Liha Beauty: DIY Recipes from the All-Natural African Brand You Need to Know About

Liha Beauty: DIY Recipes from the All-Natural African Brand You Need to Know About

there have been steps towards diversity in the beauty
industry, non-Caucasian women are still widely underrepresented and
poorly catered for when it comes to hair and make-up. Step forward,
, the eponymous brand from Liha Okunniwa and Abi Oyepitan
which brings African culture to the fore of the natural beauty
product market.

The pair bonded over natural African hair products (or a lack
thereof) which led not only to a lasting friendship but a
successful brand. “We both have afros and were always playing
around with different products. We were just talking about it one
day and decided we had to make our own,” explains Abi. They began
experimenting Idan oil (natural pressed-coconut oil) and were soon
dishing out samples to family and friends.

All their products are homegrown, with Nigerian shea from Abi’s
father’s home in Ondo State and Ghanaian shea which they discovered
on a recent trip there, when they also began working with the Shea
Alliance, an organisation which partners Ghanaian women with
cooperatives to ensure they are paid fairly for their shea, giving
them a steady wage and independence. They are now planning to bring
the initiative to Nigeria.

But the beauty of Liha is that the products serve all skin types
and age groups “It’s for women and girls who want to look after
their bodies as well as the environment. You’ve got 20 year olds
who want to know what’s in the products they’re using. It’s not
just about beauty, but the wellness thing as well,” says Abi.

The duo signed up for the Port Eliot Festival in July 2014 and
quickly sold out of their products. Their workshops soon caught the
attention of buyers from Anthropology which resulted in products
being stocked in their stores shortly after.

Keen to try out these natural wonder products, we asked Abi to
put together some Liha Beauty recipes for us to try at home. Enjoy
getting messy…

Cleansing hair mask

  • 6 ripe strawberries
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • Honey

Mash it all up together and apply to damp hair as an intensive
conditioner before shampooing – the oil works to draw out the

Relaxing English rose toner

  • 1 cup rosewater
  • 1 cup cool camomile tea

Rosewater is a classic toner all year round. If you are feeling
dedicated you can make your own from the petals in the garden, or
you can buy them at most natural food stores. The tannins in the
tea will help to reduce puffiness and make skin smooth and soft
ready for moisturiser.

Autumn/winter skin moisture booster

  • 2 tbsp shea butter
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil or almond oil
  • 4 drops of both frankincense and myrrh essential oils

Shea butter is naturally high in vitamins A and E, which is
great for keeping dry or mature skin supple. Frankincense is a
phenomenal anti-ageing ingredient and has been proven to have an
effect on aching bodies and arthritis, so this is perfect for
warming up on a cold winter evening.

Matcha face mask

  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1/2 tbsp grape seed oil
  • 1tbsp matcha

Matcha gives green tea benefits to your skin. It contains
chlorophyll, a powerful detoxifier that removes harmful toxins and
fights free radicals that damage cells. With a boost of
antibacterial honey this is a super-food antioxidant, anti-aging
face mask.

Cellulite-busting scented coffee scrub

  • Ground organic coffee
  • Jojoba or avocado oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Grapefruit essential oil

This one is a bit messy but a lot of fun. The caffeine helps
tighten the skin while coconut oil makes it ultra-moisturising.
Grapefruit essential oil makes for a refreshing and uplifting

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