Sure, February has Groundhog Day, President’s Day, and a favorite of many (and less so by others) Valentine’s Day, but the sum of all February’s days makes up a very important month for all of us: Black History Month.
What began as a single week of education and recognition in 1926 created by African-American Carter G. Woodson, a historian, scholar, and publisher, was eventually recognized as an official month-long observance by President Gerald Ford in 1976. February was important because it includes the birthdays of both Fredrick Douglas — a prominent American abolitionist, author, and orator who went on to become a world-renowned anti-slavery activist — and President Abraham Lincoln.
In celebration of Black History Month, we’ve highlighted just a few of the many Black-owned grooming and skincare brands that not only fill the voids in the mainstream personal care isle, but also strive to make the world a little bit better than they found it.
Burke Avenue – Founder Craig the Barber
Craig the Barber has been keeping the men of Beverly Hills looking sharp for well over a decade. He began cutting his own hair at age 14 but began a role in finance once he had to start paying the bills. Never quite satisfied, he decided to commit full time to barbering and has never looked back, tending to clients such as Michael Jordan and Sean Combs as well as serving as a spokesperson for brands such as LAB Series. His newly launched grooming collection is small, but sometimes less is more. Given his track record, and the knowledge he shares on his blog, he knows what he’s doing. Products start at $15.
Bevel – Founder and CEO Tristan Walker
Bevel is a brand that has really broken through the noise that surrounds men’s shaving. With his system’s Priming Oil, Shave Cream, Restoring Balm, Brush, and Single-Blade Razor, founder Tristan Walker has set a high bar for what men of color will settle for from a shave set. If that wasn’t enough, the Bevel trimmer “cuts clean lines, [is] powerful, clean, and well-designed,” according to fan of the brand Nas. Not to mention the website is loaded with shaving tips, and, well, everything Bevel makes just looks so damn good. Products start at $10, with the popular Shave Starter Kit coming in at $90 and the award-winning trimmer at $200.
Shear & Shine – Founder Aaron Wallace, Co-Founder/Marketing Director Lina Gadi
Known as UK’s first hair and grooming brand for Black men, Shear & Shine exploded onto the London scene in January 2016 and has been growing without pause ever since. Catering exclusively to Black men in all things related to beard, skin, and Afro-Caribbean haircare, Shear & Shine has an extensive list of products to take care of it all, plus great content that answers common questions often overlooked on other sites. Currently, products are available online and in the U.K. starting at $8.50.
Michael Mikiala Men – Founder Tsakani Mashaba
The natural products found in Michael Mikiala Men are formulated and produced in South Africa. A little something for every man, the collection has a Pure Range for essential needs such as mild ingrown hairs and pigmentation, an Intensive Range that takes care of bumps and pigmentation to the next level with a vitamin-infused scrub and repair serum, and a Sensative Range consisting of mild ingredients and no dyes, artificial perfumes, or skin irritants. Products currently available online and in South Africa starting at $12.50
Frederick Benjamin Grooming – Founder Michael James
For over a decade, founder Michael James was working for major personal care giants Revlon and L’Oreal, until he noticed these mega brands were overlooking a key customer: himself. He wanted a personal care line that was both naturally derived with the best active, natural oils and scientifically advanced, infusing the latest technologies he knew would work. He took inspiration from his grandfather, naming the company after him, and started what would inevitably become a skincare empire of his own. Products start at $12 and kits start at $30.
Nature Boy – Founder Jacob Quetant
A brand build out of necessity, founder Jacob Quetant was only trying to take care of his own beard. He had no luck at the stores and little more with his girlfriend’s products. So, he took matters into his own hands and started mixing back in 2014. Cut to a year later and he had finally gotten things right. Since then, he has expanded a small, but mighty, product offering that is quickly reaching men like him who want simple, quality products without a hefty price tag. From lip balm to deluxe kits in one-of-a-kind connoisseur’s grooming box, his products start under $5.
Che’ For Men – Founder Lynn Michelle
Men may wonder why they would want a licensed cosmetologist of over 27 years telling them what to put on their face — because she knows exactly what she’s talking about, and it’s not makeup. After launching Che Beautiful in July 2015, founder Lynn Michelle quickly saw the need to offer her luxury products to the men out there looking for solutions. With a well-curated collection of products specifically formulated for men’s skin, Che’ For Men is an easy way to bring luxury made especially for guys into your life, without having to drop luxury-type cash.
Scotch Porter – CEO Calvin Quallis
#366PhotoSeries: Shot by @Calligrafist | Featuring @ Calvin Quallis [@ScotchPorter] | 07/12/16 | Calvin is The Man Behind The Men's Beard Brand Scotch Porter… He Started it Because He Owned a Barber Shop and Saw The Lack of Quality Grooming Products for Men and Created This Dope Product in His Kitchen [as He Was Telling Me, I Said "Cooked it Up in Your Kitchen Huh", He Smiled and Said "Yeah"]. Personally I Admire Anyone Who Starts Something From Scratch and Brings it to a Level of Success. I've Seen it on Billboards in Times Square, I've Seen it Have Numerous Celebrity Endorsements/Sponsors and The Day I Took This Pic I Saw The Amount of Entrepreneurs of Color That Came Out for The Brand's Men's Fashion Week Event in The Penthouse at The London Hotel. I Asked Him Why The Name "Scotch Porter" and He Said "I Love Scotch and I've Always Liked The Name Porter", Respect The Hustle Homie, Keep Inspiring ! ✌🏾️ | Photo Num. 196 of 366 | #CalligrafistPhotography #GetShotUpByCalligrafist #CalvinQuallis #ScotchPorter #MensGrooming #BlackOwned #Newark #Brooklyn #Portrait #PhotoSeries #PhotoADay #Day192 #366DaysProject #CalligrafistPhotoSeries #PhotoOfTheDay | Email: CalligrafistPhotography@gmail.com to Set Your Date [IG Name + Shoot Date].
Once a man working for the man, Calvin Quallis decided to take a leap of faith and launch his grooming brand for men everywhere. Using quality ingredients that are thriving in the current cultural zeitgeist (like charcoal), the products lack what men are looking to avoid, such as parabens, petroleum, mineral oil, and silicones, which tend to be more difficult to wash out. Described as a “high-end line for wallets of any size,” Scotch Porter’s products start at $15.
E.B.O. Beard Butter – Founder Edward Bert Oliver Jr.
I surpassed my goal of 3,00 orders online!!!!!I originally was trying reach that goal of 3000 orders or more by mid September but having so many loyal customers and supporters I was able to achieve it a MONTH EARLY THANK YOU ALL..Time to set a new goal for 3200 by mid September LET'S GO.You can order your BEARD BUTTER TODAY on my Webstore LINK IN BIO www.etsy.com/shop/ebobeardbutter ORIGINAL PHOTO SHOT BY 📸 @LOUIS_TINSLEY #malegrooming #beardcare #facialhair #blackbusiness #postbadbeards #DCsupportDC #EBOGlobal #customerappreciation #GrownManBeard #Entrepreneurs #beardbutterboys #menshaircare #grooming #beardsofinstagram #blackmenrock #DMVBusiness #blackbeauty #blackwomen #supportblackbusiness #mensfashion #womenlovebeards #mensskincare #Brandloyalty #beardedbrothers #gogetthemoney #melanin #beardsonfleek #blackmenwithbeards
A business graduate of Norfolk State University, Edward Bert Oliver Jr. of E.B.O. Beard Butter has built his success primarily from word of mouth, now directing loyal customers (he has reached cult following status) to his Etsy shop. All beard butters are handmade with shea and coco butters, vitamin E, and almond and sunflower oils. Fragrances range from simple to sublime, such as Naked (or plain), Ocean, and OMG. Butters are $10.
Murray’s Pomade – President Michael Joshua Sr.
An old-school staple for men everywhere, — even if you aren’t one to use a pomade — these pomade tins just look great in your bathroom. If your bathroom real estate is reserved for products you actually do use, then no worries, because Murray’s has an extensive lineup including their newest collection: Billey’s. Billey’s has everything a man needs to keep his beard soft, shiny, and healthy. Murray’s products start at $2.50.
Andre Walker Hair – CEO Andre Walker
Andre Walker has the name just about any hairstylist would ever want on his resume: Oprah. He was her personal stylist for almost 25 years, so if he decides to make his own haircare collection, you know it’s going to be good. He promises right on his website that you’re about to purchase the “best hair care products your hair will ever experience.” Using his Hair Typing Chart, he suggests the perfect combination of product for you. Even dudes can benefit from the power of the Oprah; the products start at $10 and nothing is over $20.
Koils By Nature – Founder Pamela J. Booker
G R A T E F U L Thank God for all of the amazing love and support! So many ppl are really showing out…..driving over an hour just to get our products off Target shelves! THANK YOU to everyone who’s shared my posts and my excitement…..THIS IS BIG SON! I value those who value me, my vision and my dreams! Don’t worry about those who don’t support you or repost your blessings….focus your energy on those who love and support! Hair: @jenniferstewartmorgan Makeup: @baabsbeauty Eyes: @baabsbeauty #geechiepalette Lips: @pnkdigger Earrings & necklace: @sassyjonesboutique Jacket: @annateiko #GodsPlan #WishinWishin 🌕🌹gal! #KBNcleardemshelves #KBNcleartheshelves #KBNTargetTakeOver #koilsbynatureinTarget #KBNTargetLove #TargetYourKoils
Being raised in the sleepy Southern beach town of Beaufort, South Carolina, U.S. Army veteran Pamela J. Booker started her company on the foundation of her appreciation for things that come from the Earth. All products are certified vegan and cruelty-free, lacking any parabens, sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, phthalates, propylene glycol, mineral oil, PBA, petroleum, paraffin DEA, synthetic color, and animal products (that’s a lot). Her collection was sought after by women and men, so she launched her grooming collection in 2016 with tremendous success. Products start at $5.
Solo Noir For Men – Founder and CEO Andrea Polk
Its little things like this that keeps me motivated, this journey has its moments of purpose and moments of reflection, thank you Rolling Out for the recognition. Grow with Care…grooming tips to help you achieve the perfect beard. Check out my recent @rollingout interview on my thoughts about the beard phenomenon. @precise_chi https://rollingout.com/2017/11/02/andrea-polk-talks-solo-noir-and-shares-tips-for-the-perfect-beard/
Andrea Polk is not messing around. She holds a a master’s degree in business and a bachelor’s degree in marketing, and is also a licensed aesthetician. We’re going to guess she knows what she’s talking about when it comes to creating and marketing a high quality natural skincare line, which was tagged as the Best Consumer Product in Chicago in 2015. Her products use organic, all-natural ingredients to ensure her loyal guys are using only the best. Products start at $21.
Dr. Goat Beard & Facial Care – Founder Bobby Joshua
These streamlined products are built specifically for one of the most challenging grooming tasks for men of color: shaving. Pre-shave, aftershave, and beard care are all that Dr. Goat is about. None of the products contain alcohol, which plays a huge role in drying out the skin. A favorite among the well-curated offering is the After Shave Balm, which is warmed up in the hands then applied to the face; witch hazel cleans, aloe and essential oils moisturize, and glycerin retains moisture. Products start at $12.
H.I.M.-istry Naturals – Founder Darnell Henderson
So what products does Darnell Henderson of H.I.M.-istry not offer? The kitchen sink. Besides that, this man has a something for just about every problem Black men face when it comes to razor or electric shaving. Acne, pigmentation, combination, dry, or sensitive skin — whatever your problem, you’ll probably find a solution here. Add to that the informative list of what each ingredient does, and his blog full of shaving and skincare tips, H.I.M.-istry is quickly turning into a one-stop-shop for men who want to take great care of their skin. Products start at $15.
Oyin Handmade – CEO Jamyla Bennu
Started like most successful companies, Jamyla Bennu created Oyin for herself when she couldn’t find commercially available natural and organic products for her highly textured, natural hair. Her brand commits to high-quality, effective formulations made from natural, organic, and food-grade ingredients, and the products now reaching far beyond just hair. Oyin offers lip balms, body butter, and Funk Butter, a natural deodorant. Not to be forgotten, men have their own selection of shampoos, leave-ins, and lotions. Products start at $4.
Nyakio – Founder Nyakio Kamoche Grieco
With luxurious scrubs, masks, and treatments, this collection goes beyond need and caters to someone who wants that’s it pamper their skin. The stand-out options here are the rich, potent oils — soothing, anti-aging, and brightening — that can be used on their own or added to your face cream of choice for an extra boost of moisture. Products are currently exclusive to Ulta and start at $22.
Sundial Brands – CEO Richelieu Dennis
MOVES — Richelieu Dennis' Essence Ventures has acquired Essence Communications from Time Inc. … Dennis, who recently sold his company Sundial Brands (owner of Shea Moisture) to Unilever has reestablished Essence as a black-owned company through this deal. // Link in Bio for the full story … #billionorbust #chasebillions #essence #richelieudennis #essenceventures
Sundial Brands recently joined forces with Nyakio Kamoche Grieco to enter the prestige market with Nyakio (above) and Unilever recently acquired Sundial Brands, and Richelieu Dennis of Sundial Brands recently acquired Essence Magazine – there is a lot of moving around here, and we would be remiss not to mention one of the biggest, most successful Black-owned family of personal care brands out there. Armed with the story of CEO Dennis selling products out of his car over 25 years ago, Sundial Brands — which also includes SheaMoisture, Nubian Heritage, and MCJW Beauty Couture for women — earned $300 million in 2017. Not too shabby.
SheaMoisture is a cruelty-free, ethically traded, sustainably produced, B corporation with certified organic, natural, Fair Trade ingredients. The SheaMoisture Men’s Collection is packed with either shea butter or oils to deliver the power of shea for men’s specific needs. Nubian Heritage is dedicated to alleviating poverty in the communities that comprise their supply chain (such as Ghana) by investing in women’s shea butter cooperatives, paying an ethical wage premium, and helping them to develop self-sustaining businesses.
These are some of the most well-known Black-owned brands on the market, but they aren’t the only ones. Here’s hoping we see more minority-founded, cruelty-free companies striving for sustainability and inclusiveness.