Tia Mowry on Learning to Love Her Curls and Her Skin-Care Secrets

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4U by Tia

Tia Mowry has been in the spotlight for almost 20 years since filming the hit show Sister, Sister. While her face remarkably looks the same as when it was on my TV screen in the 90s, which we get into, she’s grown as a person in more ways than one. Now Tia tells me she is one of the first black women to co-develop a brand in partnership with Walmart. The brand she’s speaking of is her newly launched 4U by Tia hair-care line that caters to curls from 2a to 4c. While Tia loves her curls now, it was a long journey from trying to conform to falling in love with her authentic self.

On the journey from being insecure about her hair to falling in love with her curls…

“I became insecure about my hair. I didn’t really have a great relationship with it. I started straightening my hair and putting in extensions. I was trying to conform. I was trying to fit in until there was this beautiful, amazing movement on Instagram. I reached out to the girl behind the movement. It was called the big chop. She had cut all of her hair off. It’s basically saying ‘no more’ to heat, relaxers and damaging your hair. You’re like ‘I’m just going to embrace my natural hair. I’m going to embrace who I am and my authenticity.’ It really resonated with me, so long story short, I ended up doing the same thing. I cut off all of my damaged hair from straightening it, and I really started to embrace and love my hair and have a relationship with it.

When I did that, there were no products that spoke to me or that were even available. We just didn’t have any options. I always remember walking into a beauty supply store, and it never really being an exciting experience. There was always some sort of anxiety because there were always like 400 brands that cater to straight hair and only maybe two that you can choose from that work for curly hair.

Growing up, I was very insecure when it came to my curly hair, and it started early on because when I would go to school, either the products that I was putting in my hair left a white residue or it was too greasy. Kids would touch my hair and go ‘ew,’ or say, ‘what is in your hair’ or ‘your hair is frizzy.’ It left me feeling very insecure about my curly hair. 

As I got into my 20s, I was going out on auditions and casting directors would tell me my hair was a ‘distraction.’ Even when you would get a script, and they would describe a character, I would never see a character that was described with curly hair. So I just never felt a part of. I never felt valued. I felt very insecure. I started to conform and try to fit into what society said was beautiful and sexy, which was straight hair.

I ended up straightening my hair and damaging it. I would put hair extensions in that were somebody else’s hair texture. After a while, I just didn’t have a relationship with my hair until there was that wonderful community that I started to see on Instagram, and I just started to really change up the narrative and say, ‘You know what, I am ready to be me. I am ready to be my authentic self.’ I feel like where there is authenticity, there’s magic, joy and peace. I did the big chop, and once I did that, there was no turning back. I now will walk into a room and feel amazing and empowered because of my curly hair and say, ‘this is me. This is who I am. This is beautiful. I am beautiful.’”


On why she got into the hair-care industry…

“Basically, I really wanted to come out with a natural hair-care line because of my own personal journey. I felt like I wasn’t represented when it came to women that looked like me or had hair like me when it came to beauty in magazines or on TV. I think the first time I ever was like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is someone that looks like me,’ was Lisa Bonet on The Cosby Show. I knew the power of representation and what it did for me when I saw someone that looked like me.

I wanted to come out with a hair-care line that gave women with curly hair an option, but not just any option, an option that was worthy and deserving. The line is also accessible at an affordable price. I felt like it was about time for women with curly hair to feel included. It’s time for them to feel a part of. It’s time for them to feel celebrated. It’s time for them to feel valued and loved, and it starts with representation.”

On her beauty secret…

“My answer would definitely have to be hemisqualane. I just feel like it’s extremely versatile. It’s also a natural ingredient, which I’m all about especially the older I’ve gotten, I want to be intentional with everything. I’ve become more of a conscious consumer.”

On hemisqualane…

“It’s a great replacement for silicone, meaning it really helps with anti-frizz. It helps give you that beautiful amazing shine to your hair. When I want that wet look, and I’m just pulling my hair all the way back in a bun. I just put the oil on my hair, and it just gives you this incredible shine. It also makes you feel good as a consumer that you’re using an ingredient that’s safe for the environment and clean for you and your children. It’s powerful. It’s the star ingredient in this line.”

On her skin care…

“I feel like a lot of people tend to focus on what to do outward as opposed to inward, and I have definitely been working on that. I feel like that’s the secret. It’s kind of like a hack. It’s important to consider what you’re eating and how much water you’re drinking.

Then, if I’m being very honest, I would say your mental health is so incredibly important. Meditation has been a daily routine for me, and just monitoring what I’m putting in my body has also helped when it comes to my skin routine. 

Being consistent with your products is crucial. In the morning, I have a routine. In the evening, I have a routine. Washing your face is so simple, and it’s something that everybody can do, but sometimes, we get so busy that we go to bed with makeup on or we just don’t take the time to go through our routine and wash our face. But I’m very consistent when it comes to nurturing myself and taking care of myself. I really feel that that’s why I have the skin that I have. It’s very intentional.”

On clean ingredients…

“As a mother, I became very aware of what I give my children, and so I wanted to make sure that these products were safe and clean for them. Meaning when I turned the bottle around, I recognized the ingredients. I know what watermelon extract is. I know what flaxseed is. I know what sea moss is. I know what aloe vera is. These are all good natural ingredients. It was important for me to incorporate that with this brand.”

On representation…

“Community is really important to me. There are different types of people within this community. You’re not just catering to one specific type of person. I wanted that to resonate with the brand itself. I wanted that to come across when it came to the marketing, meaning you’ll see women with tight curls and loose curls. You’ll see women with gray hair, trans women, and people using protective styles. I really wanted to speak to everyone and to have everyone feel included.”

On what sets 4U apart…

“I feel like what separates us from the rest of the pack is that we are a safe, clean, accessible luxury brand that is also sustainable. I feel like you can get brands that cater to that but not necessarily at our price. It was very important for me to come out with a hair-care line that was made for all different types of hair textures, meaning from 2a to 4c, that was safe, clean and efficacious. It’s been tested, and it works at an accessible price.”

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