Baltimore-based Oyin Handmade is bringing curly and textured hair care products to local hospitals.
The brand has developed unscented, single-use iterations of its Honey Wash Shampoo, Honey Hemp Conditioner and Hair Dew Leave In Conditioner to distribute at the University of Maryland Medical System’s 11 member hospitals.
“We’re at this amazing moment where there’s so much choice and so many products meant for every single hair texture, and yet there remains this gap in which amenities provided in institutional or hospitality settings are not built with highly textured hair in mind,” said Jamyla Bennu, who founded Oyin Handmade in 2001.
Oyin Handmade was previously tapped to provide amenities by Eaton Hotel in Washington, D.C., and was seeking additional opportunities to promote equitable hair care when the University of Maryland Medical System — which has an almost 70 percent Black patient population — expressed a need for an inclusive hair care partner.
“This has been a couple of years in the making,” said DoRhonja Nichols, director of critical care and behavioral health services at the University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center. “The main purpose of this initiative was to meet the deficit among our Black patients, but we were very purposeful in having one of our white team members test the products so we know they truly work for all hair types.”
Hair care is just the beginning for the hospital system, said Nichols, whose team is working on understanding diverse skin needs in order to identify potential skin care brand partners accordingly.
“To be able to be part of people’s healing journeys is huge for us,” Bennu said. “It’s also a growth edge for our industry altogether — it’s a perfect opportunity for our industry as a whole to think about ways that self care and personal care can also be part of healing care.”