5 African Haircare Brands that Will Get Your Curls Popping
In our recent interview with Tomara Watkins from Loza Tam, the brand creating satin-lined turbans and hair wraps, we all got a great idea of how to keep our natural curls in check when we don’t have the time to style and tend to them. In this blog post, we want to focus on the best African/black-owned haircare brands designed to nourish and pamper your curls with all the ingredients and love needed to help you get those coils popping!
When buying Alaffia hair products ranging from shampoos, conditioners and curl specific styling goodness (some of which are also available unscented, for those of you who are sensitive to perfumes and strong smells), you also happen to be supporting a mission to empower African communities. The Alaffia Foundation does so through the advancement of fair trade, education, sustainable living and gender equality. Their website statement reads:
“The Alaffia Foundation executes our Alaffia Empowerment Projects in Togo, West Africa that support Fair Trade producer communities. TAF provides a platform for individuals and organizations around the world to partner with Alaffia, by sharing resources, skills, time and money. This public support is critical to Alaffia impacting more lives in Togo.
Empowerment Projects are Alaffia’s mission in action, funded by the sale of our products. Targeted development ensures basic needs are met for a dignified life. This allows Togolese communities to provide their skills and knowledge to the rest of the world and rise out of poverty.”
With a variety of Empowerment Projects ranging from maternal care, school supplies and founding, environmental sustainability and the donation of eyeglasses, Alaffia continues to play an important role in improving the livelihood of communities in Togo and beyond, through the sales of their quality hair care, beauty and lifestyle products.
“NaturAll seeks to create products with integrity, while fostering and uplifting our community. We commit ourselves to the highest standard in both performance and ingredients - only using natural, safe, nontoxic ingredients to make products that nourish the hair and body” – this is a mission statement Fashionomics Africa and our curly-haired followers can definitely get behind.
Founded by Muhga Eltigani, NaturAll sources its organic ingredients from Ghana and Malaysia. Their community of kinky and curly haired women, however, reaches across the world, and NaturAll nurtures it by keeping followers informed and connected via posts on natural haircare and regular, virtual community meet-ups.
“NaturAll is changing the narrative and setting a new standard. The idea that you need to compromise results for ingredients, or safety for performance, is a lie. We are on the cutting edge of science and product formulation to achieve what no other hair brand has done before, because you and I don't deserve to compromise anymore.”
Harvest of Sunshine
When certain products are not easily accessible to you, the best solution is to start creating your own – and that’s exactly what Harvest of Sunshine founder, Mumbi Muturi, did. She created her first batch of products in her own kitchen in 2012, using a direct mix of natural oils and butters, and named them after her children.
With the help of friends, she raised the funds needed to invest in upscale kitchen appliances and by 2016, she officially launched Harvest of Sunshine as Kenya’s first originally formulated water-based brand of haircare products.
Featuring three main brand lines – namely Mcado (avocado oil-based), Buyu (baobad oil-based) and Maido (nut oil-based) – these products effectively provide moisture for natural hair, treating it to the nourishment needed to thrive and shine.
“The importance of water or moisture to natural hair and skin cannot be understated. Our bodies are made up of nearly 70% of water. The task of creating water-based products brought about the challenge of bacteria flourishing in the products.
Yet because the whole natural and organic movement was about having products that were nearly or entirely chemical-free we pushed our research. It led us to seek out preservatives that were naturally friendly and once done the creation of the current batch of products proved feasible.”
If you want your natural, curly hair to reach star potential, then reach for the Nigerian line of haircare products that named its entire brand after the Iljaw tribe’s term for “star”, namely KUI. These products are made to realise your hair’s potential and to make you feel like your KUI self by owning your own unique beauty.
This brand has done more than to refine an old tradition – it has started a new one by trusting in ingredients that have proven beneficial to our healthy for centuries: tea tree and cinnamon. This complimentary blend of natural and well-refined ingredients is gentle and effective and leaves your hair with a superior quality finish.
Specifically designed for kinky and curly hair, the KUI brand of products uses optimising ingredients that feel luxurious at affordable prices. And, “although KUI Products are designed for natural hair, all hair types can use our products and enjoy the benefit of healthy, happy hair!”
“When Mugzie's Naturals founder, Mugethi Gitau, cut off her relaxed hair and went natural about 6 years ago, she found that there were no products made for natural African hair available, there was no information about how to take care of hair in its natural form, less so amongst the hair stylists so they would always encourage the use of heat or relaxers to straighten hair.
Due to the lack of products at the time, she started to experiment with different natural oils, making concoctions, discovering which ones worked, and sharing them with friends. When they worked on her friends too, she considered making it a business.”
And so she did. Mugethi finally realised her dream of making and creating hair and body products, and we couldn’t applaud her more for her courage and her innate skill at producing natural soaps, creams, butters and oils that truly work for our skin and textured hair.
The brand’s mission is to use pressed, natural raw materials only and to grow along with its local community and, as such, Mugzie’s Naturals prioritizes locally sourced raw materials and packaging. With each product you purchase, you can rest assured that the ingredients were carefully considered to serve a specific purpose ranging from dry skin to thirsty curls.