Authors Note: Free Your Mane was kind enough to give product for me to sample.
Free Your Mane. The story of this company warmed my heart. In 2003, Israel because the proud adoptive father of two African American sons. Well, He tells the story better than I do. From his website:
In 2003 I became the proud adoptive father of African American twins. One of the trickiest and most important responsibilities for me was grooming, and I was eager to meet that challenge with love and care. As someone with coarse, curly hair, I have shopped in the 'ethnic hair' section of the beauty supply since I was a teenager. On the hunt for the elusive solution to my own hair issues, I became very familiar with those products.
Surprisingly, most of the same products that I'd tried as a teenager in the 1980s were still on the shelves, and with the same old formulations. They are composed primarily of cheap fillers, low quality ingredients such as petrolatum and mineral oil — basically the waste from the petroleum manufacturing industry.
The other options were the all-natural 'kitchen' remedies responding to the nascent green market.
I tried them all. The mineral oil based products were somewhat effective, but ultimately too greasy, outdated and unhealthy. The natural products were ineffective and overly fragranced.
Working in fashion and advertising for the past twenty-five years has kept me current on the amazing breakthroughs in chemistry which have benefited the beauty industry. It became clear none of these advances had made it to the African American hair care market.
My frustration echoed the frustration of countless others. Every African-American woman I spoke to had shelves full of disappointing products - there was a powerful need to be met.
This was the birth of Nola Industries, Inc.
After three years of intensive research, development and testing, I am thrilled to announce the arrival of free your mane, a revolution in black hair care. The free your mane product line has been developed for adult women of color whose needs, until now, have been summarily ignored by the beauty industry.
All free your mane products blend the best of nature and science. We fuse the finest natural ingredients with cutting edge technology for a modern, stylish and very lightly fragranced product. We ban mineral oil, petrolatum, sulfate, phthalates and parabens from our entire line.
As the guardian of my children's future, I was driven to create a product that is eco-conscious and sustainable, while promoting social responsibility. With this inspiration, I created "SE%EN," the nonprofit division of Nola Industries, Inc.