Over the last year, we have been shedding light on Black-owned businesses, from Black-owned fashion upstarts to Black-owned beverage brands and everything in between. We are continuing to learn how to support Black communities, and one way to do that is to patronize Black-owned businesses, especially in the grooming industry. Black culture has had a huge impact on grooming and beauty, but there are still a number of great Black-owned businesses that still don’t get as much recognition as other legacy brands.
Below, we shine a light on a number of Black-owned brands that are putting out some of the best grooming products for men. These professionals not only fill voids for Black skincare left in the mainstream personal care aisle, but also strive to make the world a little bit better than they found it.
Beneath Your Mask
Beneath Your Mask was created as a skin, body, and hair rejuvenation line designed to restore, repair, and reverse the toxic effects of environmental hazards, health challenges, and stress caused by our busy lifestyles. The brand’s founder Dana Jackson was inspired by her own healing journey to create luxurious products that nourish skin and hair. “Our skin is our largest organ and we need to feed it with the best,” she said.
Bevel founder Tristan Walker launched his sleekly packaged product line to target the specific problems men of color face while grooming, like hyperpigmentation, ingrown hair, and inflammation. In the past few years, the brand has expanded into haircare products, and its safety razor has become one of the most popular shavers on the market.
Singer Crystal Waters’ clean grooming brand has grown a notable following, thanks to its paraben- and sulfate-free products that live up to the hype. Their eye serum, a perfect salve for puffy eye bags, is worth a purchase.
We can’t get enough of this natural haircare line, especially its three-starch dry shampoo that cleans your mane, and nourishes your scalp. Founded by New York-based entrepreneur Nancy Twine, Briogeo is now sold at major beauty retailers like Sephora.
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 (‘cause Mom and Dad weren’t anteing up for a fresh haircut every week), eventually pursuing a career in finance. Finding that career unfulfilling, he decided to commit full-time to barbering and has never looked back, tending to clients such as Michael Jordan and Sean Combs. He also sells his own collection of products under the Burke Avenue label, including the brand’s bestselling three-in-one face balm (incorporating aftershave, as well as a day and night moisturizer). The collection also includes a moisturizing shave cream and a TSA-approved-size travel shave cream.
We’re over the moon with Ceylon, a skincare line that’s formulated for men of color, targeting skin concerns like hyperpigmentation and razor bumps. We especially love their appropriately named Hydrating Toner, which is ultra-soothing, smells fantastic, and works on any skin type.
Che’ For Men
Che’ was founded by Lynn Michelle, a licensed cosmetologist with more than 27 years of experience. After she launched her women’s collection, Che’ Beautiful, in July 2015, she quickly saw the need to offer her luxury products to men. With a well-curated collection specifically formulated for men’s skin, Che’ For Men is an easy way to bring a little luxury into your life without having to drop luxurious amounts of cash.
These streamlined products are built specifically for one of the most challenging grooming tasks for men of color: Shaving. None of the products contain alcohol, to avoid drying the skin. Get this all-in-one kit and start with damp, clean skin, applying a thin layer of pre-shave oil to coat the shaving area. Apply the shaving cream on top, then shave normally. Once finished, apply either the After Shave Tonic or Balm to keep skin hydrated and fresh.
Related Reading: Best Shaving Products and Tips for Black Men
Epara strives to provide luxury skincare products to people with dark skin tones. The U.K.-based, Nigeria-born founder Ozohu Adoh formulates each product with the finest African botanical ingredients. Each product fights against issues people of color are more prone to such as hyperpigmentation, dry skin, and discoloration.
By far, Rihanna’s Fenty Skin was the most anticipated skincare drop of the year. Thankfully her natural beauty line, which consists of a cleanser, toner-serum, and an SPF moisturizer, lives up to the hype. It works, smells fantastic, is sustainably packaged and made for all skin tones and both genders.
Himistry founder Darnell Henderson addresses just about every skincare and grooming problem that Black men face, from products for razor and electric shaving to treating acne, pigmentation issues, and combination, dry, or sensitive skin. Himistry 101 is the site’s informative list of each ingredient’s properties — allowing for a deep dive into self-care — complemented by Henderson’s Himistry blog.
Koils By Nature
Raised in the sleepy southern beach town of Beaufort, South Carolina, U.S. Army veteran Pamela J. Booker started her company with an appreciation for things that come from the Earth. All Koils By Nature products are certified vegan and cruelty-free. From its start, her collection was sought after by both women and men, so she launched her focused grooming collection in 2016 with tremendous success.
Founded by Queer Eye‘s Karamo Brown, this skincare brand is targeted for men who are balding so they can protect their scalp from the elements. “We’re here for you no matter if you have a full head of hair that’s just starting to thin, or if it’s all gone,” Brown told The Manual. “Embrace it, because you’re still beautiful.”
Murray’s is an old-school staple for men everywhere. Even if you don’t use a pomade, these retro-style tins just look great in your bathroom. But beyond the classic pomade, developed in 1926, Murray’s also offers everything from Billey’s Beard Balm to Black Magic After Shave Lotion; in short, everything a man needs to keep his hair and beard soft, shiny, and healthy.
Featuring handsomely designed packaging, Nature Boy was founded by Jacob Quetant when he was seeking an all-natural product to take care of his beard. After trying everything in the store — and even some of his girlfriend’s products — Quetant got down to creating his own formulas. The collection now includes beard oils, balms, and conditioners, as well as an herbal lip balm, and brush and comb sets.
Oui The People
If you’re looking for an eco-friendly way to manscape, then Oui The People has you covered. Their line of shaving products are not only stylishly packaged, they’re also sustainable. Plus their safety razors have been known to prevent ingrown body hair.
Founded by Calvin Quallis, Scotch Porter launched at a time when men’s grooming wasn’t so mainstream. Now, the brand has established its place in the market as an affordable line of personal care products for men, and its face wash happens to be one of our favorite cleansers.
Solo Noir Founder and CEO Andrea Polk holds a master’s degree in business and a bachelor’s degree in marketing. She 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. Her products use organic, all-natural ingredients to ensure her loyal guys are using only the best.
Finding a sunscreen that doesn’t leave a white cast can be hassle, especially for men of color. Enter Unsun Cosmetics, which was founded by Frank Ocean’s mom, Katonya Breaux. Her mineral moisturizers and creams are easy to apply and go on sheer even on darker skin tones.
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