Julian Addo, an immigrant from Liberia, took a circuitous route to creating her mindful hair care brand. She went from working in a salon, to opening her own salon, to leaving beauty to work in finance in corporate America.

She returned to beauty after several years with the creation of The Bella Kinks Natural Hair Expo, one that highlighted Black-owned beauty brands. Two years later, Julian launched Adwoa Beauty, a gender-neutral, clean beauty line, which she backed with $80,000 of her own money when she couldn’t find a financial partner. Adwoa Beauty blends important elements of Julian’s identity—an African-born woman, who moved to the U.S. at two years old, and was raised in a modern lifestyle.  

“Adwoa Beauty was created to simply add beauty into Black hair care on a prestige level. For a long while, the industry left out the Black hair care category from the beauty conversation. We were created to level that playing field and compete to scale in an untapped category,” said Julian.

Formulas in Adwoa Beauty are non-toxic and use concentrated ingredients to deliver results to multi-cultural hair textures. Baobab oil, for example, is used to treat dandruff, dry scalp, eczema, psoriasis and rosacea as it contains vitamins A, D, and E, and is packed with omega 3, 6 and 9. Ingredients also used include peppermint oil to help stimulate hair growth; spearmint oil, which has anti-fungal and antibacterial properties, and wintergreen oil to help purge dandruff and flakes from the scalp.

The self-funded beauty entrepreneur has built out distribution at Sephora, Sephora Canada, as well as a robust online business at adwoabeauty.com.

Julian Addo is one of CEW’s 2021 Female Founders, an annual awards program spotlighting beauty disruptors. This year’s Honorees were selected based on their impact in bringing clean beauty options to market.  Join the industry on October 13 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. for a virtual event sponsored by The Sage Group to honor Julian and six other clean beauty stars, and how they continue to innovate the category. Click here to learn more and register.