Tia Mowry Debuts Natural Hair Care Line: 'Curly Girls Don't Just Buy One Product — We Have a Routine'
Tia Mowry, 44, is diving head first into the hair care space.
Since lighting up our living rooms in 1994 — along with her sister, Tamera Mowry-Housley on Sister, Sister — one thing that always allured the star's fans were those vivacious curls and how she maintains them. Well, the mom of two has heard the call and is officially launching her own natural hair care product line, available exclusively at Walmart starting today. Titled 4U by Tia, the line is clean, sustainable and made with all the products every naturalista will recognize.
When it came to creating 4U, one of Mowry's top priorities was formulating an inclusive line that would be effective for people with all types of curls and coils. Fortunately for the CEO, founder and creative director of the brand, the diversity she sought began right in her home.
"I take pride in this is a formula that works for hair textures ranging from 2A to 4C," she told PEOPLE. "It was important for me to simplify my hair care routine or just the routine in general when it comes to curly hair. I have three different textures in this house. My daughter has a different hair texture than I do and so does my son."
"But growing up with curly hair, the routine has always been so incredibly overwhelming," the mom to son Cree, 11, and daughter Cairo, 4, continued. "You would have eight different hair care products for all of the different individuals within the household, and I wanted to simplify that. It was really important for me to create a formula that works on all hair textures."
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In addition to having the lived experience of a woman of color with curly hair plus her decades-long tenure in the entertainment industry, Mowry knows firsthand what it's like to be underrepresented in the hair and beauty space.
"I feel like women of color and just women that looked like me with our hair texture weren't always celebrated, a part of or included whenever it came to beauty, it was always leaning more towards European standards," she told PEOPLE.
"I remember going to school and I was picked on when it came to my hair, I was told that I looked like Buckwheat...They would call my sister and I Buckwheat twins. Oh, They would say that, 'Oh, your hair is frizzy,' or 'Your hair is greasy,' or 'What's that white stuff in your hair?' Even when I got into my twenties after Sister, Sister, when I would audition, I wasn't getting roles because costume director[s] said my hair was a distraction."
While those moments were tough, they're the moments that informed the thought and formulation of 4U. The line features products that are meant to streamline your wash day and "enhance your curl pattern without changing the texture or the flow of your hair."
It includes everything from a clarifying shampoo that contains apple cider vinegar (ACV) and sea moss for when you want to rid your hair of weeks-long build up, to a curl refresher mist for when you just want to spruce up your tresses. There are also products like the curl defining gel for those twist outs and the leave-in curl cream for everyday usage.
In addition to ACV and sea moss, products in the line also consist of ingredients such as flaxseed, acai, vitamin E and aloe vera, which have long been staples within the natural hair community due to their numerous benefits.
"I was a part of that community, along with other women, that didn't have products that they were looking for. What we would do is we would create our own, and there was this YouTube movement of people creating their rice water or creating flaxseed or using apple cider vinegar, putting it in spray bottles and all of that," she explained.
"[But] not everybody's a scientist. Sometimes [these ingredients] are good for you, but then they'll backfire because you put too much or too little. [With 4U], we were able to say, 'Okay. These ingredients are recognizable, these ingredients are wonderful. They do wonders for your hair, but who has time or the money to always make up these concoctions on their own?' How do we put this in a bottle and make this safe and make this clean and make it an enjoyable experience for people?"
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To bring her vision life, Mowry partnered with Amyris — a synthetic biotechnology and renewable chemical company — who did the testing for the products and ensured everything was "sustainable, good for the environment and also accessible."
And when it came to accessibility, Mowry was cognizant of the fact that people with curly hair tend to buy in bulk, so minding their wallets is always a big factor.
"Looking and feeling confident is extremely important, especially for our psyche, I'm a true believer in that, but I don't believe that you should be breaking the bank," she said.
"I wanted to be very aware that curly girls or girls in the curly community don't just buy one product. We have a routine. So when we go to the counter or the register we have a bunch of products. Again it's about the experience—feeling good about our purchase. Not just feeling good about our purchase when it comes to finances, but we're feeling good about our purchase when it comes to safe, it's clean, it's good for us."
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As for her favorites? While she of course swears by each product in the line, the moisturizing conditioner and leave-in curl cream are top of the line for Mowry.
"This conditioner is legit. I am a huge fan of a great conditioner, meaning I just don't want my conditioner to do what it needs to do in the shower, I want my conditioner to do what it needs to do outside of the shower. When I rinse it off, I don't want all of the moisture to be gone. I want it to stay in my hair. That's what this moisturizing shampoo does. The slip is so beautiful and amazing. You don't really need a detangler after using this product because the slip is just so nice."
She continued: "The other is the curl cream. What I love about this curl cream is it's not only moisturizing, but it doesn't weigh your hair down and it also doesn't give that white residue no matter how much you put in your hair. Sometimes I don't have time to diffuse my hair. I just want to leave and go and I don't want white product to be hanging out."
4U by Tia is available exclusively at Walmart today. All products are $9.99 or $10.99.