the strand

the inside scoop on amika:
brooklyn lifestyle, all things hair.
debunking product myths +
serving look inspo, one strand at a time.

pull up or shut up: our plan moving forward

Our brand was built on the foundation of inclusivity. The name amika means friend, which is rooted in our philosophy that our brand is for everybody – regardless of age, ethnicity, gender identity, or sexual orientation. The Black Lives Matter movement gave us pause to reflect and evaluate every inch of our company to ensure we are all still truly upholding the values that propelled us 10 years ago. While we are proud of who we have been, we have also further educated ourselves on where we can be better to ensure we continue to be a company that, not only represents all hair, but is a supportive friend to all.

It is not enough to just post about BLM. The real work starts internally by evaluating and reflecting on where we are today, and where we want to go. We took the last few weeks to educate ourselves, protest, donate, and have hard conversations with our Black colleagues. The energy our team has around positive, long-lasting change is exciting, and we are ready to do the work.

We’d like to thank Sharon Chuter for creating @pullupforchange, who is also the founder of Uoma Beauty. Pull up or shut up is a direct-action movement that asks brands to post the number of Black employees currently in corporate roles. This movement is holding brands accountable for their actions.

Self-identification in terms of race is an optional part of our initial onboarding process. In response to the pull up movement, we asked our employees to fill out an optional self-identification survey to understand where we currently fall with representation of BIPOC. We owe it to all those who touch amika to be fully transparent on what we will do to amplify Black voices, how we will create a work environment where Black employees will thrive, and how we will increase representation across all touch points moving forward.

Director Level and Above:

All POC: 26%

White: 74%

Black: 4%

Hispanic or Latinx: 4%

Asian: 17%

Female Identifying: 70%

All Full-Time Employees:

All POC: 47%

White: 53%

Black: 8%

Hispanic or Latinx: 29%

Asian: 9%

Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: 1%

Female Identifying: 71%

We are committed to increasing the number of Black employees within our organization, especially in leadership roles. We will be reviewing our hiring practices to ensure we are attracting and elevating Black candidates so that we can ensure all voices have a seat at the table. In addition to updating our recruiting process, we created an action plan to hold ourselves accountable in our fight against discrimination. We are already working on kicking off or have already started enacting all of the below initiatives and will continue to keep our community updated on our progress.

our plan moving forward

Internal initiatives:

  • Hiring a diversity and inclusion organization to guide us on this journey (project launched on 6/15)
  • Partnering with Black-owned recruiting agencies (began on 6/18)
  • Providing all staff with deep diversity and inclusion training (training dates to be scheduled)
  • Establishing an advisory group to provide insight to key areas (communicated to brand on 6/8)
  • Assessing our current HR process and instituting a no tolerance racism policy (review kicked off on 6/15)
  • Holding ourselves accountable by tracking and reporting bi-annually on our progress
  • Ensuring proper sales training and education on all different hair types, including what products work for what hair
  • Starting monthly team discussions about race, gender and LGBTQ+ equality and create a safe environment for these conversations
  • Increasing the number of Black team members within the brand, especially in leadership roles
  • Implementing a volunteer and mentoring program to partner with local organizations that give back to the community

External initiatives:

  • Being more intentional with selection of external partners – talent, vendors, influencers, and suppliers to prioritize supporting BIPOC-owned, women-owned, LGBTQ+ owned businesses and individuals (tracking of external partners began on 6/15)
  • Committing to 50% representation in social media and brand created assets to be minority groups, with at least 20% BIPOC (effective immediately)
  • Using our platform to show support to minority organizations by creating awareness through our marketing channels + donating to causes that focus on equality and social justice (effective immediate)
  • Prospecting a wider range of salons (effective immediately)
  • Continuing to provide educational resources to our community via digital platforms (effective immediately)

Product development:

  • Thoroughly researching Black hair care and beauty practices to continue to expand our product line (effective immediately)
  • Expanding our product testing pool, allowing us to better understand the needs of all hair types (effective immediately)

If you have any feedback on how we as a brand can do better within our industry, please leave us a suggestion below!

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