Los Angeles, CA (October 11, 2011) – International Black Hairitage marks “a new era in Black Hair” in October 2011 with the inaugural celebration of International Black Hairitage Month (IBHM). The goal of the month-long series of events is to bridge the gap culturally, historically, and economically between Blacks and other cultures by embracing Black hair, creating a natural holistic way of living and sparking a green global natural movement.
Unshaken by the global economic dip, the business of Black hair is booming worldwide through hairstyles, products, and increased interest in natural hair care. The UK ethnic beauty industry is expected to grow 35% to £88m by 2012*. Meanwhile in the USA, the African-American hair industry is worth a cool $9 billion!
Activities from around the world will be streamed live for online viewing via the hub at www.internationalblackhairitagemonth.com. The objectives of this global movement include using the tools of the cyber-generation to connect the world through the cultural language of Black hair, celebrating the natural, holistic lifestyle and increasing economic empowerment, entrepreneurship and job creation through organizing on a global basis.
Los Angeles based filmmaker Regina Kimbell said the idea for IBHM stemmed from conversations she had with audiences that viewed her award-winning documentary My Nappy Roots: A Journey Through Black Hair-itage (2007). An important distinction according to Kimbell is that,
“Unlike a lot of the hair events around right now, International Black Hairitage Month is not just about Black hair in its various forms; it’s a celebration of the natural, holistic lifestyle.”
IBHM provides a valuable, global forum for dialogue and the exploration of various things that affect the choices that people of African descent make about their hair across the Diaspora.
The U.S. Census Bureau recently noted the jump in barbershops and hair salons in an otherwise glum report about mom-and-pop businesses. The data revealed that the number of hairdressers, barbers and the shops they work in grew by about 8 percent from 2008 to 2009, one of the few industries to register growth in today’s tough economic climate. The growth of interest in “natural hair” is also a promising entrepreneurial opportunity for Blacks to once again have ownership in the Ethnic Hair Care market. The internet is creating organic opportunities for natural hair discussion groups worldwide. And both men and women are leaving their corporate jobs and creating home-based businesses to service the natural hair marketplace.
News of IBHM is already spreading globally and host event cities include: Philadelphia, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Almere, Amsterdam, Geneva, Hamburg, Lisbon, (UK cities) Leeds, London, Brighton, Manchester and Paris. Organizers in these markets are sharing their hair experiences, creating workshops, supporting other women as they transition “the big chop”, discussing natural options at live and recorded events for IBH, also participating in online discussions via blogs and social media, and engaging in sometimes contentious and controversial topics like “Why do so many Black women wear hair weaves?” IBHM shows that when it comes to hair, people of African descent are as sassy, adventurous, and innovative as ever.
International Black Hairitage is more than a month long celebration. Additional activities are being planned throughout the year from the grassroots to the global level to allow for continued discussion and engagement.
Individuals, entrepreneurs, businesses, organizations, and media entities are encouraged to visit the official website at www.internationalblackhairitagemonth.com where they can learn how to join the new Movement. There site visitors can access a worldwide business directory, learn the “10 Things They Can Do to Support IBHM”, see photos from previous events, participate in the live stream, and gain additional information about the global event partners.
International Black Hairitage Month (IBHM) is a positive experience that will leave people of Black heritage throughout the Diaspora even more proud of their culture and those of other cultures more enlightened about Black hair and the natural lifestyle. It shows the global community that there is much more to Black hair than simply — hair. In actuality it is a common cultural language, a political point of engagement, and increasingly a powerful economic movement.