32 Black British Hair Brands That Prove We Have Options

A 2014 study showed that £5.25 billion was spent on hair care products in the UK and that black women accounted for 80% of those sales, but how many black owned British hair brands can you name? If the answer is more than three, then well done, as you are in the minority.

When screening my new documentary- Young, Gifted and Grinding across the UK for Black History Month, I held a competition where one of the questions was naming three Black British hair brands. Over 50 people took part but only one person could answer correctly. Instead, many American brands were falsely mentioned. I too couldn't name more than two Black British owned hair brands before I started researching my documentary all about this precise topic. 

With Christmas around the corner, now is the perfect time to shine a light on the many amazing natural hair brands we have here in the UK. 

Three Reasons to Support Black BRITISH Hair Brands

1. It's Easy

There are a vast array of beautifully designed and easy to use websites to purchase from, whereas in the past, you may have had to go out of your way to buy such products. What is more convenient than getting products delivered straight to your door!

 

2. Healthier Products

As more people begin wearing their hair natural, people are favouring products with more natural ingredients too. As discussed in my documentary, British hair brands face stricter regulations than their US counterparts, meaning they often contain healthier, locally sourced products. Most of the products in this list are vegan friendly! 

 

3. WE DESERVE BETTER

Many of us have had awful customer service experiences in hair shops on the high street. We have accepted being followed as commonplace due to the convenience of purchasing the products we need. Pak's Cosmetics, is currently the biggest distributor of afro hair products in Europe. Although these high street shops have started catering more to natural hair, many still have aisles full of skin bleaching creams and other toxic products. 


BLACK BRITISH HAIR BRANDS

 

Afrocenchix

Afrocenchix began when founders, Joycelyn and Rachael, met at university. They created their first oils in 2009 and have gone on to become an award winning business. Their products deliver top quality, guilt free ingredients that work for your hair without fuss. You should also check out their informative and up to date blog for hair tips

 

The Afro Hair and Skin Co.

Ibi Meier-Oruitemeka founded The Afro Hair & Skin Co. after 5 years of research, as she sought to eliminate all of the common toxins that she felt contributed to the undermining of black women's health and wellbeing. Ibi had shared some great advice about about starting a business in the documentary - Young, Gifted and Grinding.

 

Almocado

Annette Headley M.A. Cantab founded Almocado Naturals in 2010 after 12 years of working in investment banking. She wanted to create a brand that addressed holistic hair care and wellbeing services. Annette made some amazing points about black owned businesses, investment and financial stability in documentary - Young, Gifted and Grinding. I am also obsessed with their Twist and Twirl Buttercream. My 4C hair is so easy to detangle after using it!

 

ANITA GRANT

Anita Grant is a house hold name now, but her natural hair brand began after she ended up in hospital due to the toxic ingredients in a store bought hair product. Her love for mixing up beautiful and beneficial ingredients is clear to see in each one of her products, "I get giddy with excitement about testing new ingredients and creating products from scratch", says Anita.

 

Antidote Street

Anitdote Street is a beautifully designed platform where you can purchase your hair products from and the majority of brands on the website are British! Antidote Street was born out of the desire to revolutionise access to black hair and skin care products in the uk.
 

 

BIG HAIR + BEAUTY

Big Hair + Beauty was founded by Melissa after a series of failed twist out attempts. Like many of us, she struggled with the confusion of knowing whether her hair needed moisture, hydration, protein or all of the above. After two years obsessively experimenting, Big Hair + Beauty was born. 

 

Big Hair No Care

Big Hair No Care provides 100% premium sythetic hair extensions that blends seamlessly with your natural hair. The brand was created by social media influencer, Freddie Harrel, and is perfect for those who adore their natural hair but also want to add volume to their styles. They offer a variation of textures too!

 

boucleme

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Michelle created Boucleme out of a desire to have healthy, frizz free curls using all natural ingredients. She wanted to be a curly haired role model for her two children, allowing them to see the beauty in having a head full of curls. Boucleme's products also look absolutely delightful. I want whoever designed their packaging to be my stylist and interior designer!

 

Byooti

Byooti is an online afro hair shop which provides a holistic range of Afro-Caribbean hair and beauty cosmetics. Byooti was founded by the young entrepreneurial Simon sisters who speak about their entrprenourial influnces in documentary -  Young, Gifted and Grinding.

 

Crown Pride Naturals

Crown Pride Naturals is a range of handmade products designed specifically for curly hair types. 
All their products are free of parabens, mineral oils, ethoxylated alcohol (PEG) and Synthetic plastics.

 

curly by nature

Curly By Nature was founded and is independently ran by Natural Haircare Specialist Klerissa McDonald who believes that everyone should experience truly healthy and stylish hair using quality, luxurious and natural care.

 

Eyoko

Eyoko was founded in 2015 with the vision to create the acceptance of natural hair into the mainstream supermarkets both nationally and internationally. Their main aims are to encourage and maintain healthy hair growth and to be a brand that stands for empowerment.

 

Flora and Curl

Flora and Curl formulate natural, responsive moisture solutions for women with dry textured hair (from wavy, curly, coily and kinky afro types).  Founder, She, had her first relaxer when since she was 6 years old. She went natural in 2011 and began to fall in love with her textured hair after years of chemically processing it. 

 

Hug My Hair

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Hug my hair was founded by Dalilah in 2012 with the goal of allowing other women to grow and retain the length of their natural hair with natural products. Their products lock in moisture, promote hair growth and make curly, kinky and coily hair shine. 

 

i love afro

I Love Afro products are specifically formulated to assist you on your natural hair journey. Their products are filled with luscious ingredients and scents and their website also provides some great information and tips too. 

 

Joliette

Joliette was created by mother and daughter team Alicia & Joliette. Daughter, Alicia, was a drug scientist who discovered the various harmful chemicals in black hair care products. "I created Joliette in honour of my mother, for whom the brand is named and for my daughter and her growing gorgeous curls", says Alicia. 

 

L.O.G Cosmetics

L.O.G Cosmetics may be more known for their amazing natural make up range but they also have a nourishing range of hair care products too, that are not to be slept on. All their products are paraben free, vegan friendly and are not tested on animals.

 

MAHOGANY naturals

Mahogany Naturals is an award winning product line created in 2012 by multi award winning curly hair stylist Tope Beesley. The main ingredient in all their products is Aloe Vera. All of their ingredients are 100% organic. 

 

Mane Divas

Trina founded natural hair care brand, Mane Divas, as she was dissatisfied with the state of the UK hair industry. Her main aim is to educate and enlist women with the tools to enable them to have a healthy mane of hair, In her opinion the term 'natural' is a just how you wear your hair. The most important thing is knowing how to care for your mane.

 

MODIE HAIRCARE

Modie Haircare was founded by Janette Nzekwe, who is of Nigerian/Botswana decent. Janette has over a decade of experience working for large pharmaceutical companies but created Modiê Haircare after moving back to London from LA and noticing a lack of premium quality products for women.

 

Naturally Made for you

Kadifa Jones created Naturally Made for You as a solution to her own real life personal experiences. Kadifa is a self confessed tap-dancing, computer programming football fanatic, with a passion for natural beauty and believes that the beauty industry shouldn’t be a ‘one size fits all’. 

 

Natural Health Harmony

Natural Health and Harmony products are certified organic and their Shea Butter is traded fairly from a Shea Butter Woman's Co-operative based in Ghana. Their products are formulated for nourishing and revitalising skin and hair.

 

PureGoodness natural hair and skincare

PureGoodness natural hair and skincare was born out of the founder's desire to use natural products to better maintain the hair and skin of her young family. I came across this brand during the Africa Utopia festival in London and their products smelt SO GOOD!

 

root2tip

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Root2Tip is stated as being the UK’s bestselling natural haircare brand. The brand began in founder, Sal Baxter's kitchen 6 years ago and today is now being sold around the globe. I've already added their Quench Anti-Breakage Creme to my Christmas wishlist!

 

Sheabutter Cottage

Sheabutter Cootage is a multi award-winning British Ghanaian owned brand that was founded in 2004 by Akua Wood. Sheabutter Cottage donates a percentage from each sale to empowerment projects that they run in Ghana. I recently purchased the Baobab Shampoo Bar from them and the product and customer service were amazing!

 

SHEA DECADENCE

I came across the Shea Decadance brand via their Instagram page. Shea Decadence is a hand crafted premium skin & haircare company formulating effective treatments for the maintenance of kinky, curly, multi textured hair. Another addition to my Christmas Wishlist is their Cocoa Frappuccino Leave In Conditioner

 

Sheer and Shine Grooming

Shear and Shine is a male grooming brand devoted to developing, designing and testing products and services specifically for men of colour. They have had years of experience in salons, understanding the needs of clients.

 

Shetai Hair Care

Shetai Hair Care began after London based entrepreneurial sisters Margaret Boukadia and Ruth Ojomoyears spent years trying to find a product which would fulfil their hair care needs.

Cofounder, Margaret says; "As black women we wanted to make a difference by creating luxurious products at an affordable price for black people with natural hair. This is the essence of Shetai."

 

Simply Moi

SimplyMoi is owned by a British couple of Jamaican and Sierra Leonean descent who are both long-term advocates and users of natural products. You can purchase a variety of natural hair producst from various brands on their website. 

 

Sunu Kër

Sunu Kër was founded by British/Senegalese artist Aïcha Daffé in early 2016, after she was inspired by her experiences of living and working in Senegal. All Sunu Kër products are homemade, hand-blended, and inspired by the natural beauty practices and raw ingredients of Africa.

 

Trepadora

Trepadora is made with ultra-nourishing sulphate-free formulations that help change the love-hate dynamic you might have with managing your natural hair. This December, Trepadora will be celebrating their second year in business. Congratulations!!

 

YAKO BEAUTY

Rahma, who founded Yako Beauty,  struggled with sudden hair loss following the birth of her child. Having experienced first-hand the challenges of finding natural products that would bring her locks back to life, Rahma set out to solve the problem herself. In Swahili, ‘Yako’ is a term that means ‘yours’ or ‘belonging to you’.

 


As I finish writing this blog, I sit here pre-pooing my hair with coconut oil wearing two tesco carrier bags on my head. I really hope readers found this blog informative. If you enjoyed this article, you should also check out my new documentary - Young, Gifted and Grinding.
— Ndrika Anyika

MAKING A LOW BUDGET DOCUMENTARY

After starting my videography business a year ago,  I knew at some point I would love to try my hand at making a short documentary. If you are at the beginning stages of making your documentary,  I really hope you read this post and avoid some of the challenges I faced. As my documentary - Young, Gifted and Grinding was not commissioned and was purely a passion project, all the money to make it came straight from my pocket, so I hope it gives you a few ideas on how you can save some pennies here and there, as well as lots of time.

This post is all about pre-production and production but stayed tuned for a post all about post-production, which I will entitle AUDIO ISSUES!

 

 

 

1. Finding Contributors

Unless you have special access or a personal relationship with your contributors, it may be hard for you to even get them to read your emails. Don't take this personal. People are busy but depending on how important you think this contributor will be to your film, depends on how far you are willing to go to get there attention.

Solution

Always start with an email or if they have a contact number on their website even better. Keep emails short and if you can, put a link to some of your previous work and why you think they specifically would make a great addition to your documentary. If people don't get back to you within a week, you can then opt for the 'Nothing to Lose' approach. For me this involves the following.

  • Direct message on Instagram and comment on their most recent picture on Instagram
  • Direct message on Twitter and @ them on Twitter
  • Message them on Facebook
  • Attend an event that you know they will be at (this worked for me)

 

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2. Finding a Studio

Most of my contributors were from London and finding a studio in London can be pricey. You may decide to do all your interviews on location, which will mean you don't need a studio at all. Some of the studios I found ranged from £100 for 12 hours to £500 for one hour!

Solution

Make sure you get in touch over the phone with whatever studio you go for, detailing exactly what you expect. If they state on their website what equipment they have, make sure that this is reiterated over the phone. Is their room soundproof? Is there a room for the contributors to get ready. As you are probably trying to save money, a good place to start looking for studios is on Gumtree and a plain white or black room will suffice. You also have the option of doing purely location interviews, which I would recommend, especially if the locations relate to your contributor i.e - interviewing a hairdresser in a hair salon. 

3. Finding Accommodation

If your documentary means that you will be travelling and needing to find accommodation over night then please listen carefully. If you can, STAY WITH A FRIEND. As you probably already know, videography equipment can be super expensive and staying in a hostel can not be the best option. As you are on a tight budget, a hotel may not be an option. I ended up staying in a hostel that cost £10 a night but had great reviews. The hostel was dirty, had ants, black mould and the showers sometimes didn't work.

Solution

I would not recommend staying in a hostel if you have a large amount of equipment but if I had gone for more expensive accommodation, I wouldn't have been able to budget in all my required studio days. Although I wouldn't do it again, I'm glad I did it. Air BnB could also be an option for you. Check as many reviews as you can about where you will be staying. Bring multiple locks so you can store your equipment away and if the place doesn't have lockers, don't even think about it!

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4. Travelling with Equipment

Video equipment can be very heavy. If you have a car that is ideal. If not, keep your equipment to a minimum. After 3 days of location interviews and travelling around London on public transport for over 6 hours in one day, I was absolutely knackered and my back was in a lot of pain.

Solution

Will there be natural light available on location, meaning you can take one less light? Make sure to have at least one other person helping you film, especially for location interviews and if you are using public transport. Try not to spread yourself too thin. The aim is to try and make it as easy on yourself as possible, because it will not be easy either way. 

5.Interview Length

The ideal interview slot was two hours. This gave me enough time to delve into a topic with a contributor and also go off script if something interesting came up. Two hours also allowed time to capture B roll footage and cut-aways. Sometimes contributors didn't have much time to spare but I interviewed them all the same in the hopes that they may have ended up being able to stay longer.

Solution

Make sure the main contributors for your film can make an allocated interview slot. Sometimes you do have to wing it and hope for the best. Sometimes I was told I had 20 minutes with someone and found myself finishing the interview three hours later. Doodle Poll is a great way for contributors to choose their own interview slots.

6. People Being Late

People who are helping you out with documentary are probably not being paid, so just keep that in mind. Try to do what you can for them by paying for their travel and providing food. With that out of the way, I do believe some people are chronically late and it can really slow down the production and be a horrible start to the day.

Solution

Always opt for someone who is reliable over someone who is creative but chronically late. When someone is literally not there, then nothing else about them is important as they are not there. Their creativity, humour, logic or kindness is irrelevant because they are absent. This can be catastrophic for a production on a budget. Work with friends you can rely on or post your project on groups like Project Noir where you can ask for volunteers and receive people's CV's.

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7. Audio Issues

Audio is one of those things that you don't notice when it is done well but is glaringly obvious when it is done poorly. Remember that people move around while they are talking and this can knock lapel mics out of place causing them to rustle and rub on people's clothing or skin. THIS IS A NIGHTMARE.

Solution

Keep an eye on your audio. Feel free to stop interviews to check that nothing is amiss and if possible try allocate sound to someone who can have headphones on that are attached to the recording device.  Always have a back up mic recording as well as the lapel mic. I had a rode mic attached to the camera. The sound isn't as good but it is still usable and can be improved with audio equipment such as Audacity or Adobe Audition. 

8. Backing up Footage

The thought of footage getting deleted or formatted scares me to my core! Remember that it is not just footage but your time, other people's time, hard work and money that is lost too! Luckily this didn't happen. Remember that when it comes to footage, you can never be too safe.

Solution

Make sure to back up footage as and when you can. Create a system to back up footage and folders on your computer that anyone would understand (film date, filming time and location, name of contributor interviewed, camera number). I would also try to back up all files onto two hard drives. Ideally you will have enough SD cards that you don't have to delete footgae from your SD cards until the project is complete but depending on your project length, this may not be possible. I had about 14 64gb and used them all in under 2 days!

My documentary - Young, Gifted and Grinding

great articles here about equipment and videography

http://documentarycameras.com/how-to-make-a-low-budget-documentary-film/

http://documentarycameras.com/best-cheap-documentary-camera-filmmaking/

https://www.desktop-documentaries.com/video-production-equipment.html