By Yassira Diggs
One doesn’t have to look far for evidence that wearing natural hair is still unacceptable to many in the mainstream. Only four short years ago, a Glamour magazine editor presented a slide show on proper corporate fashion during which she declared the afro “a real no-no” and dreadlocks “truly dreadful.” Despite such negative feedback, more and more African-Americans are falling in love with their natural hair and seeking salons that cater to this interest. Leaders of natural hair care salons nationwide have shared some of their insights into this growing market with us — and their favorite products — highlighting the exciting expansion of this beauty revolution. As more black women (and men) explore their natural hair options in droves, this new aesthetic will become more common in the workplace. Corporate America might have to adjust to our new standard of beauty, as the growth described by these natural hair care salon owners is certain to continue.
400 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY
Despite the market crash in 2008 “the natural hair industry has grown as many women are awakening to the beauty, power and liberation of natural hair,” Anu Prestonia owner of Khamit Kinks in Brooklyn, NY told The Atlanta Post. She has run a renowned natural hair care mecca for three decades, boasting celebrity clients like Solange, who had her hair styled there recently for a Carol’s Daughter shoot. While Prestonia is a natural hair care veteran, “In the last five years I would say that the business has increased 10%.” And the natural hair care industry is still growing, even as traditional black hair care faces a decline. “I think the large, corporate, black hair care industry has dwindled considerably,” Anu explains, “while the cottage hair care product industry is growing exponentially. Almost everyone is bringing to market their own products even if they are only selling them to their clients in the beginning.” Prestonia sees this growth in response to a new kind of client, which is younger and eager to experience their own hair texture without braids or other extensions. These are looks that younger clients are taking into the workplace.