When I decided to transition I knew I needed to purchase hair products that would benefit both my relaxed and natural hair. The first thought that popped into my head was that I should take a trip the beauty supply store (BSS) and purchase a few things. If you have never walked into a BSS before it is like walking into a different world. If you ever wanted to become a different person take a trip to the BSS you can transform into a new person in a matter of hours. They sell any type of hair you can imagine. For a quick style you can purchase a wig. If you are interested in something a little permanent try weaving or braiding hair. But that’s not all the BSS has to offer, you can purchase relaxers, hair coloring, hair tools (i.e. combs, brushes, etc…) and lots of hair products!!! There is a special language we speak too! For instance when I needed braiding hair I told the clerk “I needed two packs of wet and wavy hair 14” in a number 2”. Translation please! Can I have two packs of dark brown (number 2) shoulder length (14”) wavy hair (wet & wavy). Okay all jokes a side…
When I went to the BSS I really couldn’t find any products for hair that is transiting from relaxed to natural. What I did notice was that the products they did carry didn’t help our hair but hinder it. Don’t get me wrong they offer some great products for anyone who is not on a natural hair journey. Believe me I was in the BSS every three months purchasing my Mizani Butter Blends Relaxer. What I am saying is that the BSS main concern is making money, their goal is to convince us that we need to have straight luxurious hair. You know the type of hair that does not grow out of heads, so of course we have to go purchase products to get the straight effect. We can create the straight hair look a number of ways using relaxers, weaves, wigs or heat tools (FYI they still sell hot combs). If we were all natural the African-American hair industry wouldn’t be a 200 billion dollar industry.
What is heartrending is that the African-American hair industry is dominated by Korean. The Korean dominated the hair industry by becoming the number one supplier of hair products to BSS and then opened up their own BSS; in return making it virtually impossible for anyone to get into that 200 billion dollar market. Despite the fact that African-Americans are financing this industry that is enough to get the United States out of this deficit and we can’t even get into the market. Am I the only one who thinks this is ludicrous?
What I have decided to do is purchase hair products that have been created by African-Americans with ingredients that are close to if not 100% natural. I would rather spend my money on a product that someone like me has created to benefit my hair type and at the same time assisting that entrepreneur on he/she business.
Here is a list of a few African-American owned hair companies:
- Miss Jessie
- Jane Carter Solutions
- Darcy Botanicals
- Carols Daughter
- Oyin Products
- Curl Junkie
- Shea Moisture
I have to say there is one store that is selling natural hair products and that is target so kudos to them!
- Are African-American Salons in Danger? (bellasugar.com)
- On the Runway Blog: How Natural is Too Natural? (runway.blogs.nytimes.com)