10 best Black-owned beauty and haircare brands to support now


Its Black History Month in the UK, and in the spirit of celebrating trailblazing Black people who have contributed to the social and cultural enrichment of the country, we’ve compiled a list of Black British owned hair and beauty brands currently making an impact in the beauty industry.

In the wake of the killing of George Flloyd in the US, and subsequent protests across the globe, conversations around the importance of supporting black owned businesses have amplified on social media and media outlets. Black business growth is viewed as a way to counteract systemic racism by minimising the racial pay gap and levelling the playing field socially and economically.

Campaigns like Pull Up or Shut Up are holding brands accountable to go beyond symbolic gestures such as posting messages of solidarity on social media, and instead go about the business of implementing change by publicly declaring how many Black employees are in management or leadership roles, and being committed to increasing those numbers.

But we’d be remiss not to mention that dynamic change is happening at a grassroots level. With the recent success of movements like Black Pound Day, founded by Swiss of So Solid Crew, which encourages consumers to spend money on Black owned businesses, there’s a groundswell of support that has forged ahead with the same momentum even though the dialogue around racial inequality has subsided in the mainstream press.

Within our list of Black female beauty entrepreneurs, you’ll discover that most of the brands are independently run and place great emphasis on quality over quantity, as well as social awareness, prioritising sustainability and ethically sourced products.

You’ll find award-winning natural hair brands, family run beauty lines, and as is often the case, women who have created their business because their needs were unmet on the beauty shelves and aisles across the country.

We’ve put all products to the test to bring you a list of hair, make up and skincare products that will positively impact you, and should occupy space in your beauty cabinet this autumn/winter and beyond.

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.

Afrocenchix seal natural hair oil for afro hair, 200ml The Afrocenchix story is undoubtedly inspirational. Founded by two university friends, Rachael and Jocelyn, the pair bonded over their passion and determination to source hair products for natural Afro-textured hair that was free from harsh chemicals. In true entrepreneurial spirit, Rachael and Jocelyn decided to concoct their own products when their search proved futile, and in 2009 Afrocenchix was born. Since its inception, it has become a much loved and revered product line within the natural hair community, renowned for its ethically sourced blend of natural and organic ingredients. IndyBest pick: Afrocenchix seal natural hair oil for afro hair There are so many incredible products from the Afrocenchix range, but seal moisture locking hair oil is a rarefied gem, made with a magical blend of natural oils including coconut and jojoba oil, and is incredible for locking moisture in dry and brittle Afro hair. {{#hasItems}} Price comparison {{/hasItems}} {{#items}} {{ merchant }} £{{ price }} Buy now {{/items}} {{#hasItems}} {{/hasItems}} Bouclème curl cream, 300ml For clean, fuss-free, plant-derived products formulated for curly textured hair, Bouclème is an excellent choice. Founded by Michele Scott-Lynch, who is of mixed heritage, the products came about from Michelle’s frustration at not being able to find a curl-friendly range available on the market (notice a pattern here?). Bouclème offers a full range of products from cleansers to conditioners, curl creams and styling gels. Free from sulphates and silicones, the range excels in providing formulas that are incredibly replenishing, made with the gentlest of ingredients. IndyBest pick: Bouclème curl cream This is a stunning leave-in product that’s sourced from delicious ingredients such as organic shea butter, coconut oil and kukui oil. The product richly coats each hair strand, leading to bouncy, silky-soft curls. Bouclème is perfect for curl types across the board including coils, ringlets and kinks. {{#hasItems}} Price comparison {{/hasItems}} {{#items}} {{ merchant }} £{{ price }} Buy now {{/items}} {{#hasItems}} {{/hasItems}} Pat McGrath Labs mothership III eyeshadow palette When legendary make-up artist Pat McGrath unveiled her make-up range PAT McGRATH LABS it caused a frenzy among beauty lovers, rapidly selling out at retail outlets across the country. The Black British visionary christened with the name “the mother of make-up” has produced a range that screams high-sheen glamour and opulence. IndyBest pick: Pat McGrath Labs mothership III eyeshadow palette Colour intensity is firmly embedded in PAT McGRATH LABS DNA, with studio 54 inspired iridescent sparkle also a central characteristic. For unadulterated glamour, we love this palette – it features a combination of earthy tones and shimmery hues of gold, silver and purple. {{#hasItems}} Price comparison {{/hasItems}} {{#items}} {{ merchant }} £{{ price }} Buy now {{/items}} {{#hasItems}} {{/hasItems}} MDM Flow power, 6ml Standing out from a heavily saturated make-up industry is no easy feat, but MDMFlow has managed to do just that with conviction. Utilising a bold, unapologetic hip-hop aesthetic, the line of lipsticks come packaged in a gold casing that’s reminiscent of the flamboyancy of Nineties rap. The brainchild of Florence Adepoju, MDMFlow appeals to beauty enthusiasts of all shades who love to play and experiment with make-up, viewing it as a means of creative expression. IndyBest pick: MDM Flow power We love power, a striking baby pink lipstick which applies as a gloss before transforming into a matte finish. It’s a buildable colour that can be pared down by just applying a few dabs if you prefer your beauty a bit more understated. {{#hasItems}} Price comparison {{/hasItems}} {{#items}} {{ merchant }} £{{ price }} Buy now {{/items}} {{#hasItems}} {{/hasItems}} Antonia Burrell radiant light facial oil serum, 15ml This self-titled skincare brand created by skincare expert Antonia Burrell uses 100 per cent natural, predominantly organic plant extracts. The end product is a collection of products that not only improve the condition of your skin, but also provides you with a luxe experience thanks to the clean, contemporary packaging replete with soothing botanical imagery. IndyBest pick: Antonia Burrell radiant light facial oil serum This facial oil serum is blended with a concentration of oils including rosa seed oil, wheat germ, citrus, lavender and really works by zoning in on problem areas that afflict the skin, such as dark spots, pigmentation, scars and uneven skin tones. {{#hasItems}} Price comparison {{/hasItems}} {{#items}} {{ merchant }} £{{ price }} Buy now {{/items}} {{#hasItems}} {{/hasItems}} Nylah Naturals moisture retention leave-in cream, 200ml Formed in 2013, Nylah Naturals is a line of high-performing products blended with natural ingredients that cater to the needs of those with curly, coily Afro textured hair types. The brand’s CEO Kam Davis was inspired to create these products because she wanted her daughter (also named Nylah) to feel included in a world where those with textured are often overlooked. Kam also felt it was integral to create a range that was suitable for those who were highly sensitive to the harsh ingredients often incorporated in mass produced hair products. IndyBest pick: Nylah Naturals moisture retention leave-in cream This provided a blast of hydration to our curls. Infused with Davinia flower, jojoba oil and ginger oil, the ingredients penetrate deeply into the hair shaft and left our parched hair softly nourished and crunch-free. {{#hasItems}} Price comparison {{/hasItems}} {{#items}} {{ merchant }} £{{ price }} Buy now {{/items}} {{#hasItems}} {{/hasItems}} The Afro Hair & Skin Co. nurture gentle cleansing shampoo bar, 100g The Afro Hair & Skin Co. is a creation of Ibi Meier-Oruitemeka who set out to produce a range of hair and skincare products that centred on simplicity, optimising fuss-free natural ingredients and presenting them in a way that feels authentically and lovingly made. IndyBest pick: The Afro Hair & Skin Co. nurture gentle cleansing shampoo bar With its trademark monochrome packaging that will complement any bathroom shelf, we loved testing the gentle cleansing bar, a soothing shampoo made from botanical extracts of nettle and lavender that gently eradicated grime and build-up without stripping hair of its natural lustre. {{#hasItems}} Price comparison {{/hasItems}} {{#items}} {{ merchant }} £{{ price }} Buy now {{/items}} {{#hasItems}} {{/hasItems}} By Joy Adenuga big mama brush Award-winning make-up artist Joy Adengua made the transition into brand owner this year after launching her line of beauty tools and accessories, which currently consists of eyelashes and a collection of make-up brushes. In terms of price point, products could be considered mid-range, with brushes priced between £11 and £22. But what you receive for your investment in Joy Adenuga products is an experience that leans more towards the luxury end of the spectrum, crafted with quality ingredients that feel soft to the touch. IndyBest pick: By Joy Adenuga big mama brush We loved this robust multi-use brush that’s made with high-grade synthetic bristles, and can be used to set powder, blusher, face bronzer and more. {{#hasItems}} Price comparison {{/hasItems}} {{#items}} {{ merchant }} £{{ price }} Buy now {{/items}} {{#hasItems}} {{/hasItems}} OPV Beauty yemoja palette OPV Beauty is a dynamic make-up brand founded by London based sisters Bukola and Opeyemi Adeyemo. The brand is famed for its highly pigmented eyeshadow palettes, which often incorporate bright, bold colours, infusing the brand’s Nigerian heritage, such as this highly coveted yemoja palette inspired by the Yoruba Goddess. IndyBest pick: OPV Beauty yemoja palette We tried out this excellent palette, which provides 12 stunning shades that run the gamut from colour-popping golds and bronze to deeper autumnal shades of chocolate brown and dark olive green. {{#hasItems}} Price comparison {{/hasItems}} {{#items}} {{ merchant }} £{{ price }} Buy now {{/items}} {{#hasItems}} {{/hasItems}} Charlotte Mensah manketti hair oil, 100ml Charlotte Mensah is an unstoppable force. Three times winner of The British Hairdressing Awards Afro Hairdresser of the Year, (which subsequently led to her being the first black woman to be inducted into the awards’s hall of fame), she truly is an inspirational figure within the beauty industry. Equally impressive, in just four years Charlotte Mensah has managed to propel her eponymous haircare line into an elevated position where it has won numerous industry awards and is recognised as one of the preeminent textured haircare lines, known for its premium ingredients which includes sustainably sourced manketti nut oil. This line is positioned at the luxury end of the market, and as such, products are priced accordingly with shampoos and conditioners priced at £24. But the payoff is undeniable. IndyBest pick: Charlotte Mensah manketti hair oil The award-winning hair oil has a thick treacly consistency and musky scent the product oozes high quality and instantly revives dry, thirsty, lifeless textured hair. {{#hasItems}} Price comparison {{/hasItems}} {{#items}} {{ merchant }} £{{ price }} Buy now {{/items}} {{#hasItems}} {{/hasItems}}

If you’re looking to make more environmentally-friendly wardrobe choices, read our review of the best sustainable lingerie brands to know about

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