Issa Rae is the latest celebrity to join the beauty game.
The actor and star of HBO’s “Insecure” has become the face of Los Angeles-based, clean textured hair-care brand Sienna Naturals. She has also acquired an equity stake of undisclosed size in the company, and thus shares ownership with the brand’s founder and chief executive officer, Hannah Diop.
“[Diop and I] have known each other for a long time, and I got to see the brand evolve from her home. It’s expanded so much beyond that,” Rae said. “The care and the research that has gone into this natural, safe, healthy brand, I knew that I wanted to be involved.”
Rae highlighted the brand’s clean approach to formulation as a point of differentiation: Sienna Naturals does not include heavy oils, chemicals or synthetics in its products. The other component of the brand’s ethos is focusing less on controlling textured hair and focusing on hair and scalp health, taking a regimented approach similar to skin care. The company has also re-branded in time for the announcement of Rae’s involvement.
“We get coerced into manipulating our hair into styles not right for us, or using damaging products. I have an opportunity to make hair care digestible via my sense of humor, my openness to my own hair struggle journey,” Rae said. “I want people to be unashamed to have questions or still be unsure as I am about my hair.”
Rae’s announcement comes at a time when celebrity involvement in beauty is on the rise. Most recently, Alicia Keys and E.l.f. Beauty unveiled the launch of Keys Soulcare, a multicategory beauty brand. For Rae, the timing had more to do with her focus on self-care during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and a burgeoning interest in beauty.
“This pandemic, while it is terrible, has allowed me to focus on myself and really take care of myself and focus inward, in many cases on my outward appearance. In my skin and hair, I’ve noticed a difference,” she said. “The two questions I get asked most often are about my skin and hair regimens. On the hair side, I never felt comfortable talking about it because I was figuring it out and didn’t feel like an expert.”
Accordingly, Rae mentioned product and ingredient and consumer education as objectives for her role as face of the brand. “Ingredients-wise, I am pretty versed, but I would like to become more well versed with what each ingredient does specifically. I’m coming at it as a novice, and I will actively be on this journey with the women who use these products,” she said.
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