Health + Wellness

How Autumn Yarbrough is Redefining Black Hair Care

hair care

In the world of hair care, Autumn Yarbrough is a name synonymous with innovation, legacy, and a commitment to redefining standards. As the third generation in the hair care industry, Yarbrough’s journey has been shaped by her family’s legacy and a deep understanding of the history of Black hair care.

Yarbrough’s family has a deep-rooted history in the hair care industry, starting with her grandfather, Comer Cottrell Jr., who revolutionized the industry by making the Jheri curl accessible to the Black community through his brand, Pro-Line, in the 1970s. His groundbreaking work was highlighted in the recent Netflix documentary “The Black Beauty Effect”.

Yarbrough points out the limited access to safe hair care products in the 1960s and 70s, leading to the use of alternative techniques and byproducts, such as bank grease from the 1800s. “It was made for us but we didn’t have the access or the value of the cost, so he was able to provide that access,” she shares of her grandfather’s Pro-Line.

Continuing the legacy, Yarbrough’s mother, Renee Cottrell Brown, created the children’s haircare line Just For Me.

This legacy of breaking barriers and providing access to products tailored for Black hair continues to inspire Yarbrough in her work today.

A NU Standard for Hair Care

Yarbrough’s inspiration for her company, NU Standard, stems from her personal experience with hair challenges, particularly hair loss. 

“It really came to a point with my own hair challenges,” the award-winning CEO shares. “Being third generation in the hair care industry is beyond exciting and a blessing, but it was the curse of hair loss that drove me to say, ‘You know what? I need to do something.’”

This experience, combined with frustration over the lack of representation and innovation in the Black community within the hair care industry, led her to create a brand that aims to set new standards in hair care.

“I made a commitment that if we’re going to do something differently, we’re going to set a new standard,” she adds. “My focus is on the Black community, the textured hair community, the professional community, and the busy woman on the go.”

NU Standard also focuses on addressing the specific needs of 4C hair, a hair type characterized by tight curls and coils. Recognizing the unique challenges faced by individuals with 4C hair, Yarbrough aims to provide products that cater to its specific texture and needs.

Yarbrough explains, “4C hair has its own unique needs, and it’s important to have products that are

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