If you live with a crown of coils on your head or know someone who does, you know that caring for curly hair can be a full-time labor of love. There are so many options out there, and it can be overwhelming to know what brands will help your curls grow, bounce, and shine. That has been a quest for women of color who often struggle to find the best ingredients, recipes, and regimens for their hair. Luckily, some of those women decided to support their community of beautiful and brilliant curly hair queens by creating their own curly hair care brands. While I enjoy my fair share of mixing and matching products in my hair care shopping therapy (and it is important to treat yourself every now and then), there’s something to be said about buying from brands that started for the purpose of changing their industry, on a mission to help their communities, and with a plan to give our coils the love and care they deserve.
From the young age of 15 years old, Rizos Curls founder Julissa Prado dreamed of helping young girls embrace their unruly curls and celebrate all the different textures that rest on their heads. As a Mexican-American, Julissa grew up searching for the right products for her curls and always ran into issues with finding a system that worked for her curly hair type. She spent years researching how to source the highest quality ingredients and focused on bringing a clean, natural, and sustainable brand into the curly hair world. Julissa wanted to create a place for other curly girls to learn how to embrace their natural beauty with a Curl Education blog. There’s also an Ingredients Glossary for anyone who wants to know what goes into each product.
With a range of award-winning best sellers – from shampoos to hair oils to styling tools – they just premiered a Limited Edition VIP Box, “Amor A Los Rizos,” with new products to care for your scalp, your curls, and your style. You can find them on the Rizos Curls website, Target, and Amazon.
Rooted in Latinx heritage, Ceremonia hair care products come from recipes handed down from the antepasados (ancestors). In Latin culture, practicing beauty rituals is a central part of identity, and founder Babba Rivera launched Ceremonia in October 2020 out of a burning desire to celebrate the rich, beautiful, and diversity of her heritage. Their most popular product is the Aceite de Moska scalp elixir uses an age-old remedy to strengthen curls from root to tip. You can try out the Ceremonia Starter Kit if you’d like to see how it could work for your curls. They’ve even won Allure magazine’s Best of Beauty Award and continue to launch highly-reviewed products like their newest Pequi Styling Gel to hold and nourish every curl.
As one of the most popular independently-owned hair care brands in the beauty world today, Ceremonia has become a prime example of how responsible sustainability, personal culture, and a purposeful mission can resonate beyond beauty. As one of the first Latinx-owned brands sold at Sephora, Ceremonia focuses on ensuring the new generation leads the way in sustainability and inclusive beauty standards.
Launched in 2019 from the creative mind (and fabulous curls) of the iconic Tracee Ellis Ross, Pattern Beauty has been rising steadily in curly girl circles ever since. For over ten years, Ross put her energy into finding the right mix of products for women who have curly, coily, or tight textures. She is still coming out with new products that meet her community where they need them, like the newest slippery Detangling Nectar. Her mission began with her famous mother’s iconic mane and embracing her own curls at a young age, and she felt connected to the tribe of women in her family. She learned that “beauty was a doorway to understanding identity…and becomes a political statement in how you choose to honor your authentic beauty and your authentic self.”
Pattern Beauty’s best sellers include the multi-award-winning Hydration Shampoo, Leave-In Conditioner, and the Deluxe Shower Bundle that makes wash day more effortless. It consists of the previously mentioned products, Heavy Conditioner, Jojoba Oil Blend, Shower Brush, Microfiber Towel, Mist Spray Bottle, and Hair Clip. You can find these products and many more on the Pattern Beauty website, Sephora, Ulta Beauty, and Amazon.
If you’re a fan of DIY self-care brands, then this one may become a part of your next at-home spa day. Founded by Kim Lewis (in partnership with her husband Tim), Curlmix began as a monthly subscription service that used natural food-grade ingredients with recipe cards for customers to create their own curly hair products. By 2018, the call for more product availability from their growing social media presence was enough to launch their ready-to-use product line consisting of five wash-and-go kits in a simplified four-step system including shampoo, conditioner, moisturizer, and their flagship flaxseed gel. You can also buy them separately or in travel sizes to try before committing to full-size.
There may have been plenty of products on the market, but Kim realized a massive gap in the education on how to care for, treat, and style different textures. For those who don’t know where to start or are frustrated with their current curly hair journey so far, Kim created the CulrMix 21-day Masterclass to build community among women of color online while they learn new things from each other and the brand products. They also have a VIP membership subscription that helps lower the cost of individual purchases while giving points (or spoons) to use for future purchases. You can buy Curlmix at their website, with some products available on Amazon.
Bread Beauty Supply
Maeva Heim is the curly-haired mastermind behind the successful launch of Bread Beauty Supply in the summer of 2020 – with just a core collection of three wash-day essential products in its premiere. If you like a more minimalistic approach to your curly hair routine, then Bread Beauty’s kit-1 wash set with hair wash, hair mask, hair oil, and scrunchie. Growing up watching her mother braid hair in a salon in Perth, Australia, Maeva watched women come in looking for a new style and leave with a sense of community.
Bread Beauty focuses on the essentials – like bread (we love a clever brand name) – and on having fun without the fuss. Their award-winning Hair Oil is “like a lip gloss, but for your hair” and smells divine while being color-safe and silicone-free. Their newest Scalp Serum is like a reboot serum that gently exfoliates and cools your scalp, whether you’re trying to grow your curls or need to refresh your protective style. Bread Beauty Supply is becoming more widely available from their website and now on Sephora, both online and in-store.
After launching one successful skin and hair care brand, Aisha Ceballos-Crump decided to create a new line of natural curly hair products in 2019, inspired by her Puerto Rican heritage. Being one of the first Latinas to have a natural hair and skin care line in mass retail, Aisha had a new goal to provide the underserved Latin community with affordable and effective curly hair products. A botánica is a well-known staple in the Latin community. When Afro-Caribbean people immigrate from their home country, they can’t afford healthcare and rely on botánicas for home remedies and self-healing recipes passed down from one generation to the next. Botanika Beauty uses these recipes in every product to enhance your mental and physical wellness through hair care.
Aisha’s goal is to feel pride – no matter the price point – in loving yourself with products that love you back. The ever-popular (and often restocked) Curly Maintenance Bundle comes with The Mender Protein Treatment, The Revitalizer Deep Conditioner, and The Stimulator Oil Serum. They also have a new TSA-friendly Travel Trio Bundle with The Cleaner Shampoo, The Manager Conditioner, and The Definer Curl Cream that’s available to a large consumer base due to its price point and store availability. The Botanika Hydrator Curl Cream is available at Target, and most of the product line is also available at Walmart.
Bomba Curls founder Lulu Cordero is an Afro-Dominicana who suffered from severe traction alopecia and decided to create something to help other women of color living with it, too. She wanted to share the natural Dominican beauty secrets from generations before here that helped her natural hair journey. As a woman of color, Cordero understands that the beauty industry doesn’t celebrate all the different wavy, curly, coily, or kinky textures of our hair. So, she decided to do it herself! Bomba Curls uses premium organic ingredients like pure coffee seed and castor oil to revitalize your hair, retain length, maximize growth, and revive curls that live up to Lulu’s slogan: “Be Bold, Be Free, Be Bomba.”
The award-winning and multi-purpose Dominican Forbidden Oil is their bestselling product, with social media followers touting the 100% natural silicone-free oil as a great lightweight elixir to help with hair growth. They also have a Grow With Bomba Regimen bundle that includes the popular Forbidden Oil, Forbidden Hair Mask, and Bomba Beauty Bites to get your hair healthy from wash to style. Bomba Curl products are available on their website and at Target.