Get Your Mirror Raps Ready Because Issa Rae's Bringing Her Star Power to Haircare

Illustration for article titled Get Your Mirror Raps Ready Because Issa Rae's Bringing Her Star Power to Haircare
Photo: Rich Polk for Essence (Getty Images), Amy Sussman (Getty Images), Jamie McCarthy for Michael Kors (Getty Images), Amy Sussman (Getty Images), Jemal Countess for BET (Getty Images)

We’ve long suspected Issa Rae might be the busiest Black woman in Hollywood—but unbelievably, she’s equally a multitasker when it comes to her hair. Braids, blowouts, baby fros, big hair...our Insecure It Girl is a bona fide hair icon for #TeamNatural—and as she recently told Allure, it’s a big part of her personal brand, as well.


“I think hair has always been a part of the conversation for me, and it’s been such a huge part of my identity,” she told the magazine, adding, “[Even my] debut was a big chop that I did for Awkward Black Girl.”

Now the Emmy-nominated producer has a new project in the works: On Thursday, it was announced that Rae is leveraging her mane appeal and investing her considerable star power in the relaunch of Sienna Naturals, the organic vegan and nontoxic haircare line “formulated by women with textured hair for women with textured hair,” as an Instagram post reintroducing the California-based brand boasts.

Launched in 2012 by Rae’s friend Hannah Diop (who also happens to be her sister-in-law), the clean beauty brand already had a cult following among the textured hair community due to its formulations using “lightweight natural ingredients, free of synthetics, harsh chemicals or heavy oils.” Now, the brand offerings have been refreshed with “larger product sizes, more accessible price points, [and] a whole new look and whole new face”—not to mention a built-in celebrity spokesmodel already well known for rooting for everybody Black. Why not start some new growth with decidedly Black roots?

“I have always admired Issa’s ability to bring a spark and light into a project,” CEO Diop told Elle magazine of her new co-owner. “Issa is a trailblazer and stays true to her roots and dedication to Black creators. Her looks are authentic and she fully embraces all styles you can accomplish with textured hair.

“Sienna Naturals is not a company that is telling you how to wear your hair,” she continued. “We believe in empowering our customers to be who they really are and have a product that supports them. Issa’s everchanging style embodies the brand’s purpose and we can not wait to take this next step with her.”


“I’ve known Hannah for a long time, and I got to see the brand evolve from her home,” Rae added in a statement obtained by Elle. “It’s expanded so much beyond that. The care and the research that has gone into this natural, safe, healthy brand, I knew that I wanted to be involved...I have an opportunity to make hair care digestible via my sense of humor, my openness to my own hair struggle journey.”


Allure got even more of the scoop on that so-called struggle via a phone interview with Rae, who described herself as “very much a wash-and-go type of person.” On set and on the red carpet, she depends on veteran stylist Felicia Leatherwood to style her famous tresses, but off-camera, “I tend to be lazy, so I need something that is going to last me a long time, [something that’s] going to make my hair feel soft like it’s intended to,” she told the magazine. “And I have dry hair and it can be brittle.”


Strumming my pain, singing my life (and wash day), what can we expect from the rebooted Sienna Naturals?

From Allure:

The updated range is coming on the scene with the Salon In a Box ($75) collection, which includes the H.A.P.I. Shampoo ($18), which gently cleanses your hair without stripping it, Dew Magic ($18), a leave-in conditioner, Plant Power ($22), a deep treatment that softens your hair while adding a dose of protein to your strands, and Lock & Seal ($22), a hair oil that adds moisture and helps seal your cuticles. If that’s not exciting enough, get pumped because there are even more products coming down the pipeline.


“I’d been watching Hannah’s journey for a while, seeing her developing these products. I got interested in the natural, organic side of hair care,” said Rae. I felt like this was a great opportunity to partner up—not to mention obviously loving what the products did for my own hair.”

“I think with Hannah, who has become a major hair nerd, in crafting this product [she’s] making sure that it’s safe, healthy, and vegan,” she added. “Even in conversations with her, you feel comfortable knowing that [you’re] actively taking care of your hair as opposed to just experimenting.”


Of course, with both a stellar product and a celebrity influencer like Rae on board, it’s hard to keep products in stock. So like another season of Insecure, we’ll have to wait until it arrives—but we’re sure it’ll be worth the wait. Sign up for the waitlist to receive updates and be the first to know about future Sienna Naturals launches.

Maiysha Kai is managing editor of The Glow Up, host of The Root Presents: It's Lit! podcast and Big Beauty Tuesdays, and your average Grammy-nominated goddess next door. May I borrow some sugar?