Issa Rae on Her Natural Hair Journey and Clean Haircare Brand, Sienna Naturals

issa rae

Sienna Naturals

A good portion of our time watching Insecure is spent googling where to get Molly and Issa’s outfits and of course, how to recreate Issa’s hairstyles. On and off-screen, Issa Rae’s natural hairstyles have ended up on our Pinterest boards and shared with our hairstylists. She’s pretty much a natural hair icon, so we were more than excited when she joined Sienna Naturals as co-owner and muse. Now, the clean, natural haircare brand co-owned by Rae and co-founder Hannah Diop is available at Target. 

Sienna Naturals, Mask
Sienna Naturals Plant Power Repair Mask $22.00

"The accessibility of our products is extremely important to me and one of my main goals when signing on with Sienna Naturals was to work with Hannah to make that a reality." Issa told Byrdie exclusively. "At Target we were able to maintain our high-quality ingredients, while still ensuring our target audience would get the most for their money. Our products are all about self-care, hair health, and embracing everyday luxury, and Target fits that narrative perfectly."

Issa says she owes her haircare knowledge and her interest in clean haircare to Hannah Diop. "In crafting this product she’s made sure that it's free of harsh sulfates, parabens & silicons, and in turn, educated me on why that is so important." She explains, "In my conversations with her, I always feel comfortable knowing that I’m actively taking care of my hair as opposed to just experimenting."

"I think hair has always been a part of the conversation for me, and it's been such a huge part of my identity," she continues. OG Issa fans will remember her web series Awkward Black Girl and her big chop to promote the series. "l was very lucky to meet Felicia [Leatherwood], my hairstylist, early on in my career, who has been instrumental in educating me about my hair and how to take care of it. And now, with Sienna Naturals, I am learning to do the same for those watching my journey." She says. 

Sienna Naturals, Conditioner
Sienna Naturals Untangled Conditioner $22.00

"Since I’m on set so frequently, I have been changing my hairstyle more than normal," she explains. To repair her hair and nourish her scalp, she cites the brand's Untangled ($22) and H.A.P.I Shampoo ($18). "They help me transition from style to style while keeping my hair moisturized and preventing my scalp from becoming irritated," she notes. "Those plus the Plant Power Conditioner ($22), when I have more time in the shower, and the Lock & Seal are what I use on my wash days." In these products, you’ll find ingredients like soothing blue tansy, moisturizing aloe, and a blend of oils including coconut and baobab. 

Sienna Naturals, Curl Elixir
Sienna Naturals Curl Elixir $20.00

For busier days (and we’re sure she has plenty), she also has a go-to. "Whenever I choose a wash-and-go style, Dew Magic ($18) adds the perfect amount of moisture and weight," she explains. "If I'm feeling like I need a bit more moisture, I'll use the Curl Elixir ($20) and keep it pushing." The hydrating leave-in and curl refresher work well on both high and low porosity hair. 

Of all the hair care tips she’s learned sitting in stylist chairs, her favorite is simple: "There's no ‘one product that fits all’ for our type of hair, but if there's a product that considers a texture specifically and how to take care of it, that can go a long way."

"I've learned that the most important thing is what happens at the root," she continues. "The key is making sure your scalp is healthy and to stay away from products that manipulate your existing texture or eliminate the natural oils your scalp produces by using harmful and harsh ingredients."

We couldn't agree more.

You can shop Sienna Naturals at Target and at

Related Stories