For Black women, the beauty supply store is as classic as the little black dress or red lipstick. It’s the neighborhood staple that houses every product we need and in some cases, serves as our first introduction to the incomparable versatility of Black hair.
Even if your trips to the beauty supply have dwindled in years past, we can almost guarantee that the mere sight or smell of certain products spark a certain nostalgia.
Smooth ‘N Shine certainly fits the bill. If you aren’t familiar with the name, a flash of the brand’s pink and black logo will bring you back to the days when you sat between someone’s legs and had your scalp greased. The brand has been around for as long as we can remember and although it continues to sell in beauty supplies and drugstores, we’d be remiss to ignore the fact that it teeters the line between old fashioned and current. Thankfully, that’s all about to change in 2018.
Smooth N' Shine
A couple of months ago, we got a firsthand look at the how Smooth ‘N Shine’s team is revamping itself from the inside out and planning to become your new favorite hair care brand.
“Maya Angelou once said, ‘hair is a woman’s glory, her self-esteem, and how the world views her is contingent upon an attractive head of hair.’ We’ve truly internalized this thinking on the Smooth ‘N Shine brand,” Brand Manager Sina Hilbert tells ESSENCE.
“A large factor of that ‘glory’ is this idea of versatility. This means, that as women we may color, cut, braid, texturize our hair, all in an effort to achieve an ‘attractive head of hair’. For Smooth ‘N Shine, knowing that a woman’s hair is in a constant process of evolution, we wanted to be a brand that embraces multicultural hair at all levels.”
Here’s a breakdown of what to expect from the new and improved Smooth N’ Shine:
1. Ingredients That Your Hair Will Love
For starters, it’s catching up with the Black hair community by embracing more natural ingredients.
Hilbert shares, “We’ve completed reformulated every product, incorporating fine botanical oils in each sub-line; Cameilla Oil and Shea Butter for the Curl line and Black Seed and Coconut Oil for our Straight line.”
What may seem like a small change for some is actually pretty huge for a brand that’s never spotlighted health-conscious ingredients. During our visit to Henkel labs in Phoenix, AZ, we were even able to meet with the scientists who conducted test after test, ensuring that textured hair will actually take to these new formulations.
Spoiler alert: your locks will fall in love.
2. Packaging That Will Look Good On Your Vanity
What’s a makeover without a wardrobe change?! The brand’s signature pink and black colors are being replaced with more luxe tones, which means you may have to look twice before spotting it in the store. The curl line will be dressed in natural brown tones while the straight line will tout rich burgundy shades.
3. The Ultimate Co-Sign
Word of mouth means a lot in the hair care community, so Smooth ‘N Shine recruited someone who can actually vouch for the brand’s new formulas. Enter Larry Sims, the Chicago-bred hairstylist working his mane magic on celebs such as Gabrielle Union and Zendaya.
His relationship with Smooth ‘N Shine actually goes back a decade, when he first hit the Hollywood scene as Victoria Beckham’s hairstylist. And what began as a spokesperson trial run, eventually culminated into the full blown partnership they share today. Patience is a virtue, right?
“I had never been anyone’s spokesperson before, but I knew that I could speak very well and knew that if I were to do it, I wanted to do it with a brand I really believed in,” Sims told ESSENCE.
“Smooth ‘N Shine has been around since before I even know I wanted to be a hairstylist. It’s that black and pink logo that everybody sees in the beauty supplies. I grew up on the West side of Chicago in the hood where beauty supplies were on every corner. And I would always see Smooth ‘N Shine.”
Besides using the new lineup on his celebrity clientele (“They’re like, ‘when can I buy that!?'”), Sims’ has also played the role of consultant, meeting with the Smooth ‘N Shine team to keep them in the know about what consumers actually want.
He tells ESSENCE, “They’ve asked me in terms of technologies, what’s out there? What works best for your clients? What ingredients are Smooth ‘N Shine missing? We’ve had those conversations. I love that the conversations are going beyond products. My rule is there are no rules.”
And the best news of all? The price point will remain mostly the same! So save your pretty pennies for the New Year and preview all of the new products below.