To be honest, I always feel a type of way when brands come out with products marketed towards bi-racial or multi-racial people specifically. I think this discomfort comes from being "othered" from either race that I am a part of. Additionally, the idea of mixed raced people not being able to find hair products that work for them in the beauty aisle is difficult to confront, even though that is sometimes the case. There is the majority of the aisle, stocked full of products made for women with straight-wavy hair looking for volume and texture, and then there is the "ethnic aisle," with moisturizing creams and oils for natural or relaxed hair to lay down edges and keep coils defined. Throughout the years of walking down these aisles, I have been able to find products from either area, when cocktailed or used in a certain way that works well for me. But as far as using one product consistently or one brand for all of my needs, this hasn't been easy.
Over the last decade, brands have started to capitalize on this need, creating products to address the needs of several hair types, and recognizing that not all coily hair is high porosity, nor is all wavy hair has a fine texture. Black, white, and multi-racial women all have curls that require particular attention to their individual hair types. This universal struggle to find the right products has led many naturalistas, including myself, to try dozens of products before finding one that works, as well as leading brands finally addressing the needs of severalhair types.
Many Ethnicities was created in 2014 by Dr. Ena Hennegan, a mother, a board-certified, practicing family physician in suburban Chicago. Her brand was created in response to her own personal journey to find hair products that worked both for her individual curls, and her three daughters who all have various hair types and needs. Many Ethnicities products are designed to be safe, healthy, easy to use while delivering optimal curl definition and performance.
While the struggles mixed-race people have had to find the "right" product are not struggles only we encounter, there are specific differences between what a white woman will need to style her hair, a Black woman will need, and what I will need. And that's okay. It's okay that what works for my cousin's hair or my mom's hair will generally not work for mine and vice versa. Dr. Ena Hennegan recognized this after having three multi-racial children all with different hair needs. She had already scrambled to find the right products for herself, and now she was forced into searching for products for four curly girls, talk about a struggle!
I tried the Many Ethnicities Invigorating Shampoo and Moisturizing Conditioner and really loved the results. I usually condition my hair every couple of days and shampoo once a week because shampoo often leaves my hair too dry and frizzy. With Many Ethnicities shampoo, my hair still felt soft after because it did not take away all of my natural oils but still left my scalp feeling clean and rid of product buildup. Usually, I have to pre-poo on wash days because the shampoo will leave my hair super dry and I will then have to condition my hair multiple times before it feels back to normal. This shampoo and conditioner mix moisturized my curls without weighing them down and saved me from having to do another condition every day after. I'm currently on day three of not washing my hair, and it's still not greasy, and my curls are still poppin'.
Best of all, this line is completely free from sulfates, parabens, gluten, dyes, harsh salts, phthalates, and petroleum!
Our Video Producer Grace and Graphic Designer Fran have also been testing the Many Ethnicities products, so I asked them how they worked for them.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from Many Ethnicities as I had never heard of or tried the brand before. I had high hopes because it claims to be research-based but I was also worried that it would be too heavy for my hair as many brands who claim to be “multi-ethnic” are really geared toward thicker, curlier hair.
I tried the shampoo and conditioner. I love the shampoo because it feels like a clarifying shampoo but isn’t as harsh or stripping as most clarifiers. It washed away the product buildup I had and didn’t leave any residue or weigh my hair down.
The product I was most impressed with was the conditioner. Immediately upon putting it on my hair, it softened and detangled. I barely needed to put any work in to get the tangles and knots out of my hair, and I didn’t need as much conditioner as I usually do. I think this could be a holy grail product for someone with even coarser or thicker hair because of how well it works. The icing on the cake of this brand is that Many Ethnicities is female and minority-owned and doesn’t test on animals.
"I definitely felt skeptical about the brand being called Many Ethnicities, very skeptical. The idea that a brand would market themselves toward such a specific group of people weird to me. Personally, I don't really feel it's been difficult to find products either in the "mainstream" aisle or the "ethnic" aisle, I went to all the aisles that had "curly" hair products period. So I'd be in both the mainstream and ethnic aisles all of the time. I'm bi-racial, Filipino and African American, and I have very fine, low density, 3b hair. The last brand I tried that wanted to market towards "mixed" people, I hated. I figured that hair texture and the products designed for them can be independent of ethnic background; that being said, I was really surprised that I ended up loving how the Many Ethnicities products worked on my hair.
I tried the Many Ethnicities Moisturizing Conditioner and what stood out to me was the consistency. I loved that it was so thick it almost felt like a deep conditioner. Of course, I liked it even more when I rinsed my hair, and my hair felt great. I also tried the Many Ethnicities Leave-In Conditioning Cream, and this leave-in left my hair feeling moisturized with the perfect amount of definition, which is important to me."
Many Ethnicities is now available in SHOP NaturallyCurly. Start addressing your hair needs today!