By Johanna Ferreira
Born in Somalia to Somali/Yemeni parents but raised in Sweden, Badria Ahmed often felt like she didn’t have a lot of options when it came to finding products to care for and style her tight coils. After years of permanently straightening her tresses, she set out to explore different ingredients and concoctions to repair her natural hair. The formulations she created eventually led to her launching her own natural hair care brand Holy Curls. She created the inclusivity she couldn’t find in the beauty world.
Ahmed’s own struggles with finding products that cater to afro textured hair is what inspired her to launch her own hair brand. “Growing up in Sweden, we didn’t have any options at all. By the time I was 7, my hair was chemically permed and I had no idea what my natural hair looked until I was 22 and decided to go back to my natural state,” she tells Thirteen Lune. “I chopped off my chemically damaged hair and went on a journey of self-exploration and learning about the structure and composition of my curl type to understand how to care for it properly. I started whipping up my own mixtures as I still couldn’t find products that could properly moisturize my hair and from there, Holy Curls was born.”
Ahmed understands that for Black women — hair is a huge part of their identity. Her mission is to help them through that. This brand is for them. Through traveling through various parts of Africa including Tanzania, Madagascar, and Kenya, she became exposed to African beauty secrets that inspired the ingredients used in her own products like baobab oil and shea butter. Her products are free of toxins, biodegradable, and formulated with naturally derived ingredients. Meaning, it’s just as good for the earth as it is for your hair.
Get to Know – Badria Ahmend
Do you have a beauty philosophy?
Beauty is how you feel on the inside.
Where are you from originally?
I’m born in Somalia to Somali/Yemeni parents and I grew up in Sweden. I live in London now.
What were some of your first memories of beauty growing up? What are some early beauty influences?
In Somalia, women make this bright yellow face mask (hurud) out of turmeric and honey. My mom used to make them on Sundays. We were six kids at home and we all knew not to disturb her when she had her face mask on. That was her sacred time.
What does self-care look like in your life?
Self-care right now means taking some time out to be myself. With two small children and a business, life tends to get hectic. Self-care is meditation, taking a walk in nature or reading a book.
What inspires you most about the beauty landscape and industry today?
The rise of indie beauty brands — and black-led brands getting more exposure.