The Black Hair Care Industry – Part 2

So what stayed the same and what changed?

What stayed the same: Spending a lot and weaves

We are still spending a lot of money on our hair. According to Mintel, “Relaxers represent 21% of the black haircare market with expenditures at $152 million, down 15% since 2011 due to the natural hair trend.”

Mintel reports “Nearly six out of 10 Black consumers wear a wig, weave, or extensions, which enables them to switch up their look.”

 

Whats changed: More competition

There are more mainstream brands entering the market. Big companies like Dove, Garnier, Neutrogena are coming out with products that appeal to black women by adding ingredients that are usually found in black haircare products. This for some people may be more competition, but from my experience its just made me waste more money. They think their products are perfect for black hair when they add one little ingredient but the truth is it doesn’t really work. I’ve spent way too much money doing this. What I suggest is find that black haircare brand that works for your hair and stick with it! They are the pros and know what kind of hair they’re dealing with and make their products specifically to that. I got to Dino’s Grocery Mart at 460 Notre Dame Ave or Sally’s Beatuy Supply to get most of my haircare products. Those are the places that I’ve found to have the most selection.

 

 

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The Black Hair Care Industry – Part 1

The Black haircare industry. Market research firm Mintel estimated the size of the 2012 market at $684 million, with a projection of $761 million by 2017. But Mintel also wisely notes:

“What’s missing from these figures are general market brands, weaves, extensions, wigs, independent beauty supply stores, distributors, e-commerce, styling tools and appliances. If all of those things were to be taken into consideration, the $684 million in expenditures could reach a whopping half trillion dollars.”

Half trillion, as is in $500 billion.

Hair is a big part of the Black female culture, so it’s not surprising that we potentially spend that much money on our hair. Good Hair, the 2009 documentary by comedian Chris Rock, put a spotlight on the business of black hair, particularly our use of relaxers and weaves and the sources of the extensions so many women sew into their hair, but I will get into depth about that movie in another post!

I hope seeing these numbers surprised you as much as it surprised me! I knew the black haircare industry was big but not THAT big.

There are many things that have stayed the same and that are changing in the industry and I’ll get into that in part two!

 

 

 

 

Black Hair & Celebrities

If you ever wonder why black female celebrities hair is ALWAYS poppin’, well that’s because they have millions of dollars to spend on the most luscious weaves, wigs and hair products.

It’s funny when I see one with really bad hair and I’m like girl, you have the best hair in the world at the TIP of your fingers, what you doing?! (Even if it’s just a well-moisturized afro)

For a long time, most black female celebrities would just wear wigs or weaves. There were some celebrities, like Brandi for example, that would go against the grain and have their natural hair or wear braids, and it’s known now to be one of their “big looks” because they looked so different than other black celebrities.

 

Janet Jackson in Poetic Justice (1993)

Brandy in the 90s

It’s definitely changing the stigma against knowing or seeing black women with their natural hair. In the first season of the show How To Get Away With Murder, the lead character has a scene that social media couldn’t stop talking about after it aired. In the scene, the main character is taking off her makeup and wig at the end of the time. People were surprised because this is usually something that wouldn’t be shown in most movies with black women.  Check out the clip below to see what I’m talking about!https://youtu.be/yK8EN3L3Kq8

I remember when Beyonce came out with her document, Life Is But A Dream, trying to give the world and fans an inside look into her life because she’s always kept it so private. In the documentary, Beyonce had a few scenes where she was in braids and fans were shocked! Since then, she’s been sporting the braid look a lot more.

Beyonce in Life Is But A Dream

 

There’s a stigma in the black haircare industry that you can’t be pretty, feminine or even professional with an afro or natural looking hair. Ever since people like Lupita Nyong’o came onto the scene, people have realized that it’s okay to go natural with your hair and that you can still be beautiful and sexy. Thank you, Lupita! 

More on the black haircare industry in the next post!

Want some more?

I promised you more misconceptions/questions about black hair, and here they are!

“You buy other people hair to wear?!”

Yes and we pay a fortune for it! Lots of people wear extensions to wear different hairstyles. It started off as more of a secret when you were wearing hair extensions, but that has changed so much. Especially with celebrities and seeing more people who aren’t black wearing wigs, weaves, and extensions and changing it up on a daily basis so you know it’s not really their hair.

“Can I get braids too?”

Yeah, you can! But be warned, if you have a silkier hair texture then braids or a sew in weave are not going to the last as long

“Can you get a perm?”

Because black hair already has such a specific curl pattern, a perm wouldn’t work on our hair. I’ve always grown up with my mom saying that it wouldn’t do anything for my hair but probably make it drier and harder to handle.

“Why don’t you want to get your hair wet?!”

Trust me. I’m not trying to be uptight! It’s my hair I swear.

I want nothing more than to run and jump into a pool whenever I want with my natural hair, but If I’m not equipped with the tools I need to deal with my hair afterward then ill definitely regret my pool day.

Because our hair is naturally drier, it doesn’t do well air drying. It’ll get brittle and break off. If I don’t have the opportunity to moisturize my hair soon after getting it wet, then I usually don’t want to bother getting it wet.

 

There’s still so much more to learn about black hair. This is just the tip of the iceberg. I hope these last two posts have kept you informed. I’ll be throwing in some FAQ/interesting facts about black hair throughout my next few posts.

Stay tuned!

 

 

 

So what have you heard about my hair?

No, it’s not a dreadlock. No, it’s not horses hair, and no, you can’t touch it! (Okay maybe you could touch it if you asked nicely but ask first!)

There are so many misconceptions and stereotypes about black hair, and I’m going to set them to rest!

“Why don’t you wash your hair every day?”

  • The truth is, our hair doesn’t produce grease so washing it every day would only make our hair worse. It’s dry and brittle on its own and shampoos have harsh cleaning chemicals in it that would destroy our hair. I usually wash my hair about once a week, and that includes an in-depth conditioning treatment with a tinfoil cap. Silkier hair textures are prone to be more greaser, hence why their hair is naturally silky and flowy. So no, it’s not gross that we don’t wash our hair as often as you do. It’s just different!

 

“Do you sew your weave into your scalp!?”

  • Nooooo way! That would be impossible. I find it pretty funny that people actually ask me that question. If you saw one of my earlier blog posts where I go into depth about the different protective hairstyles for my hair type, but I’ll quickly explain it again.
  • To get a weave,  you braid down your hair into cornrows (and those can come in many different shapes or styles depending on the final look you want). Once all the hair is braided down, you sew the weave track onto the cornrows and pull tight! This ensures the weave is secure and will stay put.

 

“You should just get an afro.”

  • I wish it were that easy! Afros have to start from the root so if your hair is relaxed (see a previous post for definition) then that’s a long-term commitment to make because you’d have to cut off all your hair from the start of your new growth.
  • Also, not every person capable of having an afro will look good with an afro. I wish I would, but I know my face shape wouldn’t suit it. But power to all the ladies and gents that rock that afro!! I’m jealous

So there you have it! The first 3 misconceptions about black hair and there are soooo much more, but you’ll have to come back and see them in another post!

How much is too much?

I like anything free. Getting my hair done has always been something inexpensive for me until I discovered weaves, but that’s a whole other story.

You want to make sure if you’re getting your hair done that you’re not paying too much.

Relaxing your hair could cost anywhere from $50-$250 depending on what type of extra treatments you get for your hair.

Braids can cost anywhere from $200-$500 depending on the style, length, and thickness of your braids.

Tips:

  1. Make sure to do your research and calling different places to make sure you’re getting the best price. Because there aren’t many places that do black hair, there shouldn’t be
  2. In your research, try to get a second opinion and talk to someone who has gotten the same thing done to their hair.
  3. Some salons you call may say that they know how to handle the black hair texture not realizing that our hair texture is very different. So make sure you explain to them what type of hair you do have and ask if they specifical do chemical relaxers.

Again, I always suggest just getting someone to do it for you at home or learning to do it yourself! There are tons of youtube tutorials and pretty detailed instructions on the relaxer box. If you want to get braids or a different hairstyle, now that is a bit harder. While getting it done from someone who works from home might be harder to find, it definitely has its benefits.

  1. Cheaper price
    • Because the money is usually just going to one person, they don’t have to add extra fees to the cost of doing your hair.
  2. Comfortability
    • Most of the time you’re at someone’s house, or they come to yours. This makes it easier for you to bring snacks and drinks and have them when you want and not have to pay the salon to have their food and drink.
    • You can watch TV or movies while your hair is getting done which makes the time pass.

So there you go. You’re now well prepped to go out there and get that good hair!

So where do I get this good hair care?

There aren’t many options for black women to get their hair done. In the black culture, it’s more common for friends or relatives to do your hair at home. In my whole 24 years of life, I’ve only been to a hair salon ONCE! But let me tell you was that experience the best. I try to find every excuse to go one again, but it’s just so much easier to get a family member to do it at home for free!

The three salons that I’ve heard the most about are

  • Freshair Boutique located at 542 A Academy Rd
    • Website: http://www.freshairboutique.ca/
  • Lola Beauty Gallery & Supplies located at 567 Portage Ave
    • Website: https://www.lolasbeautygallery.com/

 

The first two I have never been to, but I’ve heard great things! Lola’s Beauty Gallery & Supplies has been around for such a long time. I would say they have been the OG black hair salon.I think a big reason why hair care for black men and women is hard to find is that it’s always been something foreign to most people and something not everyone knows how to deal with it. But with black hair industry getting more popular with other races, there have been a lot of hair businesses have incorporated services for black men and women.

This has created an industry for freelance or at home hair workers to start businesses, and with social media, some people are making doing hair at home their full-time job, but more on that in another post.

Now you’re probably wondering, now I know where to get good hair care but how much will it cost?! Well! Lucky for you my next post will tell you allllll about that.

Different relaxer brands

In my last post, I talked about relaxer which is the term for chemically straightening your hair.

Now I want to show you some of the different brands that you can buy!

 

1. Soft & Beautiful Just for Me

just for me

  • This one is perfect for younger scalps. I still use this brand because it’s less harsh on my hair and it responds to this relaxer better. One time I used an “adult” relaxer and my hair was NOT happy! I was sitting there taking out knots in my hair for over an hour. It was a tough day

2. Dark and Lovely

  • This is one of the most popular brands. Most adults in my family use this one, and they’ve had no problems. My hair, dark and lovelyon the other hand, did not respond well to it but it’s all trial and error, so everyone kind of has to figure out for themselves which brand your hair likes.

 

3. African Pride Olive Miracle

african pride

  • This is a brand you will see around the stores frequently. I’ve personally never tried this brand but have heard good things about it.

 

Takeaways:

I’d say try the Soft & Beautiful Just for Me as your first relaxer, even if you’re not a kid. Then go ahead and try some other brands and see how your hair responds.

Again, you can buy most of these products at any Shoppers Drug Mart, Superstore, Walmart, or Sally Beauty Supply. The prices for relaxer can vary from $10-$20.

If you’re looking for an easier way to relaxer your hair because you don’t have anyone that can do it for you, check out my next blog post where I name some of the hair salons in Winnipeg that can relax your hair!

You’re getting your hair what!?

Relaxed. I’m getting it relaxed.

Relaxing hair is a foreign subject to people that don’t have to get it done.

Relaxing your hair means chemically straightening your curly hair from the roots so it gets silky and straight.

This something that a lot of black people have done to their hair but, non-black people can also get this done if you’re born with naturally very curly hair.

I suggest getting your hair relaxed for the first time in a salon. This will cost anywhere from $80-$150.  Going to a salon to relax your hair is the expensive way to do it, but you could also buy the relaxer from hair and grocery stores like Sally Beauty Supply, Superstore, Shoppers Drug Mart or any other hair store. This will only set you back about $10-$20 depending on the brand you buy.

Making sure that you relax your hair properly is really important for safe hair care so make sure you choose the method that works the best for you!

The benefits of getting a relaxer are having straight hair if you prefer straight hair and having your styling time cut in half. The cons are that you don’t have the option to wear your hair naturally curly anymore, and also the amount of commitment it takes to continue to relax your hair or let it grow back out curly which is a long looong process.

Some tips for relaxing your hair:

  1. Only relax your hair every 8-10 weeks or after your new growth has grown in past an inch.
  2. Make sure you go somewhere where they know what they’re doing. Some hair salons that don’t’ know how to handle black hair will say they can help you out but beware! Your hair won’t be the same after leaving that salon.
  3.  If you want to relax your child’s hair, wait as long as you can. I got my hair relaxed for the first time when I was 14 years old. If hair is relaxed before 12 -14 years old, the relaxer can have a harmful effect on an underdeveloped scalp.

BUT WHAT IF I DONT WANT TO RELAX MY HAIR!

Good news! You don’t have to. Just go oh-natur-al!

Natural hairstyles are starting to become more popular which makes black women feel empowered but some women still feel ashamed and think their hair won’t be accepted in society..but that’s a topic for another blog post.

But I say screw that and do you girl!

 

What the heck are protective hairstyles?

Sometimes our hair gets so unmanageable that we need to braid it down and put it away for a little while. The great thing about our hair texture is that it can stay in cornrows longer than someone with silkier hair. This makes it easier for us to use protective hairstyles to help our hair.

Let’s start off with braids and twists!

Box braids and Senegalese twists are made with extensions that you attach to your hair. You section off each part of your hair, depending on how big or small you want the braid, knot the top and braid (or twist) it down until the end. Braids usually take longer than twists because braids have three strands of hair and

Braids usually take longer than twists because braids have three strands of hair and twists only use two strands.

One of the most popular hair extension brands is X-pressions (which is synthetic hair).  It looks the best when it’s done and the hair is long which makes it a better option for styling and choosing a specific length that works for you. Other brands come with shorter hair which limits the length you can make it, but this works well if you already wanted a shorter hairstyle.

Wigs

I know when I was younger, I didn’t think wigs were an everyday thing but oh how times have changed!

A lot of people don’t’ know that most black celebrities are always wearing wigs. Most of them don’t want you to know that….so oops, you didn’t hear that from me!

Other celebrities, like the Kardashians for example, are way more likely to talk about wearing wigs. It’s fun for them to change up the way they look a few times a week with different hair lengths, colors, and styles.

Weaves

Weaves can be done in multiple ways. A traditional weave is done by braiding down your hair into cornrows, with the option of having “leave out” which is hair that you leave out to blend with the weave hair. Once your hair is braided down, you can sew a net onto it to help protect your hair even more OR you can just sew the weave hair right onto your braids. Weave hair is usually human hair and more expensive.

There are many people who pay lots of money for hair that they thought was 100% human and found out that it wasn’t what they thought they were buying. There are lots of different hair brands and colors to choose from so before you make a purchase, make sure to do your research!

On silkier hair texture, sew in weaves can still work but there are better methods of attaching hair extensions for that hair type.

Glue-ins

These work by using a special glue to attach to a section of the hair. This process is good for people that want

Clip-ins

**These work for both silky and coarse hair types.**

You can buy hair with clips already attached or buy the hair and clips separately and attach them yourself (which is a little harder but cheaper). I’ve tried this method before and it is nice having the option to take the clips out of the hair, which you can’t always do when you buy the hair with the clips already attached. This makes the hair you spent so much money on last longer because you have the option to use it as a clip-ins (which at temporary) or a weave for a more permanent look.

 

With all that said, these protective hairstyles are great BUT they do take a few hours to complete.

Box braids and Senegalese can take anywhere from 5+ hours depending on the length and size of your hair

Weaves can take anywhere from 2-6 hours, again depending on the style you choose.

BUT TRUST ME, IT’S ALL WORTH IT!

Currently, I’m on a braid obsession. Box braids all every day! I’m practicing what I preach and trying to grow back out my hair.

Check back next week for all you need to know about that “creamy crack”!