There isn’t much of a Black community in Australia, and even where there are Black people, many are not natural. The beauty industry reflects this reality rather painfully. You’d be hard pressed to see a Black woman with natural hair on any billboard or in any TV ad.
It goes without saying that if you walk into any hair and beauty supply store, you’ll hardly find a section specifically dedicated to the needs of kinky curly sisters like me. So finding local haircare brands in Australia requires some ingenuity:
Look for organic or all-natural brands
As a naturalista, one of the things that drew me back to a chemical-free lifestyle was access to hair products that are better for my body. In fact, many products that are now being marketed to curly-haired, Black women, heavily emphasize the fact that they have no parabens, synthetic chemicals, sulphates, and other harmful chemicals.
With this in mind, whenever I’m not sure which product to purchase, I always head over towards the organic, environmentally friendly, all-natural section of the store. I’m bound to find hair goodies that fit within my expectations.
Try new things
Simple. You’ve got to give these new products a go. Trust me, I understand how daunting it can be to try brands whose names you’ve never heard of before. I’m the type of person who thoroughly researches a product before I purchase it, so having to make a splurge on a product I haven’t come across is not my cup of tea. But sometimes it’s worth it. Just the other day I walked into Sephora at Melbourne Central and tried Your Theorie products. I was pleasantly surprised and needless to say, I’ve found a new Holy Grail deep conditioner!
Ask the locals
You may be better off asking fellow Black naturalistas where they get their haircare products. After all, those who’ve been here for a long time have made it somehow. A friend of mine recommended a few e-commerce sites, such as Afropuffs.com and iHerb.com, that sell lots of natural hair products from the U.S.
While shipping can cost an arm and a leg, you have these sites if you need specific haircare products to cater to your needs. Locals may also be able to show you local hubs with salons for Black women. In Melbourne, Sunshine and Footscray have a big African community, so you may be able to get your locs or braids done there.