This Challenger Cosmetic Brand Is Betting Big on Black Beauty

By Daniela
Published on June 4, 2021

There’s a gap for luxurious and affordable beauty haircare and the industry is due for a new hairdo. Melanin Haircare, founded by two sisters, online creator content Whitney White and Taffeta White are pushing the beauty industry standards to safer ingredients and making it affordable for families. We sat down with Whitney White to discuss the importance of addressing different needs, costs, and understanding your product purchases. 

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

Whitney White: Before 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’d begun over 10 years ago that was the catalyst to launching Melanin Haircare. Over the last decade, I’ve shared my lifestyle, beauty, and hair tips, as well as homemade recipes to my Naptural85 community of over 1 million members, who then directly requested that I sell those recipes, pre-made to them! Prior to that, I worked full-time as a freelance and contract graphic designer, working for many prominent international brands that are headquartered in our home state of Massachusetts!

Grit Daily: What’s behind the Melanin Haircare name?

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

Grit Daily: For the uninitiated, what is NAPTURAL85?

WW: For over a decade, Naptural85 is my online brand. It started as simply the screen name that I registered when creating my very first Youtube video back in 2009. Thinking it would be my one and only video, it has now grown into my personal natural hair, beauty, and lifestyle brand. I share everything from hair care, self-care, and DIY to entrepreneurship and family content. It’s simply an authentic representation of myself and what I’ve experienced and learned, as I’ve quite frankly grown into adulthood online!

 Grit Daily: What problem are you trying to solve?

WW: Melanin Haircare is an affordable luxury. We believe that every person deserves natural, non-toxic, and beneficial hair care products no matter their income level, and we strive to always over-deliver on expectations. All of our products are free from sulfates, silicones, phalates, formaldehyde, parabens, mineral oil, and petroleums, and we’ve also taken the added step to analyze every ingredient we use against the EWG database to ensure it’s safe for our community.

We also aim to simplify the hair care process, providing products that an entire family can utilize together, regardless of hair type, gender and age. Our products are unisex, work on all textures and porosities, and in addition to all this, we supply our products in large quantities to ensure that the family does not run out too quickly. We’re true to who we are and our promises, and that is evident when you receive our products and realize how much you are getting for your dollar. It’s also clear by our extensive, beneficial and natural ingredients lists, as well as the results in your enhanced hair and scalp health after using.

Grit Daily: What’s one conventional wisdom about beauty products that is just plain wrong?

WW: One conventional wisdom that’s incorrect, that we strive to solve with Melanin Haircare, is that the more expensive a product, the better it is for you. There are many products on the market that are expensive but don’t deliver in ingredients and results. It is so important for consumers to read their ingredients labels for transparency into what they are actually purchasing. False marketing claims are a real thing, and the truth lies in the ingredients list. So while, yes, the more beneficial ingredients that you include in a product, the more expensive it becomes may be true, but not every product will be worth what it claims it is— read your labels people! 

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