This Challenger cosmetics brand bets big on black beauty

There is a gap in luxurious and affordable beauty hair care and the industry is about to embrace a new hairstyle. Melanin Haircare, founded by two sisters, Whitney White and Taffeta White, online content creators, are pushing the beauty industry standards towards safer ingredients and making them affordable for families. We caught up with Whitney White to discuss the importance of meeting different needs, costs and understanding your product purchases.

Grit Daily: You had your own adventures before Melanin Haircare. Share them.

Whitney White: Prior to co-founding Melanin Haircare, I was and still am an online content creator under the alias @ Naptural85! In fact, it was the @ Naptural85 brand that I launched over 10 years ago that was the catalyst for the launch of Melanin Haircare. Over the past decade, I have shared my lifestyle, beauty and hairstyle tips, as well as homemade recipes to my Naptural85 community of over a million members, who then directly asked me to sell these recipes, pre-made for them! Prior to that, I worked full time as a freelance and contract graphic designer, working for many top international brands headquartered in our home state of Massachusetts!

Grit every day: What is behind the name Melanin Haircare?

WW: The name “Melanin Haircare” is an ode to our community which inspired and encouraged our creation! It’s a statement of unabashed pride, self-acceptance, and confidence. The name represents our community and gives them a safe space to feel welcomed and valued. It was important for us to celebrate our community because without them we wouldn’t be here – so what could be better than by name!

Grit every day: For the uninitiated, what is NAPTURAL85?

WW: For over a decade, Naptural85 has been my online brand. It started off simply as the screen name I recorded when creating my very first Youtube video in 2009. Thinking it would be my one and only video, it has now become my personal brand of natural hair, beauty and lifestyle. I share everything from hair care, personal care and DIY to entrepreneurship and family content. It is simply an authentic representation of myself and what I have experienced and learned as I truly became an adult online!

Grit every day: What problem are you trying to solve?

WW: Melanin Haircare is affordable luxury. We believe that every person deserves natural, non-toxic and beneficial hair care products, regardless of their income level, and we strive to always meet expectations. All of our products are free of sulfates, silicones, phalates, formaldehyde, parabens, mineral oil and petroleum, and we have also taken the extra step of analyzing each ingredient we use against the base of EWG data to ensure it is safe for our community.

We also aim to simplify the hair care process, providing products that the whole family can use together, regardless of hair type, gender and age. Our products are unisex, work on all textures and porosities, and on top of that, we supply our products in large quantities so the family doesn’t run out too quickly. We are true to who we are and our promises, and this is evident when you receive our products and realize how much you are getting for your dollar. It also stands out from our comprehensive, beneficial and natural ingredient lists, as well as results of improving the health of your hair and scalp after use.

Grit Daily: What is the conventional wisdom about beauty products that is just plain wrong?

WW: A misconception that is incorrect, which we are working to resolve with Melanin Haircare, is that the more expensive a product, the better for you. There are many products on the market that are expensive but do not provide ingredients and results. It is so important that consumers read their ingredient labels for transparency of what they are actually buying. False marketing claims are a real thing, and the truth is in the ingredient list. So while, yes, the more beneficial ingredients you include in a product, the more expensive it becomes, that may be true, but not all products will be worth what they claim to be – read your labels!

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