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Photo by Mauricio Santana

Woman-owned companies made for your natural hair journey

Starting your natural hair journey is something that requires extra patience and time, not to mention extra funds for the countless conditioners, protein treatments, curl definers, curl pomades and styling tools needed to nurture the head of hair you were born with. It's a journey of several trial and errors and a lot of unfinished products that didn't quite define your curls like you imagined, but it's worth a few occasional misfires when you finally find the right care regimen for your hair texture and curl pattern. It's important to note that every head of hair requires its own tailored routine depending on the porosity and current health of its strands, but with the recent natural hair community and a host of celebrity ambassadors embracing the movement, several companies owned by women of color are dedicated to the betterment and education of ethnic hair and its countless textures of beauty. It seems now is a good time to go natural.

1. Soultanicals

Soultanicals was founded by Ayo Ogun-McCants after seeing her daughter struggle with detangling her hair for hours on end. Inspired by the unique and diverse beauty of African women, Soultanical products are infused with African botanicals, vegan, 100% toxin-free ingredients that are sure to help revitalize and nurture the biggest of afros. Her products range from intensive conditioning treatments (Soultanicals Curl Supreme Conditioning Dream $15.95) to yummy body oils and butters. Ayo's mission is one of self-love and "soul-infused, melanin-inspired" products for women that bring smell-good pleasure and inspiration to the natural hair community.

2. Pooka Pure and Simple

Pooka was founded by Dawn Fitch after looking at all the products she used regularly that were filled with parabens and chemical ingredients that were known skin irritants. She began working in a lab, mixing her own hair and body butters to ensure the safety of their ingredients and created Pooka, a delicious coupling of aromatherapy with high-grade, natural ingredients for hair and skin. Pooka's Hair Butter ($14.99) is made of natural shea butter and olive oil, and can be used for both hair and skin needs (and it leaves you smelling like sugar and lemon).

3. Kinky-Curly

Most natural hair gurus know Kinky-Curly as a ride or die brand known for its Knot Today (11.99) detangling cream made of herbal ingredients and their Curling Custard which instantly defines and moisturizes the kinkiest of curls. Founded by Shelley Davis, an ingredient stylist and hair care aficionado, Kinky-Curly products are mixed to deliver high performing results for affordable costs.

4. Ashley Lauren

Ashley Lauren is the type of brand you stumble upon in your local Whole Foods after spending thirty minutes playing with hand creams and roller-ball perfumes. A small company with a big mission, Ashley Lauren, founded by Georgia Parker, is named after Georgia's daughter and inspired after her own personal battle with alopecia. Her products are 100% natural and are designed to help your growth process. The Thinning Kit ($54.99) is a great way to start nurturing your edges and roots back to life and the reviews suggest it's worth the investment.

5. tgin

When founder Chris-Tia Donaldson isn't using her Harvard degree to legally advise a Fortune 100 company, she's advising women on how to implement healthy hair care practices into their everyday routines. TGIN, short for Thank God It's Natural, was created to fill the lack of products in the hair market for kinky, curly, and wavy textures with an emphasis on natural ingredients affordable for everyday women. Her Honey Miracle Deep Conditioner ($14.99) contains raw honey and is so creamy and delicious it makes you look forward to detangling your strands.