February is Black History Month, a time to celebrate and acknowledge the contributions and achievements of black people throughout history. The hair and beauty industry is no exception to this celebration, as many black British-owned beauty brands are making waves and creating a more diverse and inclusive landscape in the industry. From skincare to makeup and hair care, these brands are dedicated to empowering women of colour and promoting self-love and self-care.
Here are some of the top black British-owned hair and beauty brands to support this Black History Month and beyond:
Dame Commander Patricia McGrath is a legendary British makeup artist and entrepreneur. She has been referred to as the “most influential makeup artist in the world” and has been credited with revolutionizing the beauty industry. Pat McGrath Labs, her eponymous cosmetics line, was launched in 2015 and has become a cult favorite among beauty enthusiasts and professional makeup artists.
McGrath’s unique vision and innovative approach to makeup have made her a sought-after artist for high-fashion editorial shoots, red carpet-events, and runway shows. She has collaborated with some of the biggest names in the fashion and beauty industries, including Valentino, Gucci, Prada, and Vogue.
Pat McGrath Labs is known for its high-quality, luxurious products that deliver bold, dramatic results. From glittering lipsticks to metallic eyeshadows, each product is a work of art in its own right. The brand has received numerous awards and accolades and has been praised for its inclusive shade range and innovative formulas.
In addition to her success as a makeup artist and entrepreneur, Pat McGrath is also known for her philanthropy. She has worked with various organizations to support needy communities and advocated for diversity and inclusivity in the beauty industry.
Errol Douglas MBE is a well-known black British hairstylist and entrepreneur. Born in London, he started his hairdressing career in the 1980s and quickly rose to prominence, winning several awards and accolades for his work. In 2003, he opened his salon in London’s prestigious Mayfair district and has become one of the UK’s most sought-after hair stylists.
Errol is known for his signature style, blends traditional techniques with modern, innovative styles to create unique and eye-catching looks. He has worked with some of the world’s biggest celebrities and has been featured in countless magazines and publications.
In addition to his work as a stylist, Errol is also committed to giving back to the community. He has been involved in several charitable projects and strongly advocates diversity and inclusivity in the beauty industry.
Errol’s success and passion for his craft make him a true inspiration in the world of beauty and fashion, and his legacy will continue to inspire future generations of black British beauty entrepreneurs.
Founded by Nigerian-British entrepreneur Ozohu Adoh, EPARA is a high-end skincare brand that caters specifically to the needs of women with dark skin tones. After struggling to find suitable skincare products that addressed her own skin issues, Adoh decided to create her own line of organic skincare products, using ingredients sourced from Africa specifically formulated to address the common concerns of dark skin.
EPARA’s products are designed to address the most common issues in dark skin, including pigmentation problems and dryness. Their range includes body creams and oils, face serums, and cleansing lotions. The brand’s innovative and effective products have earned numerous accolades, including the 2017 Grazia Beauty Awards’ “Best New Product for Dark Skin” award and Marie Claire’s 2017 “Best Cleanser for Hyperpigmentation” award for EPARA’s Cleansing Oil.
DR UCHENNA OKOYE
Dr. Uchenna Okoye, a highly acclaimed dentist and the founder of London Smiling, is a renowned expert in the field of cosmetic dentistry.
She is a member of the American and British Academies of Cosmetic Dentistry. She has undergone extensive training in aesthetic dentistry in the USA, including a Master’s degree from the Rosenthal Institute at New York University.
As Clinical Director of London Smiling Dental Group, Dr. Okoye leads a team of professionals who provide top-notch dental care to their clients. She also serves as an honorary clinician at St. George’s Hospital in London and brings her expertise to tackle complex dental cases.
Dr. Okoye is highly respected in her field and frequently appears on TV and radio programs as a contributing expert on health panels and magazines. She is the official dentist of the Channel 5 makeover program “10 Years Younger”. With her commitment to providing the best dental care and her expertise in cosmetic dentistry, Dr. Uchenna Okoye is dedicated to helping her patients achieve the perfect smile that looks natural but better.
She believes the ideal smile should enhance an individual’s natural features rather than completely altering them. Her passion lies in creating smiles that have personality, character, and charm. To ensure that her patients are relaxed and comfortable, she has created an inviting environment at London Smiling, where patients are referred to as “guests” to reflect the high level of care and hospitality offered. Dr. Okoye is frequently featured on the popular television program “10 Years Younger,” highlighting her expertise and commitment to creating beautiful, natural-looking smiles.
Charlotte Mensah is an award-winning hairstylist, owner of the Hairlounge salon, and founder of the Charlotte Mensah Manketti Oil product range.
Charlotte trained at the London College of Fashion in the late 80s, perfecting her craft under the guidance of ‘The Godfather of British Afro Hairdressing,’ the late Winston Isaacs.
At her salon, Hairlounge, situated on London’s eclectic Portobello Road, Charlotte welcomes a constant tide of devoted clients, from the world of business, entertainment, and politics to people who’ve just walked through the door so many times they feel like childhood friends.
Her phenomenal talent has made her a familiar face at industry events and award ceremonies. She was crowned ‘Afro Hairdresser of the Year’ for the 3rd time at the British Hairdressing Awards and now enters their Hall of Fame and rightly takes her place in the most exclusive club in British Hairdressing. These three awards sit at the pinnacle of an already impressive list of over 20 accolades she has achieved in both hair & business.
Charlotte has been at the forefront of the natural haircare movement since the early 2000 and has been a columnist on the subject since 2005. She is recognised as the Go-To authority regarding maintaining Natural Afro, Mixed & Curly textures by magazines such as Elle, Vogue, Harpers Bazaar, and Tatler, to name a few.
Charlotte’s latest achievement has been through the publishing of her best-selling book, Good Hair, in partnership with Penguin.
Karen Cummings-Palmer is a health and beauty expert and qualified nutrition coach specializing in age management, weight management, and beauty from the inside out. The founder of 79 Luxe, an award-winning luxury intentional body care, this range of creams, oils, and balms was carefully handcrafted from hand-selected ingredients. They are available at Harvey Nichols, Nails and Brows in Mayfair, and the Rosewood Hotel.
She is a well-known name in her field, having taught in Los Angeles – the capital of the health and wellness universe and now in London.
A regular health and beauty commentator contributing to panel discussions, online forums
and print on inclusivity within the industry; she is at the forefront of redefining middle age and beauty from the inside out.
She also develops bespoke programs for private and corporate clients and hosts retreats at the best hotels and spas, providing total wellness immersion and inspiring clients to begin their journey back to ultimate health.
In accordance with her philosophy, she has created menus for hotels, restaurants, and corporations, with recent clients including The Sanderson, The Bingham Riverside, and Maggie and Rose – redefining comfort food and delivering delicious nutrition for guests and employees while they work and play.
With her background in luxury lifestyle marketing, her expertise in health and
beauty, she supports brands from skincare and supplements to luxury spas advising them on
what works and why supporting the development of their concept and culture.
Florence Adepoju is a visionary in the world of cosmetics, combining her passion for chemistry and makeup to become a cosmetic scientist. She stumbled upon the field of cosmetic science while working at a beauty counter and immediately fell in love with it. She studied at the London College of Fashion, where she learned about the chemical structures of cosmetic products, marketing, and packaging.
As a result of her education and hands-on experience, Florence recognized the gap in the makeup industry for inclusive, technology-driven products. This inspired her to start her own makeup company, MDMFlow when she was just 22 years old. Through MDMFlow, she aspires to bring high-quality, innovative makeup products to consumers, regardless of their skin type.
Today, Florence’s brand is making waves in the beauty industry, with her lipsticks available in UK high street stores. She has big plans for the future and is determined to make MDMFlow a household name.
For more than 20 years, Dionne Smith has been revolutionizing the hairstyling industry as we
know it. As a world-renowned celebrity hairstylist, she’s gained global recognition for her
exceptional styles, professionalism, and impeccable work ethic – and she’s done it all without
losing her excitement and love for her craft.
Her client list includes Serena Williams, Regina King, Melanie Brown, Michaela Cole, and Venus Williams.
By looking at her diverse portfolio, anyone can see that Dionne is comfortable and
confident when working with all types of hair. She proudly specializes in creating
stunning hairstyles for textured and curly hair, and she’s passionate about sharing her skills with other professionals in her industry through educational workshops and online courses.
Dionne prides herself on the exceptionally high quality of her services, and she treats each
and every client – whether they’re an actress, sports champion, or a best-selling author with
the same respect and level of excellence.
Dionne and her team of expert stylists are ready and waiting to transform your look – whether
you’re getting ready for the red carpet or preparing for a high-fashion photoshoot.
These are just a few of the many black British-owned beauty brands making a significant impact in the beauty industry. By supporting these brands, we can help to promote diversity and inclusion and ensure that black voices are heard in the hair and beauty industry. This Black History Month, let’s celebrate these unique brands and the impact they are making in the world of beauty.