Natural Equity: Black is Green
Much ado has been made about the natural hair movement, and how it is related to so much more than Black Women’s hair – it is about health, about physical fitness, about embracing inner beauty and rejecting socialized stereotypes. And to all that we say, right on; “My Black is Beautiful” indeed. But let’s focus a moment on another color associated with the natural hair movement: Green.
In case you haven’t noticed, Black-owned natural hair care lines are eclipsing non-minority owned hair care lines in market share. There’s money in them curls, girls! And once again (remember Soft Sheen?), the women who use the products are benefiting financially from the sale of the products. Long live (and love) the “FUBU” principle! It used to be that with few exceptions, Black Women generally made money in the hair care business as stylists, but could not break into the product lines (weaves included) – which often tends to be the more lucrative end of the market. Trends over the last few years show a sharp change – Black-owned companies (a significant portion of those being Black Women-owned) are leading the market share of products for natural hair care.
According to Forbes, Black Americans account for 30% of total expenditures on hair care, even though we represent less than 15% of the population. You don’t need an MBA to know that’s market potential. But just in case you need a concrete example of the economic potential of the natural hair care market, take a stroll over to the Georgia International Convention Center this weekend, and if you can find a parking space open (or catch a shuttle – we suggest you wear comfy shoes), check out the World Natural Hair Show presented by Taliah Waajid. The sheer volume of product lines for and by Black businesses will astound you. And so will the long lines of paying consumers.
If this trajectory holds true, we can certainly capitalize on other areas in the lucrative beauty industry: make-up, skin care, nail care, accessories and other products. After all, who know the nuances of our beauty needs better than us? Just one more way to COFFEE: combine our forces for economic equity – and look good doing it!Peace, CB