All Articles Tagged "extensions"
The black hair care industry is a billion dollar industry in America that has largely been dominated by a group outside of the African American community. A little known politically backed deal has allowed for the black hair care industry to be cultivated and monopolized by Koreans. Your average brick and mortar beauty supply store is a Korean run establishment, featuring products largely produced by Korean and Chinese companies. An industry that was ignited by the inventions of Madame CJ Walker and popularized by Dudley, has in the last 30 years made an impasse at allowing African Americans to successfully thrive in an industry that caters to their direct needs, instead placing it in the hands of others. However, in more recent years, with the advances of online shopping and social media, black-owned businesses have been making waves in the hair care scene again, as independently owned companies.
In this article we will seek to highlight black owned hair care businesses, not as an endorsement, but to provide insight, knowledge and inspiration to the black community to support and participate in having ownership of an industry that we are moving into the height of economic success, while others are collecting our coins.
Five years ago, Cindi Primm stepped out of the corporate world and took a leap of faith into the world of business owner. At a young age, while others were fantasizing about being veterinarians and ballerinas, a family friend told Primm about being an entrepreneur and the dream began. In March 2008, Primm opened a store in Atlanta, Sage Naturalceuticals, carrying mostly natural body, bath and hair products. Primm’s goal was to help women find naturally made products for all facets of their daily maintenance, something she could personally stand behind. Sage Naturalceuticals is an ever-evolving business as Primm caters to her clients needs. Though Sage originally had a broad focus with a high demand for body products, with the change in consumer demand, the store has grown to have one of the best selections of natural hair products for all hair textures. Primm notes, as a business owner you can “never put yourself in a box, because evolution is inevitable” and “if you know how to maneuver when change happens then you will survive.” A flexible mindset and a strong ambition to never give up has helped Primm to thrive as a black owner of a beauty supply store and she credits her customers for making it easy for her to be in business, as they voice their satisfaction for her customer service. From woman to woman, it’s great to have someone who understands your needs and can provide a service (with a smile) that is a far cry from your standard BSS experience. For more info on Sage Naturalceuticals check out their site or visit the storefront.
The theme of good customer service carries over into another arena of the black hair care market with Select Strands, a boutique hair extension company out of New York City. As black women, shopping at the local BSS does typically deprive us of a decent customer service experience even though we are the ones guaranteeing that the rent is paid every month. So when we take our business to smaller and independently owned companies it is paramount that they fill that void, a philosophy that Select Strands says they live by. Jude Bernard launched Select Strands in 2010 and partnered with Scheffe to turn it into the boutique hair company that always offers a great product at great prices. Focusing on good customer service with a one-on-one focus for each client and reliable deliveries, Select Strands has no desire to become the biggest. Rather they want to remain a boutique that can inform and educate their client while offering a better quality. To start his business, Bernard traveled to India to and even went through the temple head-shaving process to understand how hair is selected. In a hair industry that has no regulations, which can leave consumers blindsided, Select Strands strives to listen to their clients needs and shape their business around the consumer. Offering six textures of hair, some even named after exotic locations (though that’s more a reference of texture as all the hair comes from India), they interchange textures based on demand and offer one-on-one consultations to help with the purchasing process. You can find out more information about Select Strands and their NYC showroom from the website.
Know of other Black owned businesses that are offering superior hair products to the Black hair community? Leave a comment below. Jouelzy offers tutorials on all aspects of Black hair care via her YouTube channel, focusing on women with tight budgets. You can also find her daily hair tips and inspirations on Facebook.
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“Before we got together, we were doing all this research. There was a great supplier that we both stumbled across, “ said Kori Davis, brand manager of extensions line Hair Crush.
Already co-owner of Blush boutique along with Kora Mylum, Davis thought it would be a good idea to link up with hair stylists and owners of Glamour Gyrl’z hair salon. Sisters Jai and Janice Chambers operate the shop with their mother Jackie Bradfield not too far from Blush boutique on 9 Mile road in Detroit.
Unknowingly, the two groups of entrepreneurs began investigating gaining separate access to hair extensions before learning they were all seeking to extend services in their individual businesses. After finding a promising hair manufacturer in India they joined forces.
“We figured we might as well come together because the more we buy, the bigger supply we’ll be able to put out for the demand of hair,” said Davis.
The Benefits of Forming a Partnership
Testing out the supplier by wearing the hair around town, the founders discovered friends and customers were interested in where the hair came from. When they researched and pinpointed a manufacturer in 2010, the founders sold their extensions without a staple brand. It was then they decided to move forward with making the business official.
“We did have to test a lot of hair and go through a couple of manufacturers. We wore the hair to test the shedding and we are satisfied with our product,” said Janice Chambers, creative director of Hair Crush. Her sister Jai is vice president of the company while Jackie serves as president.
In one of their very first meetings, Chambers remembers the founders sitting at a table tossing around potential names for the soon-to-be hair line.
“We were thinking about all things hair and the fact that everyone fell in love with the hair. One of us was drinking a soda — a Crush — and we were bouncing names off of each other. Kora was like, ‘Everyone loves the hair, why not Hair Crush?’ and we just went from there,” Chambers said. “We were so happy with the product, we wanted to share it with everyone else.”
In Part II of our interview, Trina Braxton explains why you won’t be seeing her sons on “Braxton Family Values,” why she hates the word “weave” and what she likes to watch when she’s filming her own show.
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The conversation started off with a lean and a “girl, can you believe…” So, I knew it was about to get real. The follow up question didn’t live up to my expectations though.
It went something like, “Girl, can you believe this woman just asked me where I got my hair from?”
I sat back and thought for a minute, then said, “… And you were offended by that?”
Though, her weave was expertly sewn into her head, a black woman would have had to be completely ignorant about weave culture to know that this hair didn’t grow out of this woman’s head naturally. I always thought that if you wanted to know where a woman’s hair came from, you simply asked her…politely. It was something I’d seen done often. I would have taken such a question as a compliment. A black woman would obviously inquire because she admired or planned to duplicate the look for herself.
This woman didn’t see it like that. She said, “You go through all this trouble, trying to make it look real, only for people to come up to you and ask where you got it. It’s rude.”
Hmm…now if the woman ran up on her and put her fake hair on blast for all the world to hear, then maybe that’s one thing; but as a woman who’s worn weave before, it’s not something I would have been offended by. I would have taken it as an opportunity to help my fellow sista tap into her own level of flyness. But that’s just me.
We want to know what you think about this.
Has a woman ever asked you where you got your hair? How did you respond? Do you think it’s rude to ask a woman where she bought her hair?
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Our sister website, StyleBlazer, sat down with Hollywood hair stylist Kim Kimble to get some advice on all the big hair questions black women have these days. Today we bring you part two of that chat, where the L.A. Hair star offers tips for those extension loving ladies, naturalistas and transitioning sistahs who fear the big chop. Get some tips on some amazing products to apply to your hair during the summer, the importance of frequent washing and more. And from the very beginning she wants you to know that extensions don’t tear up your edges, the hair stylist who puts them in does! She’s got more inside hair info to share with you, so it’s time to learn a thing or two. Grab a note pad ladies!
And be sure to click over to StyleBlazer to check out their first sit-down interview with Kim Kimble.
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Team Natural or Team Relaxed? What started out as women cheerfully showing pride in their locks has turned into another divisive tool amongst women of color. Last week I wrote two articles for Madame Noire; the first article was about having realistic expectations for natural hair, which sparked a nice conversation amongst women with different textures and how they were learning to work with their hair. The next day my article was posted on how to wear a good weave on a budget, and boy oh boy, did I cause a firestorm on the Facebook page. Almost immediately someone asked why we weren’t encouraging women to wear their real hair. And thus it began a mini comment battle between women who enjoy wearing extensions and relaxers and women who enjoy toting natural hair. No one realized that the author (me, of course) giving advice on weaves was someone who had been natural for many years, just a day after providing tips for those with natural hair.
A few days later at the 2012 Met Gala, Solange Knowles hit the red carpet in a dazzling canary yellow Rachel Roy gown and a fluffy curly afro. Every other natural woman online was ohhing and ahhing while reposting her picture to their respective social media accounts. She looked beyond fabulous…with her wig on, but because it looked like a real afro, no one cared. And that should be an example of how contrite this schism between “team natural” and “team non-natural” is. While it’s great to have a support system when going natural, to bully others into feeling like they are less than or don’t love themselves because of how they choose to manage their own hair is foul. It’s also hypocritical when we are praising the natural hair “image” of celebrities who are really rocking weaves, but dogging out the real world women who wear them as well. Weaves can work as a great protective style that allow women to switch up their look and explore different looks without damaging their real hair (if done right of course). The key is to have healthy hair, not just natural hair.
And women who aren’t natural have played into the drama as well. There’s no need to be combative by spreading negative stereotypes of women who choose to wear their hair natural. There is nothing butch, boyish or dirty about natural hair, as it can be just as feminine and hot as any other hairstyle. Natural women can achieve the same lengths of “long hair don’t care” as those who are relaxed. And when it all comes down to it, in order to maintain and grow long healthy hair, whether relaxed or natural, we are following the same hair care standards. One of the most preeminent books that has shaped many of the natural hair gurus’ ideology was written by a woman with relaxed hair, Ultra Black Hair Growth by Cathy Howe. It details a hair care regimen for growing relaxed hair that is parallel to the regimen for natural hair. It’s really all just hair.
One of the most beautiful factors of being a woman of color is the versatility that exists among us. Black women are the most diverse group of women and our hair can do just about anything. Our hair is one way to show our versatility. Just as one should not dictate that a person should only wear her hair straight or tell someone they look manly and hard with natural hair, one shouldn’t dictate that everyone needs to be natural and that you are trying to be something you’re not if you choose not to. For some, that is just not a realistic expectation as this point. You should always respect the comfort levels of others, and that consideration carries over to hair.
Hair is an extension of ones self. Hair does not make the person. In fact, character and confidence can completely change the shape of a hairstyle. So let’s stop telling someone else how one should wear their hair, and stop trying to insult each other to make ourselves feel better. Let’s stop defining ourselves by the nature of our hair. Live freely and direct your energy into helping others build up their good character and confidence.
Virgin Brazilian, Malaysian, Peruvian, Cambodian. Exotic hair is all the rage. But the price tag doesn’t quite work for a lot of folks. Don’t be ashamed if you’re still purchasing your hair from the local beauty supply store and can’t get the silky looks of the stars. No need to compensate by buying the most expensive hair in the store either. There are ways to achieve a great look without breaking the bank. Even synthetic weaves can look fabulous and cost you less than $50. Here are some tips on maintaining a weave that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. Whether it’s synthetic or human hair, it’s going to look real and real good on you.
1. Cut the hair to shape your face.
Don’t just sew or glue in two packs of weave from the store and rock it, because it is going to look stiff and fake. You have to alter it to fit your features and the look you’re going for. The easiest trick to creating a more realistic look is by simply layering the hair and shaping it to your face. Rather then doing a blunt cut, shear the hair at an angle with a razor. Razor combs will do the trick and provide soft angles, even if you’re a novice at cutting your hair.
2. Be aware that your hair has a short(er) lifespan
Know that with a budget weave the longevity is short. Preferably, only keep in the weave for a month. With a little extra care you can stretch it out to about two months. You want to limit the product you put in it and wrap your hair with a silk scarf every night. The key word is ‘care,’ and that will largely determine the longevity of your weave. The less ‘care’ you put into maintaining it, the less time you can make that hair last.
3. Put down the product
Once again, the less products you put in your hair, the better. Product buildup is a sure-fire way to kill a weave. The most you want to do is condition the hair and oil your scalp. And you ONLY oil your scalp NOT the hair. When you’re wearing a synthetic weave, no product allowed. Put down the Let’s Jam! and ampro gel, and stick to light hair products.
4. Keep it short and sweet
Sorry to those who are dying to have hair down to their butts. At longer lengths, folks will already be searching extra hard for your tracks, but full, shoulder-length hair has a more realistic appeal, especially if you are using synthetic hair. The rule of thumb is bra-strap length, and remember to layer the hair.
5. Say no to flat top
All-in-one packs are very tempting, but they’re also too thin. We’re not even talking big hair, just make sure you have enough hair to make it look full and have body. The worst is when your weave is too flat on the top and you can see straight though the hair. You can do the all-in-one packs, just grab two. You should still be within budget.
6. To blend or to sew, that is the question…
Understand that you are purchasing hair that is of a lesser quality. That’s not particularly a bad thing. But attempting to blend your hair with synthetic hair can go all types of wrong. You may be able to get away with certain brands of human hair, but check the luster of the hair and meter if you want to really go through the daily pains of blending your hair. Full weave is usually the way to go. Just add an invisible part for a bit more dimension, and enjoy a fly style that fits within your price range.
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With all the dramatic rumors flying around about Fantasia and her money, her man and her career in general, it’s nice to see the new mommy (who gave birth in December) all smiles and showing off her post-baby curve-a-licious body. Homegirl gave her own short locks a break and was seen at a recent event in North Carolina with long, flowing extensions with some really cute bangs. She also showed up in this multi-colored dress with slits in the arms and pink, strappy stilettos. She, like Bey, is embracing her added curves since giving birth, and it’s nice to see her looking in good spirits. For a minute there, we were getting worried about the direction of things in Fanny’s life (and we still are a little), what with Antwaun Cook allegedly wanting to go back to his ex and the singer having to sell her home for a lot less than she paid, but we’ll continue to hope for the best. Make that money, honey and hurry up and put out a new album! “I’m Doin’ Me” was the jam…
What do you think of her new look?
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X Factor UK Star Alexandra Burke was recently spotted out and about in London rocking a super fly ponytail. If there’s one thing we brown girls do well, it’s the classic pony—it shows off our gorgeous faces and gives our hair a styling break for a few days.
If you love the look, check out the few sleek-inducing essentials you need to have in your stash at StyleBlazer.com.
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Apparently, rapper E.V.E. is trying to get her Diana Ross on with this big hair. Judging from this leaked picture, I don’t know if she succeeded.
There’s still hair on the couch, so maybe it’s not finished.
Head over to StyleBlazer.com to check out more photos, get a description behind all of this…
Are you feeling the new look?
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