It’s Black History Month, and though that should be celebrated every month of the year, we are using the beginning of this commemorative month to highlight some incredible Black-owned beauty companies creating projects specifically for Black skin and hair. We love these products, the players working to make them succeed, and the missions behind them.
Black people are the number one demographic in the US embracing a vegan diet, according to a recent article in the Washington Post. African Americans are also leading the way when it comes to natural and cruelty-free beauty products. These gorgeous 8 vegan beauty brands are Black-owned and designed for Black skin and hair. Read on to find out exactly why we are completely obsessed.
With a history of health issues in her family, actress Taraji P. Henson embraced a plant-based diet in 2017 to help reduce her risk of developing stomach cancer. And these days, she’s thriving on the red carpets and off. Now, she’s helping Black women (and men) with “hair care for the culture.” Her new haircare brand TPH features cruelty-free hair care products designed specifically for Black hair (and scalps). From hair scrubs and masks to gels and styling products, TPH is delivering effective products that are gentle on bodies and the planet. The line just launched at Target too, so now you have a Taraji excuse for a Tar-jay run!
2. Lip Bar
All makeup is not created equal. And if you want the best-looking lips to complement your beautiful skin and haven’t yet tried out Lip Bar, you’re time has come. This natural beauty brand is available in select Target stores and designed to get you feeling and looking your best in no time. The company’s mantra is to spend more time living instead of worrying about how you look. Sound advice indeed, but that doesn’t mean you have to forego being fierce altogether, right? No, no you don’t.
All you really need to know about Kaike is that the logo is a creamy looking cupcake (and now you know how to pronounce it). This super-cool beauty brand says that it was born from the idea that less is more. Kaike specializes in multi-purpose products specific to melanated skin. The forward-thinking company is all about celebrating skin “as it is now,” but emphasizes that the real fun is all about the journey. Go ahead; have some Kaike.
This simply luxurious beauty brand prides itself on taking its cues from nature; co-founder Barbara Jacques says there is wisdom in earth’s most precious ingredients. With that in mind, Jacq’s products are minimal, letting the botanical ingredients shine. Made for all skin types and colors, this stunning brand covers all the bases—from skin cleansers, masks, and oils, to soaps and body scrubs for the perfect at-home spa day. Sounds like it’s time to cash in your sick day and treat yourself to that extra dose of TLC you’ve been needing.
5. Obia Naturals
With a focus on African ingredients like babassu, neem, and coconut, Obia is all-natural, yet formulated with science in mind. Founder and formulator, Obia Ewah, is a trained chemist (and a total genius, if you ask us). When she couldn't find any hair products that were made from natural ingredients while also capable of taming her thick hair, she began tinkering with her own formulations. The rest, as they say, is hairstory!
From head to toe, Limegreen takes a minimalist approach to natural beauty. The company’s ethos is based on co-founder Talima Davis’s grandmother’s approach to cleaning: Grandma had relied on natural ingredients like baking soda and vinegar to do the job (any job). Davis came to realize that her great matriarch was onto something with her idea of simplicity, so she turned that philosophy into a holistic approach to beauty for Black skin and beyond. Just like Grandma, this gorgeous company knows that beauty starts within and that natural is best.
7. Nubian Heritage
Bridging together traditional healing practices, cultural wisdom, and indigenous ingredients, Nubian Heritage remixes them into modern “wellness solutions." The natural brand covers the gamut for Black skin and hair. With earnest roots as street vendors in Harlem, founders Richelieu Dennis, Nyema Tubman, and Mary Dennis were on a mission to connect the Black community with African ingredients and beauty traditions, and the result is simply stunning.
Founder Olowo-n'djo Tchala met his wife Prairie Rose Hyde while she was working in Togo. Both were on a mission to create a socially conscious, driven enterprise that empowers women in one of the poorest countries in Africa. The brand helped bring African Black soap to the masses, and the masses were thrilled. This company’s bold mission to empower women is supported by the Alaffia Foundation—which has funded more than 5,000 births, more than 9,500 bicycles for women workers, supplied more than 37,000 students with basic school supplies, and built 14 schools. That’s one beauty company whose mission we are fully behind.
Jill Ettinger is an LA-based writer and editor focused on vegan and cruelty-free living.