THE NATURAL HAIR EVOLUTION: HOW BLACK WOMEN ARE SHAPING THE BEAUTY INDUSTRY
It is impossible to discuss the natural hair revolution without mentioning black women. From the advent of conditioner to the invention of the hairbrush, black women are behind many of beauty’s most important innovations.
It is a known fact that black women know beauty. Up to 82% of black women agree that it is important to be well-groomed, and 52% say they adhere to a set of skincare regimens. In addition, black women have two weapons that have always worked for them – their entrepreneurial spirits and collective dollars.
Reports have shown that the black hair industry raked in an estimate of $2.51 billion in 2018. Black women are visionaries, but there is more to the massive spending on beauty and skincare. The entrepreneurial spirit is admired, especially since it is coming from a place of need.
All black women entrepreneurs have stories to tell about how they started their businesses. You can be sure it was because they couldn’t find a product that suits their hair or skin color. And there is no shortage of amazing women who have or are shaping the beauty industry.
Madame C.J Walker became a revolutionary when she sold hair care products that cater to black women’s needs and became a self-made millionaire. Do you know that, according to the Black-Owned Beauty Supply Association, her teacher, Annie M.Turnbo Pope Malone, was credited as the founder of the Black hair industry?
You could also talk about Jamellah Ellis, a corporate lawyer by trade who started an upscale salon for natural hair in April 2017 when she had to nix her relaxer to embrace her coils. She named the salon Curl Theory.
Fenty Beauty, Rihanna’s beauty brand, also changed the beauty industry after it launched in 2017 with 40 foundation shades, many of whom complimented darker skin tones. Other black women entrepreneurs who have become revolutionaries are Melissa Butler, founder of The Lip Bar, breast cancer survivor, Cashmere Nicole, who founded Beauty Bakerie.
The beauty industry has a long way to go, but it is not where it was, thanks to the amazing black women who won’t give up their dreams.