Tia Mowry

Tia Mowry's New Hair Care Brand Celebrates Curls, Culture, and Community

Tia Mowry is taking on a new title this year—founder, creative director, and CEO of 4U By Tia, her just-launched natural hair care brand. The actress' debut in the beauty industry makes total sense, considering her hair journey has unfolded right before our eyes. When we first met Mowry as a teen on the hit '90s series Sister, Sister, she always sported her curls. As the show went on and she reached her 20s, she began to straighten her hair frequently. "One of the main reasons I did that was because I was ready to date, and I wanted to feel sexy," Mowry says. "Back then, I thought straight hair meant sexy because that was the message being put out. I didn't see curly hair represented in magazines and television. And even when I was in school, people would say, 'Oh, your hair is frizzy.'"

After Sister, Sister, Mowry continued to navigate the industry and managing her hair became even more challenging personally and professionally. "When I would go on auditions after Sister, Sister and wore my curly hair, casting directors would tell me my hair was a distraction," she shares. "So, I continued to straighten it. I would even put extensions in my hair, and you'll notice that, especially while I was filming The Game. I was just damaging my hair."

It wasn't until 2012 that Mowry began reassessing her relationship with her curls. "Around that time, there was an amazing movement happening on Instagram," she says. "A lot of women were big chopping. So, I did that and fell in love with my hair. However, there was still one big problem. I felt there wasn't access to affordable products for my curls."

Over the last decade, Mowry has thought long and hard about how she would solve this dilemma. "I knew if I ever came out with products, I would want them to be accessible and affordable, have safe ingredients, and simplify your routine, which means they'd have to work on all textures," she explains.

The Process

Tia Mowry

This clear vision helped her bring 4U By Tia to life alongside biotechnology company Amyris (known for producing other popular beauty brands like Biossance, JVN, and Rose Inc). "It, of course, took some time for my vision to come to fruition," Mowry says. "But, there's been such an alignment between Amyris and me since the beginning. We value the same things in terms of safe ingredients and sustainability."

Once the initial framework for the brand was set, Mowry and her team turned their attention toward developing the product lineup. "I take pride in not only creating a brand based on my personal experience but also the community's needs," she tells me. "We had an incredible working session with beauticians, influencers, and people with curly hair. We asked them questions like, 'What is important to you? What do you feel that's missing?' Everyone agreed they want to simplify their routine, and that's why we launched with the products we did."

The Products

Tia Mowry

The initial collection includes eight products, all priced under $11. There's the Moisturizing Shampoo, Moisturizing Conditioner, Clarifying Shampoo, Lightweight Conditioner, Leave-In Curl Cream, Curl-Defining Gel, Curl Refresher Mist, and Multiuse Hair Oil. Every product in the range is made with hero ingredient Hemisqualane 15 (Hemi15), Amyris' patented molecule that serves as an alternative to silicones. It is proven to help with frizz control, breakage protection, and maintaining moisture. The formulas are also enhanced with other ingredients Mowry has used for years. "We used [ingredients like] sea moss, aloe vera, watermelon extract, and flaxseed," she says. "I was using them when trying to come up with concoctions to nurture and take care of my damaged hair."  

While all the products have become staples in her (and her children's) hair routines, Mowry has a few favorites. "Creating the Curl Cream was important to me because, growing up, the ones I would use would leave a white residue," she notes. "This one is super moisturizing and doesn't weigh your curls down. The Moisturizing Shampoo is another favorite. It has such incredible slip—you don't have to use a detangler. My children and I all have different hair textures, but when I use this shampoo, I can comb their hair with my hands."

The Launch

Tia Mowry

Mowry says incorporating her children into the launch process was incredibly important, as conversations about the beauty of their hair and skin are a regular occurrence in her household. "I want them to feel empowered by their hair and who they are," she expresses. "Unfortunately, being Black in this world, people will say and do mean things to you. It has been very evident with my son already, as he's been talked down to because of what he looks like. With this brand, I'm creating an inclusive environment and speaking up for my children."

Not only did she test the products on her children's hair, but she also included them in the brand visuals. In one of the campaign photos, Mowry's 11-year-old son Cree is seated between her legs as she cares for his curls (a moment many Black children can relate to). "I sat between my mom's legs many times as she applied grease to my hair," Mowry says. "I wanted to portray that moment in the campaign because our hair is not just hair. It is who we are and a part of our history. This brand is all about empowerment and celebrating our culture unapologetically."

4U By Tia officially debuts online and in Walmart stores nationwide today. "Walmart immediately understood my passion," Mowry says of the brand's retail partnership. "I think it's also important to note I am one of the first Black women to co-develop a brand in partnership with Walmart."

Now that everyone can engage with the brand and try the products, Mowry says she is overjoyed. "My purpose in life is to encourage, uplift, and empower," she says proudly. "Doing that with this brand makes me feel like I am living out my purpose. I just want to see people with all different hair textures embracing who they are because I feel where there is authenticity, there is magic and joy."

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