Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month may be coming to an end, but your support for the Asian American and Pacific Islander community doesn’t have to.
Over the last two years, we’ve all seen this community experience heightened violence, racism, and anti-Asian hate amid the Covid-19 pandemic. In fact, as of June 2021, the Stop AAPI Hate Reporting Center has reported nearly 9,100 incidents of hate against Asian American and Pacific Islanders. That’s why, now more than ever, the AAPI community needs our help and support.
Of course, this support can show up in many forms from donating to nonprofit organizations to educating yourself on the AAPI experience. However, if you consider yourself a hair lover like us, then shopping Asian-owned hair brands might be a great place to start.
After all, we have Asian- and Asian American-owned brands to thank for so much of the innovation that we see today in the hair and beauty industry—K-beauty, hair oiling, and gua sha are proof of that. And, while the haircare industry, in particular, has ways to go towards being more inclusive of people of color, it has been wonderful to see a surge of new brands share their heritage and beloved beauty rituals with the masses.
So, without further ado, a closer look at five AAPI-owned hair brands that you absolutely need to know about and support now.
Founded by brother and sister duo, Shiva and Kayvon Tavakoli, Joon Haircare is focused on marrying ancient Persion traditions and modern science. All of the brand’s ingredients like saffron and rose fig are inspired by the founders’ Persian roots and many of them have nourishing properties that are extremely beneficial to hair. The label’s signature saffron elixir oil has already developed a cult following online for its ability to strengthen and smoothen strands.
Recommended Product: Joon Haircare Saffron Hair Elixir Oil, $50.00
With flask-shaped bottles straight out of a chemistry lab, NatureLab. Tokyo takes a more scientific approach to transforming hair. The Tokyo-based haircare brand, which was founded by Rosa Takagi, uses botanical stem cells to care for hair at the cellular level. While the clean and cruelty-free brand’s shampoos and conditioners remain some of their best sellers, their stylings products are also quite popular.
Recommended Product: NatureLab.Tokyo Perfect Repair Leave-In Treatment, $16.00
If you’ve seen colorist Guy Tang’s work on Instagram, you know first hand that he creates some of the most colorful hair colors on the Internet—think rainbow-colored locks, dreamy pastel hues, and bold, experimental highlights. For anyone who’s ever hoped to recreate his Instagrammable shades, his styling and color care line, Mydentity, is making it easier than ever. Filled with shimmer sprays, shine sprays, and color-securing shampoos and conditioners, Mydentity is perfect for customizing the hair colors of your dreams.
Recommended Product: Mydentity MyStardust Intense Shine Spray, $28.00
Emi Jay might have started out as a middle school hobby for founder Julianne Goldmark, but many years later it has blossomed into a booming hair accessories brand that’s beloved by the likes of Hailey Bieber and Kendall Jenner. Heavily influenced by bold, Y2K-style, Emi Jay’s collection of claw clips, scrunchies, and butterfly clips are some of the most stylish hair accessories on the market.
Recommended Product: EmiJay Super Bloom Clip in Maui, $15.00
Squigs may be a newcomer in the hair space, but the buzzy haircare brand is already making waves for its unique approach to what they call “headcare”—products focused on caring for your entire head: face, scalp, and hair. Founded by beauty and fashion editor Nikita Ramsinghani Charuza, the brand is largely inspired by the traditional Indian hair oiling rituals that she grew up with. And, in alignment with their belief that true “headcare” starts on the inside and manifests outwards, Squigs has committed to donating a percentage of its proceeds to a mental health charity.
Recommended Product: Squigs Gooseberry Delight Hair Oil, $34.00
Are you a fan of any of these AAPI-owned hair brands? Let us know in the comments below!