9. The Pomade Shop
Backstory: Aside from a brief stint during her childhood and again in her teenage years, Erma Williams-Nurse has always been natural. Pomades have always been her favorite hair product of choice, and she grew disappointed when her online searches for all-natural pomades yielded nothing. As as result of this frustration, Erma collaborated with her husband, and The Pomade Shop was born. Although she initially started off selling only pomades, The Pomade Shop line of product offerings grew to include shampoos and conditioners at the request of customers. With her pomade-driven line of products, Erma and her husband are out to prove that pomades don’t have to be pore-clogging, mineral oil and petrolatum laden products that weigh hair down.
Benefits: All of The Pomade Shop’s offerings are cruelty free, free of mineral oil, lanolin, petrolatum, parabens, phthalates, and silicones. They are also handmade, and you can even request a special order product, customized just for you!
Best Sellers: The Pomade Shop’s best sellers include Vanilla Growth Foundations and Growth Essentials, Sweet Simplicity and Sweet Indulgence Hair Stylers, Growth Fundamentals Coffee Pomade, Cafe Au Natural Coffee Conditioner, and CeraMoist Conditioning Pomade. I personally have a sweet spot for to products in particular — the Cafe Au Natural Coffee Conditioner and Vanilla Growth Foundations Pomade (my #2 that I mentioned earlier). I could not believe the moisture that came out of that Coffee Conditioner! I almost didn’t want to use a leave-in afterwards. My other sweet spot for the Vanilla Growth Foundations Pomade is two-pronged. Not only does it make for an excellent scalp massaging product, it has definitely encouraged growth (results pics coming soon), and has slowed my psoriasis down due to the sulfur content — making it a new staple in my scalp health regimen. Seriously, when I massage in the pomade after cleansing my hair, I notice that at my scalp flaking (which happens virtually the next day when my psoriasis chooses to act up) is reduced/delayed by 75–80% which is amazing. FYI, a little bit of pomade goes a long way!
Where to Buy: All of The Pomade Shop’s products are available in their Etsy Shop. Visit www.thepomadeshop.com to check out all they have to offer!
10. Tree Naturals
Backstory: Back in 2009, Tree Naturals owner LaTresha “Tree” Sayles struggled with moisture retention during the early stages of her natural hair journey. Out of frustration with a lack of quality driven products, Tree began making her own products from scratch. As her hair became increasingly healthy, friends and family began to regularly request products — creating an intense demand. From there, Tree Naturals was born. Dedicated to giving naturals a full blown pampering and spa-like experience for hair day, Tree’s Asian-inspired hair line embodies fresh, clean, and relaxing scents.
Benefits: Tree Naturals products are made with Fair Trade butters, which is an amazing ethical step. Tree stands by her mantra of “If I won’t use it on my curls, neither will you”. Tree Naturals products are free of mineral oil, petrolatum, sulfates, silicones, parabens, and other junk. They are all hand crafted and cruelty-free.
Best Sellers: Tree Naturals best sellers include the Rice Flour & Shea Leave-In, Whipped Curl Creme, Natasha’s Growth Butter, and Green Tea & Coconut Conditioner Bar. The Rice Flour & Shea Leave-In is simply amazing, it is creamy, has tons of slip, but doesn’t leave hair feeling weighed down or heavy. It is really an ideal product to lay the foundation for a great wash n’ go or braid-out style. I also have a soft spot for the Conditioner Bar — because I was fascinated by it. It isn’t soap-like, so it doesn’t create suds, it literally melts into your hair like a conditioner. Co-washing with a bar? I think so! There were a lot of naturalistas on the fence about using a shampoo bar, due to pH concerns (because of the base). This conditioner bar is formulated just like regular conditioner, but in bar form so there’s no worries here! For more on the bar, click here. I also took a liking to the Bamboo, Fig & Lotus Flower Deep Conditioner. It was super moisturizing, not too heavy, and left my hair feeling soft and nourished.
Where to Buy: Tree Naturals goodies are available at VIP Hair in Richmond. If you’re not lucky enough to live in Virgina, you can always purchase products at www.treenaturals.com.
Whew! This list is INTENSE! But definitely, well worth it. All 3 lists were. It has truly been an honor to work with such dynamic small business owners and their amazing brands. But now, it is time to retire the topic — at least in long feature form. Maybe in a few months, one last hurrah. For now, 27 brands should suffice. If you missed the other 17, click here and here. I’m afraid to ask (because my inner product junkie will most definitely come out), but.… what are your favorite small business brands?