It’s that time of the year again when everyone is looking for the perfect gift for their loved ones! There are so many gift guides out there that share the perfect hair products to help black women’s natural hair thrive and flourish, but there aren’t enough gift guides that focus on sharing products that fit the true essence and personality of a naturalista.
In recent years, the natural hair movement has taken flight as women boldly ditch the weave and wigs and take a stand against natural hair discrimination in corporate America. So, they deserve to be celebrated for daring to be the change that they want to see in the world, and for moving the needle towards more inclusion and hair acceptance.
The conversations are now being had about how hair connects with the identity of black culture; and that telling a woman that she cannot wear her natural hair to work is a form of racism. Our beautiful kinks, coils, and curls are a part of our cultural identity and because many are breaking free from societal pressures and “norms”, natural hair love and acceptance is on the rise and personally, it’s a beautiful thing to witness.
I have curated this special gift guide that is all about celebrating the women who proudly flaunt their birth-given tresses and natural afro-textured hair. When shopping for the curly naturalista on your list, look no further than these 15 amazing brands that are serving the natural hair community with style and grace. READY, SET, SHOP!
Self-care has always been important, but now…it’s absolutely essential. The perils of the world have taken a mental toll on us all, and it’s important for us to take a little time for ourselves to decompress. Cynthia Price creates quality candles that inspire confidence, self-love, and moments of unwind. Cynthia’s tagline is: “The UNWIND should be just as intentional as the GRIND.”
One of her signature collections is her Worth candle collection, which is a testament to the brilliance, beauty, and strength of women. This set includes four themed affirmation candles, including one of her best-selling candles called Sage & Sanity, which pictures a black woman with beautiful dark curls peeking through her headwrap. These candles celebrate your uniqueness and make for the perfect gift for a friend who could use a pick me up.
Continuing with the self-care theme, Shades of Joy Co is a brand that brings awareness to the importance of mental health, while also offering unique tools for self-care. Brittny Horne creates handmade puzzles that provide positive representation for people of color. Many people look to journals for a way to release anxiety and stress, but during the height of covid-19, the combination of home quarantine and coronavirus anxiety took its toll on many Americans who began to look for new ways to pass the time.
Many Americans found that putting together puzzles is a great tool to relax and unwind. The best part about Brittny’s puzzle brand is that she places a specific emphasis on designs and art that she feels that positively represents her and the black community. Her puzzles feature black women with beautiful natural hair. Brittny is changing the game, one puzzle at a time.
Affirmations are an incredible form of self-care and aides in the process of reinforcing your value and self-worth. One such brand that highlights the significance of affirmations is: Inspired Puzzles and Gifts, which is a hair affirmations brand. The founder, Yolanda Thornton, created this brand to help empower women in a beautiful way.
Marked by beautiful wooden aesthetics, her unique brand sets itself apart from the competition by adding timeless spice to your interior décor. One of her most sought-after pieces, “I Am” Affirmation puzzle, features delicately carved puzzle pieces that form the shape of a black woman with big and beautiful natural hair that includes words that empower women along their journey.
The healthy roots doll specializes in making dolls that teach girls to love and embrace their curls. Representation matters in every aspect, and the doll industry is no exception. When Yelitsa Jean-Charles created her line of dolls, she also created a medley of facial features, skin tones, and hair textures to represent the diversity of the black culture.
Yelitsa recalled that as an adolescent, she correlated straight hair with “pretty”. As she grew older, she developed a new attitude about her hair and doesn’t want young girls to have the same experiences and negative thoughts about their hair, so she’s dedicated her mission to uplifting little girls’ self-esteem through her brand that develops storybooks and dolls that are designed to teach natural hair care to young black and brown girls.
There’s nothing more heartwarming than to see little black girls thriving in business and being a role model for their peers. With her mom, Evana’s assistance, little Zoe started her business called Beautiful Curly Me at age six. Her mother recalls the day that Zoe came home from school absolutely distraught because she realized that her hair wasn’t the same texture as her classmates’ hair. Zoe one day asked her mom, “Why does this doll have skin like mine, but her hair is still straight!? I wish I had a doll that had braids and curls like mine.”
Soon afterwards, Evana helped Zoe start her own brand of dolls that had the same textured hair that she had and Zoe soon began to embrace the beauty within herself and now, through her brand, she is on a mission to inspire self-love within other young girls and help them be confident in who they are no matter the shade of their skin and no matter the texture of their hair. This little lady is quite the inspiration!
6. Kimani Dolls
Meet Kimani Dolls, a purpose-driven brand that’s designed to celebrate one’s uniqueness and individuality. Kimani Dolls is owned by Dionna, a dedicated and energetic dollmaker who specializes in diversity and representation.
One of the items that piqued my interest the most was her gorgeous Afro Puff pencils. These one-of-a-kind cute little items of representation are created to help your little girls show off their natural hair proudly. Dionna has a full collection of personalized dolls and unique gifts to empower girls in their natural hair journey.
Brittany Washington reminds us that it’s important to have representation in all capacities. She offers a full collection of clothing and accessories to empower body positivity in women with curls and curves. In her own words, she says “I wanted to embrace my journey back to natural hair. I wanted to get the t-shirt with the colorful, beautiful afros…however, either they only went up to 3x. I knew there had to be something for me.” Now, Brittany runs a business that centers around self-love, embracing who you are, and not equating your worth to what the number on the scale says.
Staying on the topic of curls and curves, Curly Girl Fitness embodies a fitness focused lifestyle mixed with fun and stylish apparel for the girls with the curls. Sabrina, the owner of Curly Girl Fitness, started her business after losing a dramatic amount of weight during her fitness journey. During her journey to a healthier lifestyle, not only did she undergo a physical transformation, but she also embarked on a personal transformation to change the norm when it comes to fitness gear in the market.
As a curly girl herself, there are three things she loves: fashion, fitness, and naturally curly hair, but she noticed there wasn’t anything at the stores that fit this mold. So, she decided to be the change that she wants to see in the world, and she created Curly Girl Fitness to encourage women and girls of all shapes and sizes to fashionably promote their curly hair, while also embracing health and fitness as a way of life.
Equivalent to a flower or plant, when you give your curls the water and nutrition that it needs and care for it with love, it grows into a beautiful bloom. We bring to you your newest obsession and you can thank us later: Loc Inspirations. Rikki Jean-Antoine creates magic for the culture with her kente head wrap style plant pots. These decorative pieces are the perfect Afrocentric addition to your indoor space and are truly one-of-a-kind items! You won’t ever want to buy another plain pot ever again!
A good natural hair gift guide wouldn’t be complete without highlighting a headwrap brand. After all, we as black women, love to cover our curls at night with a cute scarf to preserve and protect our natural hair from any sort of breakage and to maintain our cute hairstyles. The Malaika Collective is a Pan African lifestyle and fashion brand that calls for the empowerment of the Black/African Diaspora. Rita, a first-generation African, set out to connect her ancestral homelands to other parts of the world by developing meaningful pieces that highlight elements of the culture that she holds so dear.
Rita’s aesthetic goes against the grain of societal norms and focuses on celebrating black and brown people, while tying in the illustrious representation of black women across the African continent. Rita creates these gorgeous scarves to celebrate the beauty and diversity of black women across the diaspora.
11. Accented Glory
Another way of celebrating your African heritage is through natural hair accessories and afrocentric jewelry. Tonya Cross, owner of Accented Glory, specializes in creating hair accessories with fabrics and materials that minimize damage to kinky, coily, and curly hair. She handcrafts each of her accessories to perfection and as she constructs her pieces, she addresses all of the pain points that naturalistas experience in products that they purchase in the market.
The Afro Puff Holder, which is her most popular design to date, is created with ouchless round ties that minimize damage to natural hair. For the natural woman on the go, the afro puff is one of the most go to hairstyles, so it’s important to have this all-in-one style option to save them time and energy. The seamless way that Tonya fuses fashion forward style with comfortability and ease makes her natural hair accessories a must-have for every Natural that you know.
The more you know, the more your hair grows…and this is certainly true when it comes to healthy hair care. Ms. Hair and Humor is the author of “Beyond the Braids…What You Don’t Know Might Be Hurting You”,, which is a must read e-book created with every single naturalista and braid wearing woman in mind. In this 48-page book, she provides tips on how to keep your strands happy and healthy. In true Ms. Hair and Humor fashion, she fuses humor with important tips and information that will keep your interest all the way until the end.
Get to know Jennifer Lord, hair designer and author of Natural Hollywood Vol. I. Why Natural Hollywood? Because this is where natural hair meets high fashion. This coffee table book celebrates the full spectrum of black beauty. Natural Hollywood was established and developed to fill a void and bridge a gap between the two genres of: lack of self-esteem and self-awareness present among many black women, to a lack of modern fashionable pairing with natural hair.
This movement started from Jennifer’s desire to create on another level. As a hairstylist, there seemed to be a disconnect whenever she would try to introduce different and more creatively artistic hairstyles. She longed to take designing natural hair to another level and desired to create over the top, editorial high fashion hairstyles. Fast forward to today, through her Natural Hollywood Vol I book, she is filling the void of imagery and representation of black, gorgeous beauty in our natural state coupled with our beautiful, natural features.
OGIdentity is an art and home décor brand that focuses on celebrating the beauty and strength of black women. The illustrator and visual artist behind this brand, Naomi, creates one-of-a-kind pieces that depict black women in a beautiful light. In Naomi’s words, “Black women are the blueprint, the inspiration, and the OG; we celebrate US, over here.”
Naomi dedicates her brand to celebrating those very same features that were once frowned upon, such as having big lips or a “weird” name. Through her visual experience, she showers women and girls with an abundance of love, and visually depicts their defined features in an artistically pleasing way that serves as an empowering message of self-love to all who have the pleasure of coming across her unique art.
15. Designs By Dij
Then there’s yours truly. :) If the gift of unique, quality statement pieces that glorify the essence of culture and style is your jam, my brand, Designs By Dij, is your one stop shop for everything you’ll ever need and everything you never even knew you needed in your life.
Designs By Dij is a stationery and gifts brand that focuses on creating bold and unique art that unapologetically celebrates black life. Art has a powerful way of moving the culture forward, and through meaningful, empowering art, my mission is to create a visual experience that promotes the beauty of melanin and that amplifies our voices.
If I were to sum my brand up in a phrase, it would be: “A celebration of Black Women, Black Hair, and Black Culture.” I design in an intentional way to represent our diversity and to encapsulate the beauty of who we are. I have created a few new bundle sets just for the holidays, such as our Locs Of Love pillow and throw, inspired by black women who express self-individuality and versatility through the universal symbol of hair.
I am also introducing our TRIBE pillow and throw for the first time, which is an ode to the motherland and makes a cultural statement, by way of Ankara pieces and beautifully donned headwraps.
I hope you enjoyed our gift guide and Happy Shopping! 🖤