the way to go. Bread Supply gets to the basics of haircare and makes space for the lazy girl in the natural hair world. With a gentle cleanser, a creamy deep conditioner, and a glossy hair oil, you’re encouraged to get your wash routine out of the way with simple, hydrating ingredients, and move on with your life.
Best for Protective Styles: GIRL+HAIR CLEAR+ Apple Cider Vinegar Clarifying Rinse
If you’re a fan of wearing protective styles, you know that washing braids can be a hassle at times, but Girl + Hair offers a solution. It deeply cleanses your hair and has a targeted applicator, making it perfect for braided styles or for reaching the scalp through kinky curly hair. The sulfate-free, alcohol-free formula also contains shea butter, neem oil, and tea tree oil to prevent a dry and itchy scalp.
Best Detangler: Kinky Curly Knot Today Detangler
There’s a reason why this detangler is a cult-favorite in the natural hair community. It’s designed to smooth the cuticle and remove knots and tangles from textured hair, preventing breakage and long-term damage. It works well as a leave-in conditioner for kinkier textures or a rinse-out conditioner for fine, wavy hair.
Best Gel: The Doux Big Poppa Defining Gel
This gel is relatively new to the scene, but it’s already a huge hit among those with naturally curly hair. It defines and adds shine without leaving your hair crunchy or sticky. The humidity-resistant formula creates a long-lasting, flexible hold, and helps to fight frizz for tamed twist-outs and wash-and-go styles.
Best Edge Control: Design Essentials Honey & Shea Edge Tamer
This product does exactly what it promises: It tames edges. The unique formula delivers a long-lasting firm hold to keep your edges laid and put unruly flyways to rest. We also love that it’s non-greasy yet hydrating, with moisturizing honey and shea butter to provide shine sans any residue.
Best Hair Oil: Curls Blueberry Bliss Hair Growth Oil
There are plenty of hair oils on the market, but finding one that actually absorbs into your hair can be a task. Thankfully, this great-smelling oil contains blueberry extract, pomegranate seed, and argan and gardenia flower oils that may help grow, repair, protect, and restore damaged hair. It’s great to use as a sealant, and it works best when used along with the rest of the Curls Blueberry Bliss Collection.
Best Curl Cream: Miss Jessie's Curly Pudding
Miss Jessie’s hit the market right before the peak of the natural hair movement and has been helping curly-haired people get the most out of their hair ever since. This hydrating curl pudding is a go-to for defining wash-and-gos, twist-outs, and braid-outs. It elongates shrunken curls to lengthen them into shiny, stretched-out curls.
Best Heat Protectant: Briogeo Farewell Frizz Blow Dry Perfection & Heat Protectant Crème
Use your heat tools with confidence knowing that this heat protectant cream works in temperatures up to 450 degrees. Whether you have fine, medium, or thick hair, this product has all of the goodies you need to flat iron your hair without regret. It uses rosehip oil to help protect from free radical damage, argan oil to diminish frizz, and coconut oil to seal in moisture. Users say that it results in smooth, long-lasting blowouts.
Best Curl Refresher: Jane Carter Solution Curls to Go Conditioning Mist
For awakening and refreshing day two, three, or even day four curls, reach for this hydrating curl mist. It contains shea butter, sage, and rosemary for the perfect nourishing pick-me-up. Users say that it helps to define texture, and it’s also great to use as a detangler.
Best Detangling Brush: Felicia Leatherwood Detangler Brush
Brushing your tangled strands has seriously never been easier. If you have textured hair, then you’ve probably gotten used to seeing a fist full of hair in your brush every wash day—but it doesn’t have to be that way. This brush has flexible bristles that move and bend as you brush, which may prevent breakage and prevent snagging. Try it out and see why people are raving.
Best Pick: Pattern Hair Pick
If you think that the pick is a dated hair tool that’s only for the rounded fluffed out afros of the 1970s, then you’re seriously mistaken. A great pick can improve the shape and look of your curls, and word on the street is that the Pattern pick is the best in show. It’s easier to hold than most picks and has extra-long prongs to style, add volume, and elongate your kinks, curls, and coils. It's especially great at reviving curls in the morning.
Best Supplement: The Mane Choice Manetabolism Plus Healthy Hair Vitamin
These non-GMO supplements are loaded with essential antioxidants that may help naturally boost the immune system and energy levels, and of course, grow healthier hair. Users report serious results including stronger nails, shinier strands, and noticeably faster hair growth. While no vitamin can change your genetics or give you healthier habits that'll change your hair, this is a great way to ensure that you’re giving your hair everything it needs to reach its full potential.
What to Look For in Hair Products
Stock Your Basics
The best place to start when switching to Black-owned brands for your haircare needs is with the products you already use. Most of us either use shampoo and conditioner, or a co-wash, which "is using conditioner to wash and cleanse your hair," according to Mia Emilio, master stylist at Devachan Salon in NYC. Once you've got those on hand, migrate out to styling products, such as gel, and occasionally use items like masks.
Ingredients That Your Hair Will Love
There are so many ingredients that can benefit textured hair, which tends to be on the dryer side. Moisturizing oils like shea butter, coconut oil, olive oil, and argan oil can all assist in increasing hair's shine and gloss. You'll want to steer clear of sulfates as much as possible; in addition to drying hair, dermatologist Dr. Michelle Farber notes that "sulfates may irritate sensitive skin, especially the skin around the eyes and the facial skin. They also may cause acne around the hairline when found in shampoo."
Ownership and Founders
In this instance, we've done the work for you in finding Black-owned and founded haircare brands. But there may be times when you're looking at a product not in this list and find yourself unsure if the item is from a Black-owned company. Google has added a "Black owned" icon to businesses on their product pages, if you're using the shopping tab. You can also look at the "about us" or "contact" tabs on a business' website to find out more.
What oil makes your hair grow faster?
Adding oil to your hair, provided it is able to penetrate into your scalp, can potentially assist with hair growth. Argan oil is particularly popular for hair growth. It has not been closely studied yet for its impact on hair growth, but it is high in vitamin E, which has been proven to assist in regrowth for people with alopecia.
What hair products are good for natural hair?
Because Black hair typically has a bit of texture, and textured hair runs dry rather than oily, moisturizing products are often the focus of Black haircare. Hot oil treatments are often popular, as are co-washes in lieu of separate shampoo and conditioner. The best products for your hair are the ones that you find work to keep it strong and healthy.
What products should not be used on Black hair?
We mentioned avoiding sulfates and parabens, but you may want to avoid phthalates, too. Those are all chemicals that may be harsh and drying. If you have natural hair, choosing natural and simple ingredients is an excellent choice. Jamyla Bennu, Oyin Handmade’s CEO and Brand Founder says "water is your friend. Highly textured hair loves hydration."