I love a good moisturizer and a standout hair accessory. The trouble is, both can be hard to find when your skin is sensitive, your hair is coily, and most readily-available hair accessories are designed for straight hair.
That’s why I’m loving three brands that keep me moisturized and accessorized: Since ’92 Home & Body, Grace Eleyae, and WE ARE CHIMMI. These businesses – all owned by entrepreneurs who are Black, Indigenous, or people of color (BIPOC) – use quality ingredients and materials that speak to the needs of diverse consumers.
Since ‘92 Home & Body is a Black-owned business that makes vegan skincare products using simple ingredients that pack a big punch. There are precious few skincare products I can use without forming rashes and breakouts, and I have found that the simpler the ingredients, the better for my skin. So, when I stumbled across Since ’92 Home & Body, I was drawn to the lean list of ingredients and the lack of added fragrances. The OG Body Crème, for instance, has become my go-to moisturizer. It’s fragrance free and light enough for warm weather while still managing to nourish dry skin in colder months. But the Rich Dirt Exfoliating Body Masque is, hands down, my favorite skincare product ever. The concoction features exfoliants like coffee and Hawaiian Black Lava Sea Salt, clarifiers like kaolin clay, and moisturizers like shea butter and kukui nut oil. The result is a product that manages to slough off dead skin while keeping skin silky soft. I love to use it before shaving (I find that it’s so moisturizing, I don’t really need shaving cream) or just as a no-fuss way to enjoy a little self-care.
Grace Eleyae is a Black-owned brand that makes silk, satin, and satin-lined hair accessories that have been total game changers for me. As a person with tightly coiled hair, I already knew the importance of having hats, scarves, and accessories that are lined in silk or satin to protect my locks from damage. What I didn’t know was just how much hair accessories are tailored to straight hair. For example, most baseball caps are typically too small for my hair in its natural state – they only fit properly when I wear my hair straight. And forget about winter hats and beanies, whose cotton and wool fibers snag my hair and cause tangles.
But Grace Eleyae has a wide-ranging collection of fashionable and functional solutions. Their baseball caps are not only lined with satin, they are also adjustable, allowing me to fit my mane underneath – whether I wear it coily or straight. Their satin-lined straw hat (pictured in the cover photo for this post) is also amazing, allowing me to slip on a hat to avoid the summer sun and come back indoors without a tangled mass of “hat hair.” I also love their sleep bonnets, which stay put and look way cuter than the chef’s hat-looking bonnets typically sold at beauty supply stores.
WE ARE CHIMMI (“chimmi” is short for “children of immigrants”) is an Asian-American-owned brand that sells statement accessories and ethically-produced clothing. I love WE ARE CHIMMI’s Princess Headband – its satin material glides easily over my coils and its ruching makes me feel like I’ve just stepped out of a Shakespeare in the Park performance. Plus, WE ARE CHIMMI donates 10% of profits to organizations that support immigrant and marginalized communities, including Send Chinatown Love and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.
If you liked this post, check out this one from a few months back, where I shared tips about why and how to get started supporting BIPOC-owned businesses, as well as some of my favorite food, game, and clothing companies owned by BIPOC entrepreneurs.