We at YourNaturalHair.Com thought it would be interesting and worthwhile to interview some of the young black women (and men) changing the multi-billion dollar black hair care industry. We’re calling this series “The Faces of the Natural Hair Care Industry.” This is important because before the recent wave of natural hair care products, women with coily/kinky hair were slaves of mass produced hair care products manufactured by munti-national corporations. Many of ingredients contained in these products have subsequently been proven to cause hair breakage, scalp issues, and other more series health concerns for the bodies of black women.
However, over the past 10 years scores of small businesses have launched, each offering a selection of hand made products designed specifically for dry curly/coily hair worn in its natural state. For the most part, these cottage industry enterprises sell their wares on the web, avoiding the expense of establishing brick and mortar retail stores.
Other women that were selected for interviews are influential in a different way – perhaps organizing natural hair care groups, educating women escaping relaxers and perms about their natural hair and what it needs, or opening up natural hair care salons in their city.
We hope you find these interviews and the information shared by our selection of business owners and leaders in the natural hair movement to be of value. Look for more interviews during the coming weeks. And if you are a shop owner, product line creator or natural hair care book author, or want to recommend an interview with someone, please use the Contact Us link and tell us about it!
Your Name: Rox-Ann Bowden
Your Website: http://www.silkywraps.com
Find you on Facebook at: Silky Wraps on Facebook
Connect with you on Twitter at: @silkywraps
My business is Silky Wraps, and we design and manufacture hair maintenance products such as bonnets, sleep wraps and shower caps. along with coordinating lounge wear.
What are your short-term and long-term business goals?
We have accomplished our short term goal of introducing the hair arena to boutique style hair coverings that are fashionable, high quality and effective. For too long women (especially women of color), have had to settle for inferior products that do not reflect our style. Our long term goal is to continue improving the brand and spreading the word. Currently, by mostly word of mouth, we have reached 41 states and 5 countries. We want to find new ways of giving women products that meet their needs and they are proud to wear.
What made you interested originally in the whole “natural hair” thing? How long have you been wearing your hair “natural?
Like most naturals I have attempted going back to my natural hair in the past. The first was in my teens after a Jheri curl turned bad, and during my pregnancy with my first child. In both situations it is sad to say, but I didn’t have the proper information to enjoy it or keep it that way. My most recent natural attempt is when I did my big chop in May 2012 after a short transition. I was well prepared as I had already delved into healthy hair care during my previous years with a relaxer. I was tired of the breakage and sucked up every bit of info I could about healthy hair. That was also the time I started designing my hair wraps to help protect my hair. When I decided I no longer wanted to relax my hair I had more product and technique knowledge than before. Since my last big chop I am more realistic about my hair and enjoying the variety of styles.
More and more women are leaving relaxers behind and transitioning to wearing their natural hair. What do you think is behind the movement to “going natural”? Is there actually a “movement”, or do you think for most women it’s just the latest fad?
I admire the camaraderie that the movement has brought among women. I believe it might be a fad but that most women have embarked on the journey because they are more equipped to deal with the option. Women are genuinely embracing the fact that their natural hair can reflect their personality. I know for myself during my earlier attempts at going natural I abandoned it because the style options I had were not flattering to me.
Thanks to the internet, especially You Tube, the variety is astounding and beautiful. Like other aspects of life, with proper education and resources, change is embraced. Recently a little girl locked eyes with me in a clothing store because we were both rocking our Afros. I smiled at her and she giggled, all the while staring at my hair. My husband touches my hair lovingly. My daughter gets lots of compliments from her classmates when she wears her hair in a fro. This is the kind of change that we can embrace. Fad or not I am enjoying it!
What would you say are the biggest or most frequent mistakes natural hair wearers make ?
The biggest mistake I believe naturals make is expecting their hair to behave the same way as when it was relaxed. Subconsciously we have bought into the notions about our natural hair being unmanageable and limiting. We have to get those ideas out of our heads.
Please share your wisdom on natural hair with the readership. Can you give us three of your best suggestions or tips for success?
- Being knowledgeable about healthy hair period, makes the natural journey more successful.
- Doing as much research before making the transition. Don’t wait until you are in the thick of it (literally) to figure out your options.
- And of course – protect your hair from the elements, especially at night. Our natural hair is fragile and more susceptible to moisture loss and tangling.
Feel free to add anything else you want people to know!
When it comes to covering your hair look for the best materials you can afford. All fabrics are not created equal. I know this for a fact as I was raised in a family of seamstresses and manufacturers. Your product and techniques will lessen the frustrations. Most of all, embrace the change!
Category: Faces of the Natural Hair Industry
About the Author (Author Profile)Blogger, writer, relationships/dating expert, fitness trainer and natural hair enthusiast since 1997. Sharing information from grandmomma, books and scientific journals, as well as my personal discoveries and experiences with natural hair as we journey from relaxers, flat irons and weaves together.
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