I was at a curl party this weekend where the topic of favorite natural hair products came up. Prepared, the natural beauties that surrounded me immediately went in their totes, proudly pulling out the tried-and-true cosmetics that made it into their daily regimen.

It was midway around the circle when most of us had shared beloved finds like Pantene Relaxed & Natural Dry to Moisturized Conditioner and Moroccan Oil, that someone brought up that we hadn’t mentioned any black-owned companies. The response was varied, with some folks offering their support of Curlbox or Karen’s Body Beautiful as proof that they “buy black.” Others shared they hadn’t found black-owned brands that worked well for them or that the black-owned companies they once supported were bought out by big corporations.

As is the case in many African-American families, my parents taught me the importance of supporting black-owned and operated businesses in our communities. For naturals, the idea of “buying black” is even more pertinent, as few natural hair cosmetic brands existed when the movement first gained momentum. We had to create products for ourselves; the mass corporations were not invested in the natural hair market. Now that the pendulum has swung, there is a relative plethora of products for naturals to choose from that aren’t necessarily borne from black-owned and operated companies. Some natural hair women feel inclined to still support growing “black” brands, while others have decided to buy into natural hair lines from some of the larger corporations.

What are your thoughts, Clutchettes? Do you “buy black” when it comes to hair products? Do you think more black women should? Discuss.

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  • Marecia

    Hello ladies!

    I was a straight up hardcore hair product junkie after I was fully natural. I wanted to steer clear of old fashioned Black hair care products because it became a big issue with people claiming mineral oil and other popular ingredients is terrible for your hair and apparently they don’t smell good (lies). Avoid any hair care product with it AT ALL COSTS, they’d say. So I did but all costs took on a new meaning.

    Suddenly a massive wave of expensive and overpriced hair care products came out of the woodwork. You guys know the $36 creams, $50 oils. I started buying them because my hairs health is a great thing to invest in. But it became burdensome on my pockets and my hair. The products would do nothing for my hair. It was like my hair was constantly angry and dry and there was nothing, no $36 oil could do to fix it. All while I’m avoiding sulfates, anything ending in -cone and -ates etc. By the end of the day, I barely had ANY options. And broke.

    So one day I said screw it. I’m going back to the tried and true. It’s worked for MANY YEARS in our hair and suddenly everyone’s trying to make a buck off the the Au Natrualle trend and they don’t work anymore? I don’t think so. I went out and bought some old fashioned Vitamin E oil, suitable for hair and skin. Small, cheap $3 bottle. A tub of $4 Cholesterol conditioner that I use with the Vit E for deep conditioner. A $3 jar of Eco Styler gel with argan oil for my twists outs and $3 jar of Castor oil hair and scalp daily treatment. They all smell GREAT and weren’t heavy on my hair at all. After using these products, my hair instantly looked, felt and smelled damn near perfect. My hair holds a shine, it stays soft and just feels overall healthy. All for $13!! They won’t ever go out of style and they will always be the bomb no matter what money hungry Ms Jessie or Jacky Curly creamy custard Jones or whoever will tell you!

    • Jhenisis

      Ooooh. I won’t argue for a product that doesn’t work AND it’s overpriced. Products that don’t work should fade away, whoever owns the company. I do think there are effective products that: cost just a little more than your pantene collection; that work well; are made more ethically; are from black-owned companies and won’t bust your wallet. Check the target natural hair care aisle! Since we’re talking about the tried and true though, I will give a shout out to Luster’s Pink Oil Moisturizer. They still got it!

  • SerenityJ

    I will only used black owned products in my hair, or make them myself(oils, shea cremes. I am very meticulous about supporting black businesses. Because not only do they work really great, but you’re also supporting your people :)