Before the social justice uprising that has taken place this year, could you name three Black-owned beauty brands off the top of your head? With little accessibility to brands that represent a range of darker skin tones and different hair textures, Black people are often left with limited options to achieve their desired looks. If we have learned anything this year, it is that representation matters. It should go without saying that Black consumers deserve to be acknowledged in the beauty industry. In honor of National Black Business month, we’re turning our attention to three Black women CEOs who have taken the step to catering to Black women’s needs and are making space for more melanin in the beauty industry.
Wilma Mae of DRK Beauty
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Perfectionism is exhausting! It can manifest itself in the way you view yourself, your work, or your ability to achieve your goals. There is far more joy found in embracing what you have and going for it anyway. Tap the link in bio to read @cherylchiew’s latest piece on unlearning perfectionism and how it taught her to see herself as good enough. We hope you are inspired to do the same. What are you letting go off as we move into a new month? Let us know below! #ThisIsDRKBeauty ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #Photo @laurenloncar ⠀⠀⠀ #Model @faithjaggernauth ⠀ #Makeup @deannamelluso ⠀⠀⠀ #Hair @mark.alan.hair ⠀⠀⠀⠀ #Stylist @tarzinichols⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #flawsandall #acceptance #innerbeauty #truebeauty #positivity #affirmations #perfectionism #strongwomen
“DRK Beauty is a digital community that supports and empowers women of color in all their diversity. Through curated content, programming, and community initiatives, DRK Beauty aims to truly empower those who identify as women of color and fix the flawed relationships between brands and women of color.
DRK Beauty Healing is one of our first community initiatives in response to COVID-19 and the BLM movement. When we first launched DRK Beauty Healing on May 15th of this year—before George Floyd’s murder—we had only conceived the idea two weeks earlier as a response to the impending mental health fallout from COVID-19. Having never worked in the therapeutic space, our first step was to speak to therapists. We had back-to-back Zoom calls five days a week for the first month. We also spoke to mental health associations such as Mental Health America to learn more about the space and researched other initiatives in our community. We effectively educated ourselves as quickly as we could.
What we discovered is that there are precious few clinicians of color in the U.S. (Black/African psychologists make up only 5% of the total in the U.S.) and the free initiatives that are out there required prospective clients to fill out online forms and share their data and then wait to be approved to receive the free therapy. This added yet another barrier to entry, not to speak of the cultural stigma of therapy in the Black community. In addition, when you are depressed, traumatized, and/or paralyzed with anxiety, you don’t have the mental bandwidth to fill out forms and wait for an answer. You need the help now! We felt that the need was urgent and we wanted to make the process as seamless as possible. Also, we wanted to make sure that we didn’t breach any privacy rules. So my developers built an online directory and within two weeks we launched with a few hundred hours of therapy donated by clinicians we had spoken to. We asked them to share with their clinicians as well. So they continued to donate hours and within a month of launch, we had 1,000 hours of free therapy to give away. We’ve now raised over 2,000 hours of free therapy and we are now one of the leading platforms for free therapy for women of color in America, covering 27 states with approximately 100 clinicians.”
Brittney Ogike of BeautyBeez
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@vickyunfiltered did not come to play with us!😍 She is rocking @sensationnel_hair Rule Breaker Lace Wig sold both in-store @beautybeezstore and online BEAUTYBEEZ.com 🥰 • • • • • • • • • #melaninmagic #kinkycurlyhair #4ahair #sensationnelhair #melaninpoppin #4chair #teamsensationnel #naturalhair #sensationnel #protectivestyles #bsshair #3chair #lacefrontwig #blackgirlmagic #naturalhairjourney #naturalhairdaily #naturalhaircommunity #rulebreaker #bighair #kinkycurly #blackhair #curlyhair #naturalista #melanin
“BEAUTYBEEZ was created to fill a gap in the retail industry. What many people outside of the African-American community do not realize is that ethnic hair care and beauty products are traditionally sold in small local retailers called beauty supply stores. Every Black woman has memories—both fond and unpleasant—of going to the local beauty supply store with our mothers and shopping for those nostalgic “Black girl hair” products. It was a space specifically for us! The larger retailers didn’t (and still don’t) carry these items. Due to various laws and regulations over the past several decades, ownership in ethnic beauty largely transferred to the Korean-American community. Traditionally, they own the stores, the products, the hair manufacturing, and the distribution. And, unfortunately, people of color are oftentimes discriminated against in all areas—most notably in the beauty supply stores. We are followed, harassed, and left to fend for ourselves.
BEAUTYBEEZ is a modern beauty retailer prioritizing beauty for women of color. I founded the brand after my own dissatisfaction shopping for beauty. As an entrepreneur creating success in a field where I’m the minority, I’ve had to be resilient, resourceful, and stand out. There were several challenges that came my way, and I faced them head on. I took the time to equip myself with the knowledge and skills necessary to thrive in an industry that capitalizes off of me. I used my experience as a consumer and infused it in all aspects of BEAUTYBEEZ—from the products and services we offer to the customer experience. My identity and experiences as a Black consumer have single-handedly been the most effective attribute I’ve brought to the business and enabled me to thrive in an industry that is dominated by people who do not look like me.
BEAUTYBEEZ provides an inclusive beauty experience where women of color can shop, explore, and play in a world full of beauty. The brand was created because nothing like it exists and we wanted to be a complete departure from the typical beauty supply. Our mission is to celebrate Black beauty in every way possible—a curated collection of hair care, skin care, and beauty products; selling inclusive beauty brands; promoting minority owned brands; hiring diversity in our team members; tailored services for our unique needs; and most importantly, the creation of a community reflective of our brand’s values and ideals. We’ve been able to successfully create this space because we possess a passion for and knowledge of our consumers and their needs—an approach many of our predecessors have neglected.”
Jamila Powell, Owner & Founder, Maggie Rose Salon
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“When I first entered the beauty industry, I didn’t really have a clear understanding of all of the nuances and disparity that existed. I am a salon owner and do not do hair. I was primarily interested in the salon being a second stream of income. I started the salon geared towards extension work, and then transitioned into curly textured hair. As the business grew, so did my desire to become more known in the industry and be recognized as a salon of curl experts. That is when I discovered that salons and stylists of color are put in a box and not given the opportunity to shine on an international platform. Even more surprising, most salons that are recognized for specializing in curls are not Black-owned.
I initially tried to reach out to many of the well-known industry publications, but the feedback was pretty much non-existent. Typically, a handful of stylists of color are chosen to be representatives in the hair world, but new talent is not sought-after. I decided with the access we have to the internet and social media, I would create a lane for myself. I have created a global following for Maggie Rose, along with an educational platform called Texture University, and am in the process of launching a hair system for curls called Naturally Drenched. It has been a journey, but I have realized it is better to create your own platform versus depending on others.”
Images: Cottonbro / Pexels; thisisdrkbeauty, beautybeezstore, maggierosesalon / Instagram
One of the most debated topics of our lifetime is whether or not blondes have more fun. While that answer is yet to be determined, there’s no question that the damage and maintenance that blondes have to put up with just to maintain their hair color is literally zero fun. But since it’s spring, you’re most likely itching to lighten your locks so your “beachy waves” (that didn’t actually come from the beach) have that sun-kissed look. Your colorist is most likely stocking up on bleach and tubes of blonde dye as you read this, because no one in their right mind uses Sun-In anymore. But before you try to take your darker winter hue to platinum blonde in one sitting à la Kim Kardashian, it’s important to know how to bleach your hair. Because you’re, like, a smart blonde who doesn’t want to fry off their precious strands.
1. Condition, Condition, Condition Before (And After) Your Appointment
Since stripping color from your hair is also v drying, prepping with hydrating and nourishing hair masks pre and post-appointment is important. Hydration, as per usual, is king if you want to learn how to bleach your hair. Reach for a powerful mask that will repair and protect, like Christophe Robin’s Regenerating Mask with Rare Prickly Pear Seed Oil. The mask smells like a legit pear (in the best way possible), and it’s intense. The mask repairs, nourishes, and moisturizes hair while adding shine and protecting it from further breakage.
2. Don’t Have Absurd Expectations
Listen, bleach is harsh on your hair. It raises the strands’ cuticle scales, allowing loss of moisture and elasticity. If you’ve been coloring your hair black with box dye from Duane Reade all winter long, it’ll be even harsher on your hair. The point is, don’t expect for your colorist to be able to take you all the way platinum in one salon appointment. If your colorist is worth a shit they’ll understand that, so it will take a few sessions to take darker hair to a lighter color. Like Aristotle or Ja Rule or some sports guy said, “trust the process.” Aka, be patient with the lightening process so you can maintain healthy, hydrated hair.
3. Prepare To Invest In Color Preserving Products
Bleached hair is extra porous, making it susceptible to brass, fading, and dullness. If you want to maintain that bright $400 hue, opting for color preserving purple shampoos and conditioners is key.
4. Virgin Hair Processes Faster
Just like the first time you had sex, the first time you bleach virgin hair, things will happen really fast. But seriously, virgin hair processes the fastest, so if you haven’t previously colored your hair, expect for the appointment to take less time than you might expect. Speed is great when you learn how to bleach your hair, but maybe not so much for that other first time. The best part? Bleaching your virgin hair will probably be a lot less awkward then when you lost your virginity to your chemistry lab partner in your parent’s basement.
5. Be Gentle With Your Hair Post-Appointment
As mentioned, bleach is extra harsh on your hair. So lay off being super aggressive with hot tools and brushing in the days following your appointment, because that’s when it’s most susceptible to damage.
6. Just Like You, Maintenance Can Be A Real Bitch
If you have naturally dark hair and you want to go super blonde, you should know that there will be times between hair appointments where your roots will be very obvious. If you’re down to rock the whole Courtney Love heroin-chic look circa 1993, then have at it. But if you’re a psycho OCD betch like myself who can’t stand the sight of regrowth, you should think twice before committing to going super blonde.
Images: Shutterstock; Giphy (6)
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I think I speak for most of us lucky betches who have hair when I say, hair is life. If I’m not having a good hair day (which happens to be every day I run into someone I don’t want to fucking see), I know it’s going to be a day from hell. However, I will say that I’m v lucky to even have hair to begin with, so that’s why I s
pend hundreds at a hair salon take very good care of it. Having a hair stylist fuck up a dye job is one thing. It sucks, but you can ultimately fix it. Trusting your roomie with no experience whatsoever to trim your hair is alarming if she screws up. Although on the good side, your hair grows back eventually. However, seeing your hair shed on the floor like an animal every single time you wash/brush/straighten it?!?! That’s a heart attack waiting to happen. Because losing your hair before turning 50 is terrifying, here’s what to get that’ll make you let out a huge sigh of relief and have your roommates stop yelling at you for clogging the drain.
1. Keranique Scalp Stimulating Shampoo Deep Hydration For Dry Hair
If your hair is either super thin or in the process of thinning, this strengthening shampoo is infused with keratin to protect your hair’s surface. It especially focuses on your scalp—which is good because like, that’s where this problem fucking stems from—to cleanse clogged pores and encourage healthy hair growth. Use this with its companion, Keranique Volumizing Keratin Conditioner Deep Hydration for Dry Hair, which essentially does the same shit, but better because it is conditioner and conditioner is God.
2. Lee Stafford Hair Lengthening Treatment
This treatment is perf for people who get really pissed off when their hair falls out because they’ve been waiting like, an eternity for their hair to grow even a fucking half of an inch to begin with (this is personal issues). This in-shower treatment really soothes your scalp for extra bouncy, voluminous hair that doesn’t leave clumps of your hair everywhere and actually gives it a chance to grow. Use in between the shampoo and conditioner for like, five minutes.
3. Aquis Lisse Luxe Hair Towel
So apparently towel-drying your hair like a psycho is really bad for your hair and is a huge indicator for why it sheds in the first place. Oops. Well, to cut your hair-drying time in half without pulling your fucking hair out, this towel is made from ~exclusive~ technology so that it locks in your hair’s keratin and quickly brings your hair to a semi-dry state without friction. Anddd, without friction, you have healthy defined hair that’s frizz-free and on your head, instead of the floor!!! BLESS.
4. Bumble And Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Heat/Uv Protective Primer
Okay, this is the good stuff—the stuff that matters when you constantly fry the shit out of your hair and leave a shedding trail wherever you go. This is a multi-purpose mist that softens super fragile hair and protects it from every hair issue we all suffer from on a daily basis. It prevent hair breakage, as well as works as a heat protectant, de-frizzer, and moisturizer to keep your hair cooperative… for once. For first time users, use on damp hair for the first day of use and on the next, use on dry before styling as you wish.
5. Urban Outfitters Telephone Cord Hair Tie Set
YASSS betch, these are my fave. They replace that rude af hair tie you’re probs wearing on your wrist rn that rips out a fuck ton of your hair. These spiral plastic corded bands relieve the pressure, aka headache, from an up-do, keep your hairstyle stable and defined, and come off smoothly so you don’t literally yank your hair out. These come in fun colors, which also includes your everyday black. Just make sure you don’t let anyone borrow one because you sure as hell won’t get it back.