Tia Mowry's New Haircare Line Empowers Women to Embrace Their Natural Hair


Say hello to Unfiltered, a fresh beauty series where you'll get an exclusive glimpse into the dressed-down beauty routines of our favorite celebrities and content creators. They'll reveal their guilty-pleasure beauty practices, the five-minute-routine product lineup they can't live without, the one good-skin tip they'll be forever thankful for, and so much more. To bring every conversation full circle, we ask each celebrity to send us a selection of self-shot, filter-free photos of their choosing to capture the essence of their Unfiltered beauty philosophy. 

Up next, we're getting to know actress and beauty entrepreneur Tia Mowry. The actress opened up about 4U by Tia, her new and inclusive natural-haircare line that wants women of color to feel seen and empowered. Below, she's answering all of our rapid-fire questions and sharing her favorite products, her own natural-hair journey, and more. Enjoy! 


(Image credit: @tiamowry)

If you had to leave the house in five minutes, what are a few beauty staples you'd apply or bring with you?

I would definitely have to say my Curl Refresher Mist from 4U. I think it's just fantastic. I would also apply my Tom Ford Santal Blush perfume. It's so earthy, and it's not overpowering. I just love the scent, and I've been wearing it for years! Then I would take my MAC Lipstick in Russian Red ($22). I love a good red lip mainly because if I'm not in full glam, putting on a red lip just makes me feel so confident.

So true! Especially MAC formulas. They're truly the best.

I tried other formulas from other brands, and it's just not the same. I've been wearing a red lip from MAC for years. I'm also a huge believer—because I'm a woman of color—in SPF. Shani Darden has an incredible moisturizing lotion that has SPF that's not too heavy but that gives you enough moisture within the skin. I definitely have to put that on my face before I leave.

I love Shani Darden's products! Her retinol is incredible. 

Oh my gosh! I just got a whole bunch of her line because I'm all out of it. The retinol is amazing. 

What would you say your everyday makeup routine looks like?

It's very simple because it's an everyday routine and look. It has to be practical, and it has to be quick. I feel like a lot of women can relate in the sense that we wear a lot of hats. We do a lot of things, so when I don't have the time to have my makeup done or do my makeup for a long period of time, I'll start with a concealer. Well, first of all, I moisturize my skin. I want to make sure that my skin has a nice glow. Then I'll do a concealer under my eyes and just on some blemishes. Then I would use a multiuse product. It's this amazing stick I can use on my eyelids, as a blush, and my lipstick. I literally just do that, and I'll blend it all in. Then I'll use an eyebrow pencil to fill in my eyebrows. I'll also use a mascara, and that is pretty much it. I literally can do it in about five to eight minutes.

Do you have a favorite brow pencil or mascara?

My favorite brow pencil is, of course, Anastasia's Brow Wiz. … Again, I've tried other products, and she just seems to get it—the way the brush is and how it applies. I'm not an artist [laughs], so I feel like her pencil is just very easy to use. I really love it. As for a mascara, I've been using Maybelline for years. I feel like it's accessible, it's a great product, and you can find it at pretty much any CVS or drugstore. I've been using it since I've been wearing makeup, so it is one product that I've been extremely loyal to for years.


(Image credit: @tiamowry)

Can you walk me through your morning and evening skincare routine?

I, of course, use Shani Darden's line. She's also my esthetician, so she does my facials and all of that and knows my skin very well. I just really trust her products. I start with her face wash, then I will use her toner. In the morning, I will also use IS Clinical's Pro-Heal Advanced Serum ($158)—it's fantastic. Then I will do the SPF moisturizer. At night, I'll pretty much do the same thing but remove the Pro-Heal Serum. Then I'll do the Dr. Dennis Gross peel pads, which are life-changing. Again, I love the practicality of it. I will do that maybe once a week, and then if I'm not doing that, at night, I will do the retinol that Shani has. I just really feel like it's a game changer for women my age. It just keeps my skin really nice and smooth.

Is there anything about your beauty routine that might surprise people?

I feel like when people talk about beauty routines, they only focus on outward things as opposed to what's going on inward. I am very intentional when it comes to recognizing what I'm putting into my body, meaning what I'm eating. I've noticed that certain foods can cause breakouts, so I try to stay away from those things. It doesn't mean that I'm always staying away from those things, but just as a whole, I do. And then drinking water. I think water is just really essential when it comes to skin health and removing all of the toxins out of your body. I think the biggest surprise would be the mental health component. I think that really focusing on your mental health, getting your sleep, meditating, and doing things that reward your emotional well-being helps with your skin because stress can take a toll. When I'm monitoring my stress, I feel like I have seen huge benefits with my skin.

I totally agree! I'm all about meditation. It can make a world of a difference. I'm also excited to learn more about 4U by Tia, your new haircare line! What inspired you to create your own brand, and why is this really important to you?

I usually explain this in four different categories. One of the main reasons why I created 4U is because of the four passions that I have in my life. Representation, community, family, and accessibility are things I'm just really really passionate about. It's really what my "why" is and why I get out of bed every day. I want to continue inspiring, encouraging people, and bringing awareness when it comes to representation. I know the importance of visibility when it comes to seeing someone that looks like you. I feel like when you have a relatability factor, you see it, and you can be it. It just makes you feel empowered.

Growing up, I just didn't see women of color with curly hair that were celebrated, especially in the beauty category. It was more focused on European standards whenever beauty was discussed, whether that was on television, whether that was in magazines, whether that was just even in conversations at school. When I would wear my hair curly in school, I was picked on. It was not something that was celebrated. It was something that was looked at as if it was an abnormality. I believe that caused some sort of insecurity in me. My point is representation is so important. When you see someone that looks like you, then, like I said, you feel valued, you feel heard, you feel seen.

I didn't start feeling confidence about my hair until there was this wonderful movement on social media called the big chop. A whole bunch of women came together and finally put their foot down and said, "You know what? I'm no longer going to conform to what society says is beautiful. I'm going to embrace my coils, my kinks, my curls, my waves, and my natural texture. I'm going to cut off all my hair, and I am going to celebrate me living my truth and living in my authenticity." I joined that movement, and that was when I fell in love with my hair. Also, I feel like there were some insecurities because there were just no products that were available when it came to looking and feeling my best in regard to my hair. I would go into a beauty supply store, and there were just no products that were made for me by women like me. Again, it just makes you feel like there's something wrong, and you ask, "Am I not important? Why is this the case?" So I wanted to come out with a line where I am empowering women to be themselves, to live their authentic selves, live their truth, shine, and bask in all of their glory when it comes to our beautiful hair and give them options. We deserve to be a part of the conversation, and I wanted to make sure that the ingredients within the line were clean, natural, safe, and recognizable. 

Since becoming a mom and being diagnosed with endometriosis, I understood the power of wellness, and I started to prioritize that. I wanted to give conscious consumers an option where they can use something that not only makes them feel confident within their looks but also feel confidence as a consumer when it comes to their health. It's sustainable and also accessible, meaning this is a luxury brand. We have high-performing ingredients that are quality but at an affordable price. I feel like there's a void when it comes to that. A lot of quality brands are priced so high that it's not an accessible or tangible product. So those are the reasons why I decided to launch such a beautiful, intentional haircare line, and I'm just happy that people are embracing it.


(Image credit: @tiamowry)

That's why I was so excited about the brand. Building that sense of community is so important! I feel a lot more seen and so much better about my own natural hair than I did a few years ago. Can you expand a little bit more on your own natural-hair journey? 

When I was in school, kids used to pick on me about my hair. They were just mean. Or when I would leave the house, the product that I would use would leave such a white residue. I would leave the house looking like I had snow in my hair [laughs]. I just didn't really have a great relationship with my hair, and it carried on into adulthood. When I would go out on auditions, I would ask why wouldn't I get a role, and I will never forget my manager or my agent telling me, "Well, they said that your hair was a distraction." It just brought up so many insecurities. Even when we were doing Sister, Sister, many people were celebrating the fact that they were finally seeing girls with curly hair that looked like them, but once I had the choice to do whatever I wanted with my hair, I chose to straighten it. I did that because I was trying to conform to what society said was okay or beautiful, but then my hair was getting damaged. I was putting in extensions, and I was losing my hairline. I was just ignoring my hair—I wasn't nurturing it.

Like I said, it wasn't until that movement on Instagram in 2012 that I remember seeing girls with hair textures like mine and girls that looked like me that were doing the same thing. They were relaxing their hair and straightening it too much and so much that it was damaging their hair. All of them were starting to say no more. I did that, and it was shocking and alarming because when you are used to having long hair and then you just cut your hair short, you're like, "Ah!" But I'm glad I did it. I felt empowered, and that was when I really started to embrace my hair and love my hair. Now, I have children who have different hair textures and different curls. I am teaching my girl to embrace her uniqueness and her beauty at age 4. It's just empowering, and it's the same thing with my son. He is rocking his curls, and he has braids right now. I'm teaching them to love all of them, you know?

That's seriously so incredible and refreshing. If you had to choose three products from the line to use for the rest of your life, which ones would they be?

I would definitely have to say the Moisturizing Conditioner ($10). I absolutely love it. It has such great slip, and once you rinse it out, your hair has such added moisture. I feel like it's already adding to your haircare routine or the steps when you get out of the shower, meaning that moisture is already sealed in there just from the Moisturizing Conditioner. Then I usually follow it up with the Leave-In Curl Cream ($11), so I would definitely use that. The Curl Cream basically adds moisture, and it helps define the curls. I love it. It also doesn't give off that crazy white residue that a lot of conditioners and leave-in curl creams will leave. That's something that I really, really like about the line. I can't go anywhere without my Curl Cream—I need it. 

The Multi-Use Oil ($11) is also one of my favorites from the line. It adds so much shine, and it's anti-frizz, but it doesn't weigh your curls down. It's really hard finding a serum or some sort of oil to put in your hair. Whether your hair is curly or straight, [most] just weigh your hair down. This does not at all. I've actually used it when my hair was straight and when my hair is curly. I also use it when my hair is in a protective style. I will put it on my scalp and on my braids just to give it that nice shine. I use it on my daughter. It has the hero ingredient in there—which pretty much all of the products from the line have—which is hemisqualane. When I'm putting my daughter's hair into twists or even Bantu knots, I put that oil in her hair, and her hair just has this beautiful shine on it. It's great.

I seriously can't wait to try the line! Do you have any other wellness practices, supplements, or rituals that really help give you a boost mentally and physically?

I would say meditation—meditation is really important. When I incorporate that, I feel like I almost always have a great day, no matter what's going on. Meditation just sets a great foundation for the rest of the day. I'm also a huge fan of float therapy, which is where you get into these capsules that have water in them, and they load it up with a lot of salt so that you actually float. You close it, and it's pitch-dark in there, or you can have a red light or a blue light, and they'll play some meditation music. It's fantastic. I'm a huge fan of oxygen chambers and cold-water plunges. It helps with anxiety just because it teaches you how to breathe when your body is put in a very stressful environment. It really teaches you about how to have self-control through breath work. It's been incredibly beneficial when it comes to wellness and my mental health.

And lastly, what is your Unfiltered beauty philosophy in seven words or less?

Live yo' authentic life! When I think of my wellness and beauty philosophy or ethos, I think of mind, body, and spirit. When all of those are beautifully aligned and beautifully connected, that's when we are living our truth and living in our authenticity.

Shop Tia Mowry's Unfiltered Beauty Edit

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Shawna Hudson
Associate Beauty Editor

Shawna Hudson has worked in editorial for over six years, with experience covering entertainment, fashion, culture, celebrities, and her favorite topic of all, beauty. She graduated from California State University, Fullerton, with a degree in journalism and has written for other publications such as Bustle, The Zoe Report, Byrdie, Elite Daily, Mane Addicts, and more. She is currently an associate beauty editor at Who What Wear and hopes to continue feeding her (completely out-of-control) beauty obsession as long as she can. Stay up to date on her latest finds on Instagram @shawnasimonee.