“Just think of me as the Fenty of haircare,” Taraji P. Henson says, laughing, of TPH by Taraji, her new vegan, cruelty- and paraben-free hair-care line. Its products are focused on the importance of scalp care, especially for those who often wear protective styles such as wigs, braids, and weaves. “Just because you’re doing protective styles, and maybe even have long hair because of it, doesn’t mean your hair is necessarily healthy. Healthy hair truly starts at the scalp,” Henson says, “and that’s what TPH is all about.” TPH consists of 18 products that each address a different hair issue and have names that, Henson says, “match my personality.” There’s the delicious scalp scrub, Never Salty; a co-wash called Hustle & Co, and even a curly gel definer called Tough Cookie.
Henson has always loved hair care, but she didn’t begin embracing her own natural hair until age 29, on the set of the iconic movie Baby Boy. “I remember my hair was relaxed, and when I went to do the hair test, I asked the stylist if we could wait because I needed to get the relaxer touched up on my roots,” the actress recalls of her experience on her first major film. “She looked at my hair and she said, ‘Why would you have to do that? You have beautiful hair as is.’ From then on, I began shifting my thinking surrounding my hair,” Henson says. As she began her natural hair journey, “I started wearing weaves so that I wasn’t damaging my own hair with too much heat on sets,” Henson says. “But the weaves came with their own issues as well. My scalp was constantly irritated.”
Eventually, out of sheer necessity, Henson began mixing her own scalp-relief formulas in her bathroom. “I never went into this process with the intent of selling something,” Henson says. “I simply created something that I truly was desperate for.”
But when the opportunity arose to create her own line, Henson had a few priorities in mind. First, affordability: Each nourishing product is under $15. Next, she wanted each product to have an aromatherapy aspect to it. The Mint Condition Scalp Conditioner, for example, is infused with aloe, shea butter, eucalyptus and peppermint (“Your scalp will be left feeling like it had a Peppermint Pattie!” the actor says), while its exclusive tri-touch applicator, mimicking a hair pick, helps penetrate areas of the scalp that your hands otherwise can’t. And although 18 products might seem overwhelming, Henson made sure to break down each customer need by color: yellow is for scalp care, teal is for shampooing and conditioning, red is for masking and moisturizing, and purple is for styling. “Not every hair texture should be using every single product in this line, but I guarantee there is something for everyone to use in it,” Henson notes.
As for what to expect next from Taraji and TPH? “I want everyone to feel seen in this brand,” the star says. “I want to do more for my curly girls. I also want to create things for men, especially the brothers. I even have women in my DMs asking for products for children. Hair styling tools are on my list as well. There’s so much I can do!” But, she hastens to add, “I think I’m off to a good start.”