We hear all the time that black or at the very least ‘textured’ hair products are a multi billion dollar a year industry and with black women spending three to six times more on hair products that their white counterparts it seems like a sure thing for many investors right?
Not so according to Kevin Rose of Nymag.com. Just over a week ago he posted this scathing article titled “Dumb Money: Exposing Silicon Valley’s Stupidest Investments“. This is what he thought of natural ladies’ popular website Naturallycurly.com.
Some of tech’s clunkers never get off the ground, but others manage to get big, high-profile investments despite having no redeeming qualities whatsoever. (For example, what kind of genius decided to throw $1.2 million at NaturallyCurly, the “leading social network and community for people with wavy, curly and kinky* hair?”)
Now on the one hand I can understand the caution advisable in investing that kind of money in a business that doesn’t have a physical shop-front, investors prefer bricks and mortar right?
On the other hand US shoppers will spend $226 billion on the internet this year up from $202 billion in 2011 and it is projected that that figure will rise to $327 billion or an estimated 9% of all retail sales by 2016. I’m sure that most would agree that these figures are nothing to sniff at.
According to Blackgirllonghair.com, Texturemedia, the company behind Naturallycurly.com jumped into the comments to defend the investment with this rebuttal (although at the time of publishing this, that comment seems to have disappeared!):
As the straight-haired CEO of TextureMedia, parent company of NaturallyCurly, I thought I would share a few facts about the size and engagement of this market. The first is that approximately 60% of the world has textured hair (waves, curls and coils). That’s a lot of people — close to 80 million textured hair females 18+ in the US alone.
Combined with other brands in the TextureMedia portfolio, NaturallyCurly serves close to 2 million unique visitors every month who appreciate having an engaged community platform to share and learn more about products, stylists, photos, trends, hair health and more.
Women with textured hair spend 3x more on average than their straight-haired peers.