I’ve been doing this natural hair blogging thing for coming up on four years now, and I really must say it’s wonderful to sit back and think of how far we’ve come.

Most really well known natural hair care brands were only available online. Carol’s Daughter was one of the first to make it mainstream, via Sephora. Now Miss Jessies and Jane Carter are at Target, and so is Curls. Kinky Curly is available at Whole Foods and Hair Rules is on sale at Ulta. Multitextured hair products are in the spotlight, and now the titans of the industry are doing it big and fabulous in a popular retail store near you. And even while the big names are moving units at Target and Whole Foods and Ulta, there’s a new group of kitchen entrepreneurs and mixtresses making hair concoctions to impart moisture and beauty to our texture of tresses.

Here’s a list of who’s got next — and if you listened to The Nappturalite Radio Show last weekend, you may have heard me discuss some of these items already!

Next time I go to New Orleans, I got a hair salon I need to check out. Beauty On De Bayou is a natural hair salon that specializes in locs, twists, braids, and cornrows — and in addition to that, the owner, Dwana Makeba, also makes her own amazing natural hair products! Makeba’s Magnificents is a line of hair and body products that is truly dedicated to maintaining our natural beauty. If you like your natural hair products to be made from the most essential oils and purest ingredients, you’ll love their stuff. The Hair Buttah is pure shea with a touch of fragrance. The Coconut Remix is a loc gel made of honey, aloe vera, and coconut oil. It smells SO amazing. The Hair Oyl is simply olive oil, fresh grown rosemary, and it comes in scents like citrus, mint, or frankincense — makes my hair so shiny and fluffy. Their rosemary and peppermint shampoo is just $5 for a 4 oz bottle, and it’s so tingly and potent. Makeba’s includes a magnificent array of products, check out their hair and body goodies!

Naturi Beauty is a phenomenal brand on the rise being made by a remarkable woman. Shelley Chapman has much knowledge to impart when it comes to living healthy, eating healthy, and taking care of natural hair. She currently has two products available for sale — Naturi Quench, which is a really thick moisturizing cream made with hemp, jojoba oil, aloe and honey, and Naturi Curli is a light holding cream that isa blend of coconut oil and aloe. My hair loves both of them, but my curls really respond to the Naturi Curly, especially when my hair is wet and fresh from a conditioner wash. It smells delicious, and especially made my often dry-looking ends look healthy and strong. Love this stuff!

I’m going to include Jessicurl on this list, but judging from their beautiful packaging and the list of salons and stores nationwide that offer their products for sale – they’re a little bigger than indie! And any regular visitor of Naturally Curly would be familiar with Jessicurl, the inspiration for her to sell her products was born on the Naturally Curly message boards! Their products are some kinda wonderful, and give great results for my white friends with curly hair, as well as women of color with a kinkier texture. The Too Shea Moisturizing Conditioner and the Weekly Deep Conditioning Treatment are must -trys for natural haired bellas of any texture. I used the Weekly Deep Conditioning Treatment last week for my Sunday beauty ritual, and it made my hair so soft and made detangling so easy. I am in love! And for those of you with coils and curls that need definition, I love the Confident Coils Styling Solution! Just about every Jessicurl product I’ve tried so far, has impressed me tremendously. One word of advice – spring for full size products. If you’ve got super thick, big hair, these trial size items may not do much for you, even though they’re great for travel!

Lately I’ve had the wonderful experience of getting to know some truly indie brands, that are selling their products online and reaching consumers via Twitter. Some of these brands only have one product available for sale, but the products are amazingly good, and specifically made for naturals!

Mahogany Queen’s Honey Coconut Shea is intended to be a multi-use product, good for pre-poos, styling, or even on your skin! But I love it best when my hair is slightly moist, and I use it as a styling agent. It’s made with shea, coconut oil, coconut cream, avocado oil and honey – and smells lovely, like a more heady version of Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk. I know not everyone loves that scent, but I do!! $12 for an 8 oz container. Can’t wait to see what other products Mahogany Queen offers next!

I’ve made mention of Safi Hair Care before, but allow me to rave in detail. During the in-between months of late winter/early spring, my hair didn’t know WHAT to do. Safi Hair Care’s avocado shea hair butter came to the rescue! It’s a dense, very moisturizing product that I think would be great for anyone who believes in doing twists and protective styles. I used mine in my usual wash and go and it’s a bit too heavy for that, but when it came to going out and dealing with the elements, Safi helped to keep my hair strong and shiny. And it’s just $10 for a generous jar on Etsy!

If you’re deep into natural hair blogs, of course you know Fleurzty of Texture Playground. Her blog offers amazing information and inspiring photos of natural hair, as well as guides on how to care for your hair. Currently at her Boutique de Fleurzty, she has FOUR products available for sale! I can’t wait to try the other three, but so far all I’ve tried is her Hydrating Hair Butter. A little goes a long way with this product, and for me it works best when my hair is soaking wet and I’m fresh out of the shower. Hydrating Hair Butter is made with coconut oil, mango butter, kokum butter, shea butter, sweet almond oil, lemon and ylang ylang essential oils. My hair LOVES coconut oil, so I am head over heels for this stuff! It’s become a daily must-have.

Whew! Those are some of my favorite new hair products, all made by women with natural hair for women with natural hair, and there’s guaranteed to be something in there for every texture!

Have you tried any of the brands I mentioned? Which are your faves?


Chai says:
April 22, 2010, 10:21 am
ALL favorites! Tried Naturi Beauty this past winter & my hair was singing it's praises, awesome moisturizer. Finally ordered Fleurtzy's goodies, and can't wait to try as well...! And you are so right! To see how far we've come, just in the last five years or so...it makes me doubly happy to continue to support the indie business. The future never looked so bright;-0!!
Roxanne says:
April 22, 2010, 11:21 am
Thanks for sharing these products! I really love the My Honey Child products handcrafted by Krika Bradsher of Sophia's Sunflower Products. But, as any product junkie knows, I am always open to trying new products. I look forward to trying a few of the ones you've listed here.
goldenstar says:
April 22, 2010, 12:57 pm
Great news! The only drag is that only Target stores in the Chicago southern metropolitan area carry these products. Seems to be some notion that curly heads live south of Madison Street. Just sayin'... :)
swissmiss261 says:
April 22, 2010, 1:03 pm
I am such a product junkie and I am so excited about all the natural hair products emerging; as well as, those products that are breaking down walls and hitting the shelves of mass merchant retailers like Target. My pocket is going to be hurtin' because I get a rush out of trying everything!!
UnalteredBeauty says:
April 22, 2010, 1:11 pm
Way to go for diversity, Bella! Finally, an image of someone whose natural hair looks like mine. That is, isn't curly, coily, springy, and all those other euphamisms*! =)
Brittany says:
April 22, 2010, 2:16 pm
It's a beautiful thing, uh? I've heard nothing but wonderful things about Naturi and as soon as my Oyin Handmade runs out, I'll be checking her out. I love supporting the indie hair care brands. Womanpreneurs + wholesome products + natural hair = RIGHT ON!
bella says:
April 22, 2010, 2:25 pm
UnalteredBeauty -Glad you like! I have such a hard time finding photos of bellas with natural hair in its variety of textures...will try my best to do better!
Shones says:
April 22, 2010, 6:33 pm
+1 for Roxanne's comment regarding Krika's line. Wonderful stylist based in Raleigh, NC. Her products smell AMAZING to me. There's this one spritz that smells like grandma's lemon cake. It's spectacular. Also +1 for Fleurtzy's Hair Butter. I'm surprised at how a little goes such a long way.
Moni says:
April 22, 2010, 8:56 pm
Don't forget Shea Moisture products are also at Target! I've never tried any of the lines above, other than the Target ones, but maybe I'll give them a try next time I need something new.
UnalteredBeauty says:
April 22, 2010, 10:41 pm
Thanks, Bella! This is one of the few sites that attempts to do so! That's why I keep coming back! =)
Execumama says:
April 22, 2010, 10:49 pm
Yes, I'm a long-time Naturi beauty fan. One of the few products on the market that WORKS!
Naturi Beauty/Shelley Chapman says:
April 22, 2010, 11:40 pm
Give thanks sis for highlighting all of us and making way for the next generation of Indie Natural Hair businesses to grow and touch natural tresses worldwide! I appreciate the support and the beautiful comments of your readers. Looking forward to playing my part in this beautiful natural movement.
Yvette says:
April 22, 2010, 11:45 pm
I've tried Fleurtzy's hydrating butter & curl creme...love them both especially because you only need a little bit and they smell amazing. I'm def a PJ and will be adding these other items to my list of things to try :)
LBell says:
April 24, 2010, 1:50 pm
Co-signing on the picture accompanying this entry...thanks, Bella! Sadly, here's another case in which I'm sorry I live in Iowa. The thing is, my particular part is considered pretty diverse compared to the rest of the state. If Target was "targeting" curly/kinky hair regardless of race, rather than black people regardless of hair texture, maybe I'd be able to try some of these products. I may be unusual in that I wear MY 4b/4c hair natural, but I see looser-textured curly/coily heads ALL THE TIME around here.
DivaDoc says:
April 25, 2010, 9:24 am
Thanks for this summary! I'm going to Target today...
MsKinkydiva says:
April 28, 2010, 12:28 pm
regarding Target - I purchased the curly buttercreme which has been a staple for me esp in the winter and found that the ingredients were different. No peppermint oil and the first 4 as follows: Water/petroleum/glycerin/mineral oil - not at $32 for 8oz! I am done. I returned to Target and called MJ. They called me back and requested that I send the unwanted prod and they could swap. However, I did not get straight answer regarding whether the change is for the Target products only. I also tried the curls for Target - no! I did not care for the shea butter line either. salon products are superior for a reason and well worth the investment.
kisha says:
April 28, 2010, 1:08 pm
i LOVE safi's butter and was lucky enuff to stock up on her marshmellow butter to use for pre-poo. it will definitely last me a loooong time!! mahog queen's is definitely next!
lola gets says:
May 5, 2010, 12:30 am
I got the entire Kinky Curly system, and Ive been using it for four days now. So far, I like it! I used the shampoo and the leave-in conditioner, used the serum as a styling aid as I did a twist out. When I undid my braids, I used the pomade. The serum didnt hold that well, but my hair is nice and soft. With my next twist-out, Im going to use the gel instead of the serum. And Ill probably use the system for wash-and-gos over the summer. Wish me luck! L
HighQuality08 says:
May 11, 2010, 10:42 am
This is awesome. I'm a transitioning broke college student and now it doesn't have to cost me an arm and a leg with shipping costs. The only thing that sucks is because the closest big city to me isn't "urban" enough, I can only find one Target that sells them is really far away.
Chiropractor boulder says:
March 23, 2011, 5:49 am
I'm trying to transform myself, and i decide to become an indie kid. My hair is a little past my boobs, not too long. it is curly but REALLLLY frizzy. I straighten my hair almost everyday and it is just to much. i get ready in the morning and don't have much time to work on my hair.
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