The Good Hair Club: a new hair hub for black women
16 Jul 2016
The Good Hair Club, a new beauty destination curating organic and natural hair care products for women of colour, was an aha moment for me. One day I realised that I didn’t have to accept the disappointing dialogue around afro hair, and so I decided to create my own thing. My mission is to redefine the black hair retail landscape by offering organic and natural hair care products for women of colour. I believe in the potential for everyone to have “good hair”, no matter how they choose to wear it – natural, relaxed, worn in a protective style or short crop – you should feel inspired and equipped to have healthy hair.
I started my career in the world of marketing, but after working for Island records I quickly realised that the world of music and entertainment wasn’t for me. Later, I was lucky enough to land an amazing job as a brand manager at the Nike Foundation, where I fused my love of creativity, social change and travelling. I spent three great years working across Ethiopia and Rwanda, before finally settling in Nigeria, where I built media platforms designed empower young women. It was my time in Nigeria that gave me the confidence to believe in myself. I realised that I could do anything I put my mind to.
In Nigeria I also decided to shave all of my hair off, which I’d been relaxing for years. There was no rhyme or reason to my decision, I just wanted it off. When I came back to the UK I then decided I might as well grow it back natural, and in this transition state I started to navigate the black retail landscape with new eyes. I realised that the landscape wasn’t set up for my needs. It was one of frustration; a space largely run by people who weren’t the end user and had little actual knowledge about our experiences. I can’t tell you the amount of times I walked into a black hair shop and felt underwhelmed by every aspect of the experience.
“I believe in the potential for everyone to have ‘good hair’, no matter how they choose to wear it”
Despite this, over the past few years there has been a dramatic increase in black bloggers who are challenging traditional conventions of beauty and offering an alternative narrative that celebrates black women in all their shapes and sizes. The natural hair movement has been one of the single most important things to have happened to the black hair care market. Although it originated in the states, it has left its mark in the UK too. British beauty bloggers like Natural Belle, NeffyFroFro and FroGirlGinny who, just by showcasing their natural hair, are inspiring women to love their natural hair. They are dispelling myths that black hair is “hard to manage”, “not able to grow” and all-round “undesirable”; by showing us how to style, manage and love our hair. With this comes the need to not only understand how to look after it, but to find products that promote healthy hair.
I care whole heartedly care about quality and craft and so only want to champion products that are natural, organic, ethically sourced and free from nasty chemicals. There are so many amazing British brands in the market place and they deserve a chance to shine and that’s why I’ve focused exclusively on best of British independent brands, as well as working with experts on editorials that explain, for instance, how to wrap your hair at night.
“There are so many amazing British brands in the market place and they deserve a chance to shine”
Take Ibi Meier-Oruitemeka founder of The Afro Hair & Skin Company. She creates hand crafted products using plant based ingredients found in the UK. “One of the main reasons being these ingredients are some of the freshest around as they haven’t had to be shipped anywhere, this greatly improves the product quality, by keeping more of the nutrition that’s vital for healthy hair and skin,” she said in a recent interview with Brown Beauty Talk.
Ibi Meier-Oruitemeka (above)
Akua Wood, founder of Sheabutter Cottage – who has been in the hair care game since 2002 – is a pro who specialises in cultivating amazing oils and butters sourced from farmer co-operatives around the world. And there’s Melissa Sinclair who runs Big Hair Beauty. She also has very extensive knowledge and understanding of black hair. She’s all about the detail, and has a brilliant line of products. I’m yet to meet anyone who has used Big hair say anything other than how amazing the products are. I also have to shout out Janette Nzekwe who created Modiê Hair Care; a brand that unapologetically celebrates black women. Her flagship product is an amazing moisturiser that I like to think was made for me specifically. I have 4c hair and this moisturiser hits the spot. It’s so rich and creamy, leaving your hair feeling soft and fluffy without being too greasy.
I could go on, as I’m extremely excited by the brands and products that I’ve curated. Each of the brand owners are passionate about hair care, but more importantly passionate about black women. The Good Hair Club is an alternative to the often confusing, disjointed world of black hair care which actually reflects who we are, offers us information, celebrates us and gives us the best.