Sof n’Free, N’Pretty, Sta Sof Fro, Bump Patrol, Stylin’ Dredz & Go Healthy are all familiar household names and part of the M&M Cosmetics family of brands for the black consumer throughout the world
In 1973 two registered pharmacists, Cornell McBride and Thurman McKenzie started M&M Products in Atlanta, Georgia. Their purpose was to create a product for the African American market that would style the ‘Afro’ (a popular natural hairstyle). The natural tendency was after the Afro was combed out, it would shrink after two hours.
McBride and McKenzie produced Sta Sof Fro, which allowed the hair to maintain its shape, while moisturising the hair to prevent it from looking dull and dry. The result was phenomenal for M&M Products, has demand exceeded production and within a few years M&M Products began to expand its product range and became the fastest growing companies on the Black Enterprise list.
By the late 70s the emergence of the Curly Permed had taken the African American market and once again Sta Sof Fro was the choice from grooming the moisture needy curl. M&M Products became market leaders in the USA and Europe. In 1981, M&M Products entered the Professional Salon Market and introduced Sof n’Free, initially with a brand of products for curl permed hair. In 1983 they launched the Sof n’Free relaxer range and for the first time achieved over $50 million dollars in sales.
Unfortunately, in 1988 M&M Products sold its international division and in 1989 sold its domestic division and became a part of Johnson Products in Chicago. Atlanta mourned the loss of M&M, a dynamic catalyst for Black entrepreneurship, culture and pride.
However, like a Phoenix rising from the ashes, 1995 saw M&M Products return to Atlanta to start writing a new chapter for the future of Black hair care. Now owned by a small family group, M&M Products have extended their business and have sister companies, M&M Cosmetics in the UK and South Africa.
Sta Sof Fro and Sof n’Free are still popular products today used throughout the USA, Europe and Africa. Recent product launches include Bump Patrol, the Sof n’Free n’Pretty children’s range and the Treatment Plus maintenance range.