Relaxer Sales Down 30% As Natural Hair Products Flood The Market

hair relaxers aisle in store

Surfing the net recently I came across an interesting piece in the Bloomberg Business week website. Here’s a short excerpt from the article:

In 2009 the comedian Chris Rock created a stir with his documentary Good Hair. In its wake, many turned to the Internet in search of alternatives. In chat rooms on websites such as Curly Nikki and Afrobella, women shared tips for grooming afros and compared mom-and-pop product lines catering to women who’d decided to “go natural.” According to market research firm Mintel Group, in the three years after Good Hair’s release, sales of chemical relaxers fell more than 30 percent.

While I am not sure I agree that the movie ‘Good Hair’ played such an outstanding role at contributing to the drop in sales of relaxers I can at the same time appreciate a good statistic. Now we can actually put a figure into how much the relaxed industry has suffered since women switched to natural in their droves.

Really it is also the first time that I have seen a public acknowledgement in mainstream media of just how powerful the natural hair movement has been over these last few years and what the costs have been on one hand for the relaxer companies and on the other hand the increase in sales for the small mom and pop companies that have been working tirelessly to give us quality products for our natural hair.

The fact that our ‘growing niche’ has made it to mainstream media is very interesting but we still have a ways to go on presenting the correct facts about where the source of the surge in sales comes from and even more appreciation of the work of women who are sharing their experiences everyday on blogs, YouTube, in forums and at meetups.

We cannot deny that when Target and Chris Rock joined the party it absolutely helped to propel things forward for the natural hair movement and small as well as some of the larger hair product companies focused on creating quality natural hair products.

Target in particular has been instrumental in propelling the switch to natural by placing natural hair products in a prominent spot at the end of the hair product aisle instead of in the ethnic hair product aisle. In so doing, they have made curly hair mainstream.

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About Petra

Hi I'm Petra Lomax , a staff writer and editor for . I am Jamaican born and raised and moved to the United States in my early 20's. I have a BA in Political Science and International relations as well as an MBA and a Masters In Project Management. I love travel, culture and anything that has to do with creative media and business.

About Petra

Hi I'm Petra Lomax , a staff writer and editor for . I am Jamaican born and raised and moved to the United States in my early 20's. I have a BA in Political Science and International relations as well as an MBA and a Masters In Project Management. I love travel, culture and anything that has to do with creative media and business.


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AnnTabitha HendersonMiddy FullerElisabeth AyoolaCelina Millian Recent comment authors
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my hair is about 3 inches what can I do to my hair.

Tamakia Herd

Ha! Now the weave sales need to drop!!!

Sarah Adejo

true that…lol

Tannel George

very tru… I HATE, I tell you HATE a weave, I have never put one, nor do I want to,

ViKtoria Mee

but in africaaaa still very highh

Brytni CarZelle

Education is key

Hrh Manye Korkor Darlyn

Time to love your own hair

Evette Howard

Same price in TEXAS

Mieshel Jett

Now we need our own bss…


I think it’s great that more women are being convinced that they can wear their own hair without worrying about societal image standards from their family/friends/ colleagues etc. I am natural and have been since 2011 but for me, I have found that I have really looked to specific product lines or manufacturers for help. I use only a few products: a no paraben shampoo (very cheap £2 by Inecto), a conditioner (Tresemme Platinum which I mix with my essential oil mix), a moisturiser (Profectiv does the job, has a lot of essential oils in, lasts a long time). For curly/textured styles I mix a supermarket hair gel with whatever curly pudding I can find, usually cheap. My oil mix is clear castor oil, tea tree oil, and a sweet smelling oil for kids by one of the hair brands (I forget which).

So I haven’t really looked to the manufacturers for star products that will help me with my hair. As long as I can deep condition well, moisturise and oil, styling is my biggest challenge (esp. with these different lengths all over my head). Overall though, I think it’s great that manufacturers are looking into natural hair as a serious market. However, there are a lot of high price swindle ‘natural products’ out there. I always read the label, to ensure I’m not being cheated into buying something that is just cream with a bit of oil etc…


*haven’t really

Natasha Scott

It is time for us to embrace our natural beauty.

Kerimah Rogers

Sorry I still relax mine….not all of us care to go natural

Keira Bell

Relaxer sales may have dropped but the same people in the “relaxer business” are same ones making bank off products for natural hair as well so technically they aren’t really losing anything in that sense. But at least now we have a number on the effect of the choice to relax. #naturalhairRocks! 🙂

Nicole Ivy

That’s Great!

Muriel Oduro

The price has to drop as more people go natrual. … lets see how or if that affects the weave business. .. on the other hand hair conditioning products n creams will continue to sell well.

Shevonn Avery

I dont think their needs to be a drop in the weave industry just because more people are embracing their national hair! Ive been natural almost 3 yrs and about twice a year I like to switch up my look. Instead of damaging my hair with heat, why not get weave and play around with that? Not to mention weave (if don’t right) can be a great protective style!

Sophiagoodazz Mcgibbon

About time overdue

Lisa Merdynes

Weave prices will not be affected.

Kendall Flewellen

I knew it! Just rows of perm boxes available lol

Elaine Tellmesomethinggood

Weave and relaxer forever. …never going natural again…..

Bryan New Orleans Baly

It’s a start.

Danaya Paige

Who cares

Theresa Loscocco

It’s about time!!

Geraldine Anneni

some of the business savvy people are trying to cash on the natural hair bandwagon by coming out with new products for natural hair. One of the reasons i do this natural hair thing is to save money and time, and that’s exactly what I am doing while my hair is growing longer and healthier. Thank God for youtube! Make your own natural products!

Mimi Janvier

Well that not everywhere lol definitely not in Canada .
I still use it and love it.

Kerimah Rogers

Me too

MEshell Green

That’s good but it the same makers of relaxers that is making so-called natural products now.

Kemirah Godwin

I highly doubt this, I feel like this is just another article to make naturals feel supreme over relaxed hair. But honestly who cares who is relaxed or natural? I feel as long as the hair is healthy what is the big deal? All natural hair isn’t healthy and all relaxed hair isn’t healthy. Things change so much first it was you are natural if you Dont wear weave you just wear your own hair. No it is chemical and no chemical. I feel like it should be no completion between hair, to each your own.

Kerimah Rogers

THANK YOU Kemirah! I don’t care for natural! I still relax mine!

Mimi Janvier

Agreed, only in the states they would have hair texture debate

Tasha Harris

I relax my hair and I’m fine with it. I don’t relax it every month but my hair is thick and it makes my head hurt to comb it. It doesn’t make you less of a person or less of black women by perming your hair. Some women need weave due to health reason like chemotherapy, thyroid diseases, or Alopecia Areata.

Valerie Johnson

I agree my hair is very thick as well…I wish I did have some wash and go hair…

Brittney Holland

Thank you Tasha! I’m relaxed too and I’m proud of my long hair.

Chanté Robyn Ross

um this is my problem. Naturals celebrating the beauty of their natural hair always make relaxed girls feel like theres some kinda hating going on. WE rejoice over this why? because we are happy that more black women can enjoy and embrace their natural hair. Black woman tend to be very insecure and to see women enjoying what they were naturally born with is a joy. We are not saying that all women who relax their hair are wrong o unhealthy. no. You must admit a large percentage of relaxed women wear their hair straight all the time because they are ashamed of their natural hair and are against most of the perks of the race. Not all of course. Some people just love having straight hair and thats THEIR CHOICE. Its just time for those who have been afraid or hiding behind wat society deems “acceptable” to come out and love themselves regardless. Relaxed or natural black women simply need to support and encourage each other to be strong in a society that tears us down each day. Once you and your hair is healthy i see no problem. Alot of people are misunderstanding this post and need to re-evaluate the way they look at it. Stay blessed!

Kerimah Rogers

I still relax. It’s what works and what is convenient for ME. My natural hair grows in SUPER THICK and it’s hard to deal with. I don’t have 2-3 hours a day to dedicate to fooling with my natural hair. It’s a headache.

Mimi Janvier

I relax and color and love it . Summer I leave my hair out and during winter I have a “hat” aka wig or braids to protect it from the cold and hot.
This natural / relax debate is ridiculous blk ppl always have something to debate

Cee Reign


Valerie Johnson

I really hope black people will be the ones creating and making money from these new products…

Tameika Toorie

Great article. It used to be so hard to find organic hair care products and now they’re everywhere! Gives me such pride to see black women rock their natural hair texture.

Leslie Hutchinson

that is great

Shatina Goodwin

We argue over stupid stuff….

Tamakia Herd

I agree to disagree

Kerimah Rogers

Yeah we do. Do white women create pages like this and debate over their different hair types???

Andrea MoonPearl Banks

Keira Bell. So true. Black faces on the product doesn’t mean it’s from us.

Andrea MoonPearl Banks

Natural and loving it.

Candace M. Chambers

**DISCLAIMER : Do what works for you** …The companies are realizing a lot of women are waking up so they go back to the ” lab ” and make products for natural hair. Chemicals are chemicals and will cause damage over time because it alters the natural state of your hair. I have compared my hair over the years and saw a major difference. Mind you I was faithful with my trim and relaxer every 8 weeks. ( I know everyone is different but I thought that worked for me..or so I thought) Im so glad I did the big chop. My hair is SO much healthier, growing fast!, and THICKER. I dont want anything on my scalp anymore that can eat through a coke can… i.e. having to ” base ” your scalp down so it wont get burned/damaged from chemicals. And dont let a little get on your ear by mistake…the next day it will be red, irritated and/or chemically burnt.

LaNyé Savanah

Tiffany Spencer The natural movement is takin over! =)

Alisa Edwin

Nope will keep relaxing hair.

Kerimah Rogers

Me too Alisa

Princess Elvin-Lewis

I’m off the creamy crack for good I hope!!

Jessica Williams

Love my relaxer. You can still have healthy hair using a relaxer. Its all about how you treat your hair bottom line. If natural works best for you then do it.

Maya Woodall

Don’t call it a come back!

Shelita Brown

Yessss I’m happy I knew sales was down notice on sale now yayyyyyy lovin my hair!!

Nyela Akuoko

Im loving this!

Va InmyownWorld


Yacasta Ford


Raquel Lovez Art'class

Gabrielle Dixson

Raquel Lovez Art'class

I feel like you’re natural as long as you wear your real hair

Linda Herring

Yessssssss! For my ladies embracing our textures and saving our scalps

April R. Miller


La Tosha Walls

Just did the big chop. Going natural from relaxed. But ultimately do what’s best for your hair and what your comfortable with. Not placing judgement.

Shanece Kornegay

I’m transitioning to natural and then I’m doing the big chop! I’m so excited!!! ^-^

Estefani Rodriguez


Ni-Ni Henderson

Good. Let the deep discounts begin for my relaxers and price gouging continue for “natural” products at will. So far that’s what I see happening when I go down the product lines.