Since its debut in 2015, the Indie Beauty Expo has grown into an industry powerhouse. While co-founder Jillian Wright started out showcasing around 80 brands, she now features over 250—and those are just the ones that made the cut.
While makeup and skin-care sales are both on the rise, according to WWD, hair care is the fastest growing category in prestige beauty, with DP Hue president Martin Okner declaring that “indie hair is the new makeup.” Experts have theorized that the rise in hair products is analogous to greater interest in makeup, because the results of using effective products are so visually transformational.
And so in honor of the shift, for this year’s Indie Beauty Expo roundup, we decided to focus on the indie hair brands we love. Ahead, check out the ones we think you should know about.
Alder New York Beauty brand Alder New York only has two hair products available at the moment. The company has plans to expand, but in the meantime, founders Nina Zilka and David J. Krause have decided to focus their attention on perfecting what they do offer. One of which is a texture powder (kind of like a dry shampoo), which comes in a convenient baby powder-like container.
Rad Ritual Rad Ritual is all about energy-healing and helping people through transitory periods in their lives. Beauty can’t obviously do that on its own, but it can help. The brand carries products like a menstrual oil to help with cramps and calming therapy candles, but we're here to talk about its hair treatment serum. Place a few drops of oil on your scalp before washing, massage it in, and let it sit for a while. It’s particularly good for people with dry hair. A portion of Rad Ritual’s annual profit also goes to supporting organizations like NORML and the ACLU.
Rad Ritual, Foxy Locksy Hair Treatment, $45, available at Rad Ritual.
Camille Rose This curl-friendly brand has been on our radar for a while now, but we think it still deserves a shout-out. The products are made with natural, silicone-free ingredients like marshmallow extract and agave, both of which can be found in Curl Maker, our favorite curl-defining jelly on the market.
ECRU New York ECRU is probably best known for its makeup, but the brand’s hair care products are also worth checking out. The selection mostly consists of items that help with styling, which we can always use help with.
ECRU New York, Sunlight Styling Spray, $23, available at Ulta.
Ikoo Easy enough to take with you wherever you happen to be going, Ikoo’s detangling brushes are some of the best we’ve tried—and this is coming from someone whose hair starts tangling without even touching it.
Ikoo, Pocket Hair Brush, $22.50, available at Skinstore.
Kitsch You’ve probably heard that satin pillowcases are the new cotton ones. Not only is the fabric better for your hair (less friction, less snagging), it’s also how I imagine all rich people’s bed sets look like (all satin everything, that is). Anyway, another alternative to the pillowcase is a satin cap. It does everything the pillowcase does, and there’s less risk that your partner will steal it in the middle of the night.
Kitsch, Satin Sleep Cap, $16, available at Kitsch.
Kreyòl Essence Castor oil isn’t for everyone—it’s not as light as, say, coconut or jojoba oil, but it has been said to help with hair growth. Some people put it on their edges if they’ve been wearing protective hairstyles that have left them particularly brittle, or even on their eyebrows and lashes to help with thickness.
Kreyòl Essence, Haitian Black Castor Oil, $15, available at Kreyòl Essence.
Innersense We’re a sucker for a cute product name, and Innersense’s shampoo, which the brand refers to as a hydrating cream hair bath, is both adorable and lives up to its description. It’s moisturizing, is best for ladies with thick or curly strands, and feels like treating your hair to the self-care it deserves.
Innersense, Hydrating Cream Hairbath, $28, available at Innersense.
Truhair If covering up your stray gray hairs is your thing, Truhair is pretty perfect for doing so. The pen shape allows you to target specific strands and color them easily. It’s a temporary fix, but it will extend your time in between salon visits.
Truhair, Color & Lift To Go Precision Hair Liner, $18, available at Truhair.
The Seaweed Bath Co. This vegan-friendly, ocean-inspired hair care brand will help you feel like you took advantage of the summer and actually made it out to the beach more than once, even if you didn’t. The conditioner is a personal favorite and is made up of avocado oil, argan oil, and peppermint. It's refreshing and effective at the same time.
The Seaweed Bath Co., Eucalyptus & Peppermint Balancing Argan Conditioner, $19.99, available at The Seaweed Bath Co.
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