Is there still a stigma attached to Afro-hair? Well, I have a hairstory for you. Throughout adolescence, my curly hair was a frequent topic of conversation. Fellow school mates would question my Afro-hair and make a grimace of disgust when I had mentioned how infrequently I wash it (i.e., every two or three weeks). The latter is better for Afro-hair to avoid stripping it of its natural oils. Racial stereotypes have broken down progressively since my childhood. No longer are my black hair or features considered “interesting”, but rather stunning. Furthermore, there is a more persuasive narrative of inclusivity and diversity within the beauty industry of today, especially in the USA, albeit a greater need for more change following the BLM movement.
I rarely come across mainstream beauty brands that cater to Afro-hair. When shopping for hair products, I find more choices online or in areas with a higher ethnic minority demographic. The beauty industry requires more pioneering brands to support minority communities. Established in the USA, Hairstory is an inclusive brand that specialises in beauty products for all hair types and textures. Their core message supports diversity and relates to women who struggle to find a range of suitable hair products (like myself).
Hairstory invited me to a virtual “curl collective” masterclass. Product developer Jackie Bauer introduced the Hairstory brand while natural-hair specialist Jennifer Covington-Bowers shared her expertise. Hairstory kindly gifted me (Rich) New Wash – a detergent-free shampoo alternative – together with Hair Balm, Dressed Up and Wax from their product range. Before the masterclass, I used (Rich) New Wash, which sounds luxurious, to familiarise myself with the products. Additionally, my hair requires rich cleansing ingredients to maintain a healthy texture and shine. My partner gently massaged a small amount of New Wash into my hair and scalp. It does not foam like shampoo and feels like conditioner. Hairstory’s shower brush is a handy tool with which I massaged my scalp for a further five minutes.
New Wash is creamy, and only a small amount is required to hydrate and penetrate the hair. According to my partner, my hair glistened, which reassured me about the quality of Hairstory. My hair often becomes dry and brittle; thus, I usually purchase hair products rich in essential oils or organic ingredients. New Wash is certified organic. ‘Dressed-up’ is light in texture, which I spread evenly in my hair. I applied a small amount before blow-drying. I have used both products twice and feel satisfied as they leave my hair feeling silky and soft and facilitate styling.
It is encouraging to see brands like Hairstory revolutionising the beauty industry. Their product range is of high quality, eco-friendly with biodegradable packaging and caters to a niche where choices are limited. I am yet to try Hair Balm and Hairstory Wax; thus, the story continues.