As Black women, our hair is a significant part of our identity. Twist outs and fro’s tell stories of triumph, heartache (you remember the struggle of wrapping your hair for the first time), strength, and self-love. There is magic in these coils! Much like our hair, ‘90s hip hop continues to elevate our voices and demonstrate the beauty of being Black. Arguably, no one appreciates the correlation between hair and the influence of hip hop more than Maya Smith, founder of The Doux — a haircare brand created for the culture.
Maya Smith is the epitome of being true to this, not new to this in regards to the craft of hair. A Los Angeles native, Smith evolved in the age of In Living Color; when classic groups like En Vogue reigned supreme and rocking a Sade-esque slick back pony and hoops was THE look. “The ’90s for me just represent the beginning of my creativity, the beginning of me personally just becoming more of an individual as an artist,” she says. This individuality is who Smith is. She is the brand, she is a genuine hip hop lover, and she knows her stuff.
If You Don’t Know, Now You Know
What sets The Doux apart is that it was developed for “actual people.” Smith explains,” it (The Doux) was created based on my real experience with people that I developed relationships with. Not just people that were paying me to do a service… people that I walked through a process from chemically treated hair to natural hair,” she says. So there’s a lot of heart and soul and experience in our product line, that’s just a part of our story.”
Uplifting Black people is a common theme surrounding The Doux ; there’s no natural shaming over here. I’ll be completely transparent; I was skeptical that a line catering for both curly and blown-out hair would be effective. Yet, Smith, AKA The Hair Care MC, has achieved the unthinkable. I dare you to try the “Mousse Def” and not fall in love with the magic within that bottle. The Doux legit produces “real results without the hype,” but I’m going to hype it up anyways… it’s that good!
Supa Fly, Supa Dupa Fly
Don’t get it twisted — The Doux is more than a marketing gimmick or form of homage to the ’90s, it’s a direct reflection of Smith herself. What other boss entrepreneur do you know that would choose A Tribe Called Quest’s Low End Theory, The Pharcyde’s Bizzare Ride II the Pharcyde and Wu-Tang Clan’s Enter the Wu-Tang, as her top three albums of the ’90s.
“The Doux is just an extension of who I am as an artist; it was never really intended to be seen as a theme…it’s a reflection of what I like. What my greatest cultural influences are, which would definitely be hip hop and street art,” she explains. “… So when you see The Doux, you are really seeing me.”
The authenticity and freshness of that era is infectious. “I still really do love the sense of freedom and Afrocentricity and consciousness that existed in that time,” Smith expressed about her admiration for the ’90s. The Doux’s bright colors and hip hop references beautifully encompass what being Black should feel like. A celebration of us. “The Doux is one of those things, it’s really really visual, but what we are as a brand is very intangible, it’s that thing that everyone loves but they can’t put their finger on…,” she says.
That thing is a feeling. It’s that rush of excitement you feel when you’ve finally perfected your braid out, or how no one could tell you nothin’ after that one time your wash & go was completely frizz-free. It’s hearing The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill for the first time. Like being a part of a community, #douxgang is a collective of people like you and I. Maya Smith and The Doux are what we’ve needed, results and representation.
The Doux.com, RITE AID, Target, Walmart, Sally Beauty and Harmon Face Values