Gabrielle Union & Dwayne Wade’s Baby Brand PROUDLY is Made for Black and Brown Babies

PROUDLY is the first baby brand specifically designed for Black and Brown babies and was created by Gabrielle Union and Dwayne Wade. After the birth of their daughter Kaavia, they were inspired to examine the products and ingredients used in melanated skin. As clean and functional baby products the Wades worked with dermatologists of color to reimagine how they could support and provide quality products to families of color. This September PROUDLY expands its line of skincare and baby products to include haircare. Their debut collection will include a shampoo, detangler, and two different conditioners to soften and hydrate natural hair textures. We sat down with the PROUDLY team ahead of the September retail release to discuss the origins of the haircare line, baby haircare, and more!

Gabrielle Union & Dwayne Wade’s Baby Brand PROUDLY is Made for Black and Brown Babies

How would you describe the current landscape of textured hair care for babies?

The baby aisle in mass retailers is filled with 2-in-1 and all-in-one options—Body Wash + Shampoo or Shampoo + Conditioner. The assumption is that because they are babies, the same thing that works on their bodies will work on their hair. For babies with developing textured hair, that isn’t the case. Their curls are delicate and their pattern is still forming. From our research with approximately 500 parents of kids under 5, 20% of parents of Black children don’t ever use a 2-in-1 on their child’s hair or those parents leave the baby aisle for the hair care aisle approximately 2 years before parents of children with non-textured hair. Simply put, baby products have different standards, and bringing textured hair care to the baby aisle with gentle products that meet the needs of developing textured hair should be a priority. 

What is the misconception about textured hair care for babies?

The misconception about textured hair care for babies is that since the hair isn’t fully developed into its texture or has less volume combo washes in the baby aisle are going to work. Our babies deserve products that nurture developing coils, curls, and waves. Furthermore, all textured hair is not the same. There have been curly hair products for kids and babies that have hit the baby aisle in mass retailers; however, not all curly hair is the same and the tightest textures are not having their needs met. The same product that is designed for type 3A ringlets cannot meet the needs of type 4C coils. With PROUDLY Hair, we designed a full hair care line focused on the needs of the tightest textures. We have two different conditioners—a medium that is meant for curls and waves and a heavy that is designed for the tightest textures, coils, and curls. Two different weights of conditioners are incredibly common in the adult textured hair aisle, but not in the baby aisle.

What was the ideation behind PROUDLY creating a haircare line?

Baby Hair Care is our number one most asked-about category by our PROUDLY Fam. While we knew the opportunity existed, we knew with hair, we had to do it right and formulate gentle products that work. We had to do our research to understand the needs of both baby hair and textured hair and what parents and caregivers were looking for. We then worked with our consumers to formulate products and test with them at every step. We first created samples and started testing with more developed adolescent hair types in a salon setting. Then when we felt confident with the products, we tested again with children under 5 with type 4 coils and type 3 curls. And of course, all products in the hair care line are Kaavia tested and approved!

How does textured baby hair differ from other hair types?

Similar to how adult textured hair is different from straight hair, textured baby hair is different at different ages and stages, and evolves differently. Textured baby hair needs care, attention, and understanding when it comes to selecting the right products. 

Which types of ingredients should be used on baby hair?

Baby hair and scalp are delicate and require gentle cleansers, thoughtful concentrations of functional ingredients, hypoallergenic formulas, and natural scents. Evolving textured baby hair requires all these things, but has more nuanced needs to provide the right moisture to nurture and promote a healthy scalp and the development or growth of coils, curls, and waves. All-in-one or 2-in-1 products are too drying for textured baby hair that requires nutrient-rich, hydrating ingredients and a routine that supports moisture retention. Every PROUDLY Hair Care product has gentle-for-baby, nutrient-rich ingredients that define curls, improve manageability, and nourish the scalp to help promote hair growth.  

Gabrielle Union & Dwayne Wade’s Baby Brand PROUDLY is Made for Black and Brown Babies

What are the best practices for new parents applying hair products to their baby’s hair?

When discussing new routines with our babies, we refer to our advising pediatrician, Dr. Heather McGowan. There is a common misconception that babies’ hair shouldn’t be washed in the early days. Before a baby’s umbilical stump falls off, it is still important to gently exfoliate with a soft washcloth because the baby’s skin and scalp slough off and if not exfoliated can clog pores and lead to a cradle cap. If cradle cap occurs, use our Nourishing Hair and Body Oil to break up flakes. In the early days, gentle exfoliation twice a week is recommended and once the baby is older and curls begin to develop or growth comes in, a more nuanced hair routine can be incorporated. Some babies with high volumes of tighter textures at weeks old could benefit earlier than others. We recommend consulting with your pediatrician or healthcare provider if you have a particular concern about when to start with your child.

How do the PROUDLY products create new avenues for baby hair products?

Just like there was a need for creating baby skin care centering the needs of the darkest skin tones with PROUDLY skin care products, there is a need for creating textured hair care centering the needs of the tightest hair textures. We know the products we are launching with are just the beginning of baby textured hair care and look forward to hearing from our PROUDLY Fam on what they want to see from us next.

Gabrielle Union & Dwayne Wade’s Baby Brand PROUDLY is Made for Black and Brown Babies

If you could recommend one product for first-time parents to try, what would it be and why?

We would recommend a programmatic approach to our hair care line as our shampoo, conditioners, and detangler work best together. However, if you want to start with one product from our line as a first-time parent, we recommend checking out our conditioners. Evaluate your baby’s hair type and volume and decide between our Moisturizing Medium Conditioner for Curls and Waves or our Nourishing Heavy Conditioner for Coils and Curls, which could be a good start to add to your existing routine. 

Are you ready to upgrade your baby’s haircare routine with PROUDLY products? Let us know in the comments!