For nearly 30 years, Carol’s Daughter has been committed to creating quality products for all hair textures and curl types. While working full-time in television production, founder Lisa Price sold hair products at local flea markets and craft fairs, and in the space of a few years she built up a loyal customer base, which led to the brand's first store opening in 1999. Carol’s Daughter was one of a few pioneering brands during the turn-of-the-millennium wave of the natural hair movement, redefining hair care for women of color with one-of-a-kind recipes infused with ingredients such as black vanilla, monoi oil, honey, and almond milk.
Carol's Daughter’s mission is to fulfill a diverse range of beauty needs by creating high-quality, proven products formulated with natural ingredients. Following the brand's acquisition by L’Oréal in 2014, you can find its products in over 30,000 stores across the U.S. Whether you’re looking to protect and strengthen your hair with natural ingredients or give your skin the TLC it deserves, Carol’s Daughter has all the essentials you need to keep your hair healthy and your scalp nourished. Keep reading to learn all about the brand and its best products.
Founded: In 1993, by Lisa Price.
Based in: New York
Best known for: Black Vanilla, a weightless, leave-in conditioner that restores natural moisture and strengthens dry, dull, and brittle hair.
Hero product: Monoi Repairing Sulfate Free Shampoo, a shampoo infused with monoi oil and coconut-derived cleansers to nourish fragile and distressed hair.
Fun fact: When deciding what to name her company, Price created a list of everything she was and wanted to be, before settling on Carol’s Daughter as she realized that was the most special part of her identity. It was her mother, Carol, who encouraged her to create the hair and body products we know and love.
After deciding not to settle for haircare products that weren’t right for her, Price took matters into her own hands and started making her own products in her kitchen. “In the very early days, I worked on formulas that I felt were lacking for me and I began to discover that I liked having different textures and forms for different styles and even the weather—these were options that I was never able to find in stores,” she tells Byrdie. To ensure all products she created were fit for purpose, Price would seek feedback from friends who were stylists, braiders, and locticians, which helped her to develop a quality range of items.
Carol’s Daughter prides itself on the ethos that love is and will always be their first ingredient, and this has a direct influence on the brand's formulation process. “Developing products is such an interesting and complex process,” Price says. “It’s a dance between what is trending with consumers and the creative process. I build a concept and story around what I love about specific ingredients while also weaving in what I know the consumer loves about the ingredients we use.”
The brand believes that hair care shouldn’t be overcomplicated—it prioritizes efficiency and performance to add to the art of the process. After 30 years in the business, Carol’s Daughter is still a force to be reckoned with, but Price sometimes finds herself having the odd “pinch me” moment. “I think about how Erykah Badu raved about a product we used to sell back in the early 2000s called Jamaican Punch. A few years ago, Zendaya praised our Black Vanilla Edge Control. The giddiness I feel never gets old,” she says.
If you yearn for nourishment that comes from natural, hair-loving ingredients, scroll on for some of the best Carol’s Daughter products to transform your hair.
Black Vanilla Leave-In Conditioner
Created with dry, dull, and brittle hair in mind, this weightless leave-in conditioner is one of the brand’s bestsellers. With a powerful blend of wheat protein and pro-vitamin B5, it restores natural moisture and adds strength, and helps with detangling on wet or dry hair. With a unique concoction of lavender, honeysuckle, sage, and aloe leaf, it makes for a welcome addition to your hair routine. To use, hold the bottle six to eight inches away from your hair and spray all over.
Hair Milk Leave-In Moisturizer
This leave-in moisturizer protects hair from breakage and dryness, giving your curls, coils, kinks, and/or waves the TLC they deserve. The formula includes shea butter to intensely hydrate curls, as well as agave nectar to lock in moisture and restore hair health. Although it’s rich in texture, it easily absorbs into hair, leaving it glossy, nourished, and frizz-free. For best results, apply a quarter-size amount into soaking wet hair after co-washing and work it in evenly with your fingers. Use your hands to squeeze out any excess water before styling your hair as desired.
Wash Day Delight Conditioner
Ideal for those with type 3 and 4 hair, this aloe and glycerin-infused jelly-to-cream conditioner instantly hydrates hair from the roots to ends, minimizing tangles in the process. Getting through wash day with ease is something all naturals desire, and the detangling technology in this moisturizer makes it possible. For soft, smooth hair, shampoo with the brand's Wash Day Delight Shampoo ($12) first, then work the conditioner thoroughly into wet hair, paying extra attention to the ends. Rinse well.
Goddess Strength Shampoo
There are many benefits of using a sulfate-free shampoo, most importantly that they don’t strip the hair’s natural oils, but instead work gently to lift excess oil and buildup without removing any of the essential elements. This vegan shampoo works to revitalize hair, leaving it stronger and healthier in the process. According to the brand, the Goddess Strength System (a blend of castor oil, black seed oil, and ginger) strengthens hair by up to 15 times in one use, with 94% less breakage. It's also said to support your hair's strength as it gets longer, and judging by the reviews online, it delivers on what the packaging says.
Goddess Strength Hair Oil
Everyone wants stronger, healthier, and more manageable hair, so it’s no surprise that the Goddess Strength collection is a hit with Carol’s Daughter customers, and this hair oil is no exception. Ideal for those with dry and frizzy hair and light enough for daily use, the formula wraps strands with moisture to protect hair from breakage and split ends. Use the pointed tip to apply the oil directly to the scalp. Massage it gently into your scalp and hair, then style as usual. Follow with the Goddess Strength Leave-In Cream ($12).
Goddess Strength Leave-In Hair Milk
With a lightweight blend of castor oil, black cumin seed, and ginger, this versatile spray is ideal for all hair types. It preps, primes, and strengthens, leaving hair moisturized and stronger than ever. If you struggle to care for your hair in between washes, this leave-in cream will provide a boost of nourishment while protecting it from future damage. It’s also suitable for those who style with heat on a regular basis, as it offers heat protection up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray it evenly onto damp hair, then add more where needed and style as desired.