Every so often I get some insight into how products are targeted to black people around the world. It’s never made me uncomfortable that the people behind these products are not usually black themselves, recently I had cause to pause for thought.
I only ‘buy black’ when the product in question is both convenient to get and is at a reasonable price. I know people who will hunt high and low to find a black owned plumber or electrician and happily pay more to get the same service that a local company can provide. That’s ok, I’m just not one of those people.
If I happen to be at the supermarket and I want to buy some seasoning and I notice a jar of spices that I know is black owned, I will usually buy that over the name brand that isn’t. I just won’t go to 3 different supermarkets to find the same jar. I simply prefer convenience and I suspect that many of us are the same way too.
Anyway, when it comes to hair products, there is a definite tendency for many of them particularly extensions* to come from the Asian markets. It stands to reason seeing as most of the hair we buy here in the west comes from India, China and Korea.
This culture clash has also led to an interesting trend in Asian men and women getting ‘afro perms’ as in the picture, an thought provoking curiosity without a doubt.
Recently I was contacted by one such company looking to advertise a new product to the weave wearing black women on BHI. I couldn’t give them exact figures on the percentage of my audience that wear weaves but he furnished me with this little nugget of wisdom:
I’ve been in this industry so long, I can say that 3 out of 4 Nubian ladies will wear hair weaves some point in time, especially the younger generation. Even though they is a natural hair movement like in the seventies, eventually women get bored and change their hairstyles the same way as clothes.
Yowzers! Say what? My first reaction was to be affronted by the remark but after I’d simmered down I heard truth in his words.
Only recently I was writing about Solange Knowles and her hair regimen. She originally went natural to get out of relaxers and weaves (what she said in her Oprah interview). While she has stayed away from relaxers, shortly thereafter she was back in braids and weaves again albeit kinky* curly textured ones.