The hair industry is one of the biggest in the world as well as in this country; in recent years black women have made up a bulk of that. I'm certain you saw the 3rd Degree "investigation" done by one Deborah Patta earlier in the year showing just how much black women are squandering on weaves.That report had very little merit and integrity in my eye and it was easy to overlook it. I came across a link that led me to wonder where exactly women of colour with natural hair fit in the broader media, advertising, beauty and economic spectrum of the hair industry.
I was reading through of my favourite hair blogs, authored by a lovely young woman named Aisha, and I found an entry in which she shared with her readership that Glamour (magazine) had sent her a response from a natural hair care range to concerns she raised a few days prior.
Aisha had been reading through the mentioned publication's hair issue when she saw an advertisement that upset her. For one thing, the advert is meant to be selling a hair care range geared toward the natural hair market. The model used by the brand ad as well as the ones in their website did not reflect that.
What they have are women with curly, shinny and silky hair, a texture that many black women who decide to go natural cannot attain. This then begs the question: "What exactly are they selling?" Is it that hard to cast a woman with a hair texture to which the market can relate? If the weave-looking woman is what most natural hair product manufacturers are they are targeting with their products then would it be safe to say they are not in touch with their market?
Women of colour who choose their natural hair have all kinds of textures but I'm almost certain that the one depicted in that ad is not one of them. I find it sad that media and advertising is still not in touch with markets and that both celebrate one kind of beauty over and over again.
To those working tirelessly to celebrate all beauty, to provide women (and men) who are thinking of going natural with information and hair care tips that will ensure them healthy hair I applaud your efforts. At the end of the day, we all vote with our rands; if a brand or company does not support/represent you or embrace the principles you have you're within your rights to stop supporting them with your hard earned money.
Do you have any natural hair tips you would like to share with readers of this blog? Please do so in the comments section.
The image used in this post is an "ad" Aisha came up with, not the one in the hair issue. I must say it's simply beautiful.