The best products are typically born from a personal place and need. Hannah Diop, founder of Sienna Naturals, grew up in a naturally inclined family (think CSAs, naturopaths, and natural food stores in the 90s, way before it was cool), plus had various sensitivities that lead her mother to seek out natural personal care items that would serve Hannah and be gentle enough for the entire family to use. While this was a great idea in theory, the products left Hannah with dry, brittle hair that was a struggle to care for and caused her to internalize the pain, thinking something was wrong with her hair. As she grew older, she realized that she was not the problem; the industry was.
The first dermatologist-tested and approved hair care for textured 3A-4C hair, Sienna Naturals has implemented what they call Rooted Technology™, which combines ancestral wisdom with clean, modern technology. With a focus on repairing hair health beginning right at the scalp, their products are made with natural ingredients that offer superior results while remaining suitable for those with even the most sensitive skin.
Hannah partnered with actress Issa Rae, the now co-owner and face of the brand, in 2020 and the duo set out to reimagine how natural hair care can truly serve everyone. Sienna Naturals acknowledges the importance of being able to truly nourish your hair. And nourish it does, tapping potent ingredients such as blue tansy for its anti-inflammatory properties, baobab oil to act as a scalp fertilizer, and marshmallow extract that leaves hair silky soft.
By reimagining what textured hair care can do, Sienna Naturals puts the textured-hair community front and center, offering products that have 8/10 users saying they see noticeable results after just the first use.
“Given my experience with sensitivities as a child, it was critical to me that we make products that are non-sensitizing and safe for everyone in the family.”
Get To Know – Hannah Diop
What was the impetus to start your brand?
I always say Sienna Naturals was born out of my childhood. I grew up in a very naturally inclined family - we were members of community supported agriculture (CSA) in the 1990s. I had a lot of sensitivities and my mother’s instinct was to go to the natural food store to purchase our haircare and personal care because she believed that these products would be the safest and best options. Unfortunately, the natural products on the market were not designed for textured hair and left my hair feeling dry and brittle. My mother was White and while she loved and appreciated my hair, she struggled to find a way to care for it. As a child I internalized that pain as there being something wrong with my hair, but thankfully as I grew older, I came to recognize the truth - the haircare industry has a problem.
I created Sienna Naturals to center people with textured hair in clean innovation with products that are focused on superior performance and solve our most common hair and scalp health problems. Sienna Naturals is the first dermatologist tested and approved hair care company designed for textured hair. Given my experience with sensitivities as a child, it was critical to me that we make products that are non-sensitizing and safe for everyone in the family.
Do you have a beauty philosophy? What is it?
My philosophy is that wellness and beauty are inextricably linked. This is why I create products that help improve the health of my customer’s hair and scalp while they use them. My intention is to go beyond external appearances and help improve the relationship and appreciation for our hair and natural beauty just as we are.
What were some of your first memories of beauty growing up?
I remember my time spent in the summer with my grandmothers. They came from very different walks of life, one Black and one White, but they both faced obstacles and overcame challenges presented to them at very young ages. From them I learned the goodness of feeling good from the inside out and how important that is to feeling beautiful. My grandmothers are my heroes for the remarkable women they were and the impact they’ve made on my work ethic and affinity for beauty products. I am so grateful for them both.
What are some early beauty influences?
Whitney Houston, Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey - they were all beauty icons to me. I think I used to literally pray to look like Whitney on the “Whitney Houston” 1985 album cover. It was and still is the ultimate beauty shot.
What does self-care look like in your life?
For me, self-care is a daily practice of the rituals and tools that renew, refresh and keep myself grounded and healthy. This includes exercise, meditation, prayer and journaling. I love to practice hot yoga. The intensity of the exercise and the moving meditation through breathwork and body alignment always helps me reset and ground.
What inspires you most about the beauty landscape today?
What inspires me about the landscape today is the new frontier of leaders who look like me. Young people who are proud and fearless, yet vulnerable and bringing a softer, more humane approach to doing business. I think we are finally seeing the representation that is leading to more diverse, dynamic and innovative solutions for everyone.
What has been the biggest win thus far?
Definitely partnering with Issa to re-birth Sienna Naturals in 2020. She is extremely relevant and relatable with our core customer and she represents the aspirational leadership and change I desire to see in the industry.
What would you like to see more of in the beauty industry when it comes to diversity and inclusivity?
I think we should continue to see diverse founders creating innovative solutions to disrupt antiquated categories and create best in class products that serve everyone.