Carol’s Daughter founder reflects on 30 years; ‘It’s basically my life,’ says Lisa Price

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Carol’s Daughter celebrates 30 years, new brand ambassador Marsai Martin, and the launch of its latest product line with a “Pajama Jam” party.

For many Black women, their first hair salon experience was at home. There, they would get their hair washed at the sink, straightened with a hot comb at the stove, or twisted and accessorized with baubles and barrettes on the living room floor. Decades later, the process of doing their hair may have changed, but there are two things that remain: the memories and the products that started it all.

Carol’s Daughter products were at the forefront of many of those experiences. Whether it was the Black Vanilla Moisture and Shine Leave-in Conditioner, the Almond Milk Ultra-Nourishing Hair Mask, or any of the other cult-favorite products offered, those products were a staple in many Black households. Founder Lisa Price began creating the hair and body products in 1993 in the kitchen of her mother’s Brooklyn apartment. From its inception until now, each product has been made with love and care.

“There are a number of businesses, and in particular Black-owned businesses, that don’t get past seven years,” Price recently told theGrio. “To have been able to do that from something that I started in my kitchen [and] to be here 30 years later is remarkable. It’s something that I sometimes struggle to put into words, because it’s basically my life.”

Carol's Daughter, Lisa Price, Marsai Martin, Carol's Daughter 30 Years, Black-owned Beauty,
Lisa Price and Marsai Martin attend as Carol’s Daughter celebrates the launch of their brand new collection, Born To Repair (& Made To Care) at Bogart House on February 07, 2023 in Brooklyn, New York. (Photo by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images for Carol’s Daughter)

On May 25, the brand will officially celebrate 30 years in the beauty industry. Price attributes the success and longevity of the brand to the consistency of the products and the dedication to the health of hair.

“They [were] one of the first [brands] that I started [using] with my hair,” said Nadiya Issa, a digital creator and naturalista. “If it works, I’m gonna stick to it. I know natural hair now is a thing, and finding what works is hard, so I like to stick to my tried-and-true.”

Price’s mother, Carol, taught her never to sacrifice hair health for a specific style. She acknowledges that this new generation of naturalistas grew up with their hair “as an accessory” and “without a mandated way of wearing it.” Inspired by this and her own 16-year-old daughter, who loves to switch up her hairstyles to match her outfits, Price decided to curate a new line of products that care, repair and reduce any damage caused by Black girl ingenuity and versatility.

The new Born to Repair & Made to Care collection is comprised of five products: a nourishing shampoo, a 60-second moisture treatment, a nourishing conditioner, a defining leave-in cream and reviving oil. Each product is designed to moisturize hair, reduce frizz, soothe the scalp, and repair damage.

Social media, something younger generations have grown up with, has completely altered the landscape of brand marketing. These sites have allowed people to take their passion and turn it into something bigger. For example, digital creators Jackie Aina and Tiarra Monet were able to use their platforms to launch their own custom products.

When looking for someone to represent the newest line of Carol’s Daughter products, there was one young actress who stood out for Price: Marsai Martin. One of the many things the “Black-ish” star is known for is constantly switching up her hairstyles. Martin uniquely connects with both the current audience of the brand, many of whom witnessed her growing up onscreen, and the newer generation Price hopes to attract with this line.

“Marsai is indicative of other Black and Brown women … who have taken a passion and turned the passion into something that is more sustainable, [and that] helps to build wealth within their families, for this generation and for the next generation,” Price said. “So, for me, that makes her a perfect match. Then, the cherry on top of the sundae [is] that she happens to be Carol’s daughter.” (Like Price, Martin’s mother is also named Carol.)

In celebration of the launch, Carol’s Daughter hosted a pajama jam at the Bogart House in Brooklyn, N.Y. Black women and men of all sizes, shades and backgrounds gathered together in silk two-piece sets, onesies, and robes to party like it was the 1990s and early 2000s. It was a celebration not only of the new products but also of Black hair.

Price’s intention with the event was to create a cozy and laid-back environment where people could ease back into in-person activities. The energy in the room could best be described as Black joy; guests were laughing, taking pictures at one of the stations, recording 360 videos, and dancing to the set played by DJ Taela Naomi, which ranged from Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” to Beyonce’s “Cuff It.”

Autumn Star, an attendee of the event, said the theme of the event brought back memories of getting her hair done, feeling pretty, and going to school to show off her style. As someone currently transitioning back to her natural hair texture, she said the event offered her a comfortable space to connect with others who are on the same journey as her. Issa echoed similar sentiments.

“[This event] means everything to me,” Issa said. “I really like going to events that empower natural hair because that’s what I stand for — a place [where] I feel accepted and it’s amplifying my people. I’m all for it.”

Kayla Grant
Kayla Grant

Kayla Grant is a multimedia journalist with bylines in Business Insider, Shondaland, Oz Magazine, Prism, Rolling Out and more. She writes about culture, books and entertainment news. Follow her on Twitter: @TheKaylaGrant.

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