Actress Nicole Ari Parker of Broadway’s Streetcar Named Desire, University of Pennsylvania professor Anthea Butler, cultural critic Joan Morgan, and CurlyNikki.com founder Nikki Walton join Melissa Harris-Perry as they discuss the politics of hair and the industry of hair products for Black women.
Some interesting points are that according to 2007 numbers, the Black hair products industry was estimated at $185 million dollars. Now I know that number is significantly under-counted. There has been a tremendous growth in the demand to go natural since that time. Also, an interesting point is that more than one third of the $185 million goes to the two largest manufacturers of products for Black hair — L’Oreal and Alberto Culver.
In terms of distribution of products for Black hair, the Korean domination of the Black hair care industry via the Beauty Supply stores that flourish across urban America has been well documented.
This is not the type of “diversity” that is beneficial to African Americans or Black people in 2012. It’s going to take some new approaches to better leverage our consumer dollars and participate more equitably in the business of Black hair.
What say you?