Cora and Stefan Miller are the co-founders of Young King Hair Care a company dedicated to hair care for Black men and changing the way the world views Black hairstyles. The Millers created the plant-based line with their 3-year-old son in mind and developing a strong sense of self-care through grooming and a healthy hair care regimen.
The Millers shared more about the inspiration for the company.
What was the reason for making these products plant-based?
Cora Miller: Just thinking about my childhood and all these unhealthy kinds of toxic chemicals that were put in [my] hair. I don’t know about you, but it broke my hair off a few times, and it looked a hot mess. With this kind of evolution in this movement of the natural hair care industry and holding these big corporations accountable for what they are doing and the toxins that they are infusing into our products, I wanted to make sure that the brand that I created represented the efficacy and what comes along with assuring that you have a clean formulation that’s not going to do any harm to your hair.
That was the principle foundation when building this line. It was making sure that our products have these nutrient-rich botanical-led ingredients to ensure that we’re keeping our son’s hair moisturized, and free from damage.
Stefan Miller: I think it is huge for our community. We’ve had so many companies that have tried to come in and extract value, and a lot of times they’ve done that through low-cost products that end up costing you more because you’re having to fix problems that they’re causing. We always said we wanted something that our son could use, and that’s why we started. After that, it was like, “Other young men see value in this too.” But it’s [also about] having an accessible product and an accessible price point. It’s something that works that you don’t have to worry about. It’s like, “OK, I know I can live the rest of my life and show up as my true self because I don’t have to worry [about] trying to fix the damage that other hair care products do.”
How do you hope people benefit from using your products?
CM: I think the biggest thing for us, is for both parents and the young men that use our products [to know] that it’s OK to take care of yourself. It’s OK to have self-care, and self-love and understand that you can have these products that were created with you [in] mind and use them to [meet] your hair goals and do all the things that you want to do from a different style and grooming perspective. [It’s] just recognizing that self-care is OK and that you deserve it, just like anybody else.
SM: Gone are the times when we as Black men, regardless of age have to show up to be something that somebody else wants [for] us to be right. For us, it’s that authenticity of showing up being your full self, despite whatever way you choose to wear your crown, you remember the power that’s underneath that crown. For us, it’s not about even selling products, it’s about truly changing how the world sees young Black men.