While we have nothing against major players in the hair game (who doesn’t love a good Briogeo hair mask?), there’s something special about small hair brands. From the close-knit relationships the founders have with their customers to the inspiring stories behind many of the brands, small hair businesses often deserve a little more love.
It’s important to spread the word about lesser-known lines with founders who have sacrificed time and money to bring their passion projects to the forefront. But in addition to inspiring backgrounds, many of these brands create innovative products with unique formulations. You just never know what you’ll find when you start searching. That said, after much research, we’re excited to introduce you to 12 small hair brands that we absolutely think will elevate your styling experience.
We’ll never get sick of subscription boxes, and this one is especially appealing to us because it’s designed specifically for colorists and hairstylists. Not only does the monthly box (valued at approximately $400) come with fun hair accessories and products pertaining to a stylist’s work, but there are also added goodies like beauty and body care so that you feel good in your skin all day while at your chair. Founded by Utah-based salon owner Jessica Page, the stylist set out to empower fellow hair professionals by giving them a chance to try products she personally loves.
Aside from its lively vibrant packaging, we support Naturally Drenched because the brand stands for inclusivity and working with underrepresented communities. Founded by attorney Jamila Powell, the entrepreneur and proud mom’s goal was to help women confidently embrace their curls. The brand is just about to launch its Restore Moisture Masque, but if you’re new to the line, its Rebalance Pre-Conditioner Treatment hero product is also a great place to start.
It’s the little things that count—just ask this accessories brand, which prides itself on creating clips and claws that instantly elevate any look. Based in Montreal, the brand aims to inspire people to look and feel their best.
Masami is the lovechild of a hair-obsessed couple who spent a decade developing premium, clean formulations. Focused on hydration, the J-Beauty brand’s products are infused with their Mekabu hero ingredient, which is filled with ocean vitamins and minerals.
This small-batch beauty brand pays homage to the timeless art of the beauty ritual, developing products with formulations sourced from all over the globe. The brand is inspired by glass bottles, rich butters, and exotic spices. Its goal is to offer an exquisite, opulent experience to the act of hair care. Offering products for all your basic needs, the vibrant, ‘80s Egyptian-inspired packaging alone will be enough to keep you curious.
Based in Los Angeles, KIMTRUE is an Asian-inspired line of scientifically-researched formulas, placed in sleek, minimalist packaging. The brand offers the basics with scalp care, hair oil, and shampoo and conditioner.
If you’re sick of knotted strands and simply crave manageable hair with an ergonomically designed product, Crave Naturals launched a brand of brushes with you in mind. With several sizes and an array of fun colors to choose from, these detanglers will make a splash on your sink. Three years after launching, founder Kristen Heaton developed a kid’s brush when she had a little girl with unruly locks. The goal was to calm the frustrations of other parents dealing with the same thing.
This science-backed, low-waste beauty brand is rooted in holistic herbalism. Everything is handcrafted in small batches with love and positive intent by the brand’s founder and certified cosmetic formulator, Elizabeth Vu. While the brand creates a number of beauty products, it stands out in the hair department with an assortment of shampoo and conditioner bars for varying needs.
This brand, which creates a variety of products, shines in the 2-in-1 mask department. Packed with nutrient-dense oils, vitamins, and spices, these whipped clay-based masks are formulated for both the face and scalp. In addition to the convenience of versatility, each product features a bamboo mask brush for easy application. Founded by L’Oréal-Certified Balayage Expert Lacy Messinger, the entrepreneur wants users to cut down their time getting ready while embodying the vibe of her and the brand: ambitious, fun, smart, inspiring.
Based in Atlanta, this all-natural, handmade, small-batch hair brand focuses on scalp care and giving it what it needs to stay healthy and make hair flourish. The brand takes the greatest pride in its No.5 Rosemary + Mint Hair Growth Oil.
This Canada-based brand has a mission to make its customers feel confident. Using clean formulas developed from the Northern Pacific Coast, the brand is centered around nature—with all of its product names reflecting weather and the earth.
For the minimalist who doesn’t care about fancy frills and simply wants results, this is the brand for you. Cria (which means “to create” in Portuguese) prides itself on featuring four organic, vegan, science-backed ingredients that soothe and heal the scalp while rejuvenating the follicles. Developed by an anthropologist in training, the brand’s standout is its Hair and Scalp Booster.
If you’re looking for additional small hair brands to support, click HERE for five Indigenous indie brands with high-quality products and rich history.