OkayAfrica's editorial team gives you the inside scoop on some of the most buzzed about black beauty products.
DIASPORA—Oyin Handmade is the delectable creation of 'Grand Mixtress" Jamyla Bennu, who started the line of natural hair, skin and body products back in 2001—when many of us were still on that “creamy crack" wave— as a much-needed alternative to the chemical-based black beauty products that lined shelves at the time.
Since then, Oyin Handmade's modest line of products, has remained a staple for many naturalistas and ingredient-conscious black women—even with the onslaught of newer products that promise some of the same things: to keep our natural coils hydrated and our melanin poppin'.
Named after the Yoruba word for honey, Oyin Handmade has stayed true to its sweet and sticky namesake by offering dulcet hair serums, lotions and soaps that smell delicious enough to devour post-dinner—although you should probably refrain from doing so for obvious reasons.
Sweetness was what Bennu had in mind when she created Oyin Handmade. “For me, it's all about experimentation and having fun. I'm inspired by deliciously sweet, rich and nutrient dense foods," she says.
Bennu's line speaks to all of our sugary aspirations so we decided to test out a couple of Oyin Handmade products ourselves, starting with the fragrance-rich “Frank Juice," described as a “nourishing herbal leave-in hair tonic."
Read on for our full breakdown and review of the item.
Jamyla Bennu, creator of Oyin Handmade.
“Frank Juice" comes in a taupe spray bottle that is by no means as lightweight as the product it contains. The bottle is easy to grasp and releases a healthy stream of product when sprayed.
It's off-brown label leans more towards the dull side, which might not make it the easiest to spot on an overcrowded hair shelf.
The tonic contains a medley of oils and sprightly juices. The back of the label lists: lavender buds, chamomile flower, and red rose petals, organic flax seeds, organic aloe leaf juice, lavender oil, orange peel oil, grapefruit seed extract, citric acid, and more.
The tonic is extremely lightweight, with a juice-like consistency (as its name suggests) that is runny enough to drip from the scalp if sprayed too closely. It absorbs quickly, however, so hair isn't left feeling overly damp.
With its abundance of essential oils, “Frank Juice" emits a lush, earthy mist. The lavender and citrus come through the strongest, but even those scents aren't overpowering. It gives off just the right amount of fragrance.
What we liked:
The tonic is extremely lightweight and felt immediately refreshing when applied to my scalp. It manages to feel hydrating without leaving behind any heavy buildup. It is a spray that you'd want by your side in-between washes or when wearing hair in a protective style. It gives that “easy-breezy," “spray and go on about your day" quality that us hair care slackers live for.
Perhaps the best thing about the product is its smell. We want it to smell like “Frank Juice" everywhere we go.
What we didn't like:
Quite frankly, there isn't much bad to say about “Frank Juice" (no pun intended).
The shallow side of us tends to judge a product by its packaging, and while Frank Juice's label is not shabby by any means, it may get overlooked on a shelf in a hair store in favor of a more sleekly encased item. When will we ever learn that it's what's on the inside that counts?
Overall, we give Oyin Handmade's “Frank Juice" a very loud, Nigerian-accented “well done!"