Defining "multi-ethnic" beauty can be complicated, as there is no one curl pattern or hair type that multi-ethnic people have. Multi-ethnic people can sometimes feel isolated for not fully fitting into one group or another, and luckily there are more brands than ever before that catering to all curl types and ethnicities and the conversation has shifted on how that could impact the consumer.
I spoke with seven curlies on their perspectives on "multi-ethnic" brands, how they use them, and why it's important to look past the label in natural hair care.
Having products that appeal to people of different hair textures and diverse backgrounds is not only important for hair care but also for self-esteem.
"Having products that appeal to people of different hair textures and diverse backgrounds is not only important for hair care but also for self-esteem. Brands like SheaMoisture, Mixed Chicks, DevaCurl and Miss Jessie's give men and women everywhere the opportunity to embrace and accentuate their beauty without having to alter their hair pattern. Personally, I would not try products that I do not culturally identify with, as I have felt ostracized for most of my lifetime by culturally limited brands.
My favorite brand is Shea Moisture because my hair is eternally thirsty and I feel that these products provide intense moisture while defining my curls. I currently apply the African Water Mint & Ginger Detox & Refresh Scalpl Gentle Conditioner to soaking wet hair, add Sacha Inchi Oil Omega 3-6-9 Rescue & Repair Curl Defining Smoothie and lastly I section my hair and brush to add definition."- Stephanie Espejo
"The first products I tried from Mixed Chicks were the Deep Conditioner and the Leave-In Conditioner. How I use them is simple, I don't always need to shampoo my hair before restyling so if need be, I'll use either my Mixed Chicks Shampoo or any sulfate-free drug store shampoo I may have at the time.
During the cooler/cold weather, SheaMoisture's Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie is my favorite! Having hair products that target the multi-ethnic community is a blessing. Natural hair care has come a long way. For years, curly hair was frowned upon so companies hesitated to create products targeting 'multi-ethnic hair,' making it harder for curly heads to really learn to accept and take care of their hair the way they should. Generic hair lotions are not enough to care for a head full of curls. The ingredients in generic lotions are not always the healthiest or moisturizing and that's why I prefer to use "multi-ethnic" hair products."- Brandi Harrell
"I've tried a variety of multicultural brands and one that always worked for me from the beginning of my journey was SheaMoisture. I always loved that they catered to a variety of different hair needs. When I first decided to transition from relaxed hair to natural not many people understood why, many believed I didn't have the hair type 'that wasn't meant to be relaxed' or 'needed to be relaxed.' Shea Moisture products helped me to fall in love with my hair, just the way it grows out of my scalp. I mostly use their conditioners and treatment masques depending on what my hair needs at the time."- Sephora Gabourel
"My motto these days, is power to the curl! I am not a hair product snob, but I am someone who tends to stick with products that bring my curls to life. I love products that are multi-ethnic because as a biracial woman, it really allows my hair in supporting its own tress-duo identity. I used to try to control my curls with heavy gels and chemical heavy products, but within the past year, I did a big chop and decided to start fresh. On top of that, I stocked my beauty shelf with products that truly embraced my locks and helped bring the big bounce back. For example, DevaCurl has been a hair life saver. My favorite is DevaCurl's B'Leave In Miracle Curl Plumper. I love how it defines and makes my hair feel soft, as opposed to crunch and stiff like other heavy products."- Jasmine Banks
"I always have products from SheaMoisture at home because I can rely on it. It helped me so many times in the beginning of my natural hair journey. I've already tried various products from this brand. There's a lot of choice in terms of hair type and hair care, but I trust them and I'm loyal to them. I use SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie and shine milk as my curling cream. It's the last part of my wash and go or twist out routine. I love it, my hair loves it and it smells so good and make my hair feel super good too. This product is a must, and when it's almost gone I always go buy more. The most important thing about this brand is its efficiency and the amazing scent of the products." -Yoya
"I've been riding the curl struggle bus for quite some time due to bad highlights, over-straightening, and using the wrong products. I recently made a HUGE chop, so my hair is much happier! It still has a long way to go to get to where my curls were before all the bad habits, but I've found that patience really is key. My current routine is: 1) apply Deva Curl Ultra Defining Gel then Mixed Chicks Coil, Kink, and Curl Styling Cream after washing; 2) air dry for a little (usually use this time to do my makeup); 3) dry on low heat upside down; and 4) apply Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie. These products leave my curls soft and bouncy, and smelling delicious!"- Vanessa Suggs
If you're a multi-ethnic curly, what role have brands that cater to a range of curl types meant for you? Do you feel it's important to culturally identify with a brand, or do you shop by hair concern? Weigh in in the comments below.
Follow us on Facebook to see what we're talking about right now.
For more helpful articles like this, sign up for our newsletter!