1 in 4 women with textured hair say they never go to the salon.
Over the years, as a business reporter and co-founder of NaturallyCurly, I have been lucky to meet some inspiring visionaries.
The deliberations are over. The votes are in. The winners are here!
After several months of product testing, clarifying hair strands and scalps, feeling overwhelmed by efficacy (and sometimes underwhelmed for lack thereof), the NaturallyCurly Editorial team has chosen hair care brands, collections, and products that best address their individual curly and textured hair concerns. From length check-worthy elongating gels to 2-in-1 skin and hair butters, the team has selected products that are deemed most effective, innovative, and significant across the market.
Standing room only crowd at Boston stop ofQuintessential Naturals
Sabrina Boissiere is a veteran event planner, having produced more than 50 events from Dallas to Washington, D.C. The talent manager and founder of Natural Partners in Crime has always sought to create unique events for naturalistas who embrace their natural hair and want to have fun while learning about new brands, products, and techniques and hearing from top influencers.
With Quintessential Naturals - a 5-city tour that kicked off in Austin, Tex. in March - she wanted to bring the magic of a first-class natural hair event to cities that haven't had as many of them.
I have been honored with the opportunity to be one of the featured panelists, and have seen the magic first hand at the standing-room only events. Shortly after the April 8th Boston stop, I interviewed Boissiere.
Although Myleik Teele has been natural for more than a decade, that doesn't mean she wears her hair in its natural state all the time. Sometimes she wears Marley twists. Sometimes she blows it out straight.
An exclusive study shows women with curly and textured hair, or natural hair, want to access products for their hair texture in the main aisle of retail stores. With these results, TextureMedia’s Senior Copywriter Gerilyn M. Hayes implores retailers to respond to consumers’ need for representation in the general market aisle.
Diane Mary Montalto, who has wavy hair, said, “I’m scared to count how many products I have; it may be close to triple digits.”
With Calvin Klein’s Fall 2017 Ready-To-Wear Show Friday, designer Raf Simons wanted to show off the new face of fashion. And that new face was not one face. The men and women sauntering down the runway represented a wide range of ethnicities, hair textures and body types. Rather than the homogenous approach that we’ve seen in the past, this year’s Calvin Klein show was all about individuality in all of its beautiful forms.
In our safe NaturallyCurly world, where we celebrate coils and kinks on a daily basis, we can lose sight of how society, as a whole, views natural hair. Facebook posts of naturalistas are greeted with thousands of likes and dozens of positive comments. Women are empowered and supported as they transition from relaxers to their natural texture.
NaturallyCurly is a global community celebrating b
eauty and strength in diversity. For nineteen years, we have represented various and different nationalities and ethnicities. We support inclusiveness, understanding and acceptance of ourselves, and of each other, as the bedrock of who we are and what we do.
I've always been obsessed with entrepreneurs. Ever since my days at journalism school, my favorite interview subjects were entrepreneurs. I'm fascinated by how people take an idea - a need or a passion - and turn it into a business.
Since launching NaturallyCurly.com, 19 years ago, I've had an amazing opportunity to meet so many others who have have helped change this curly world. When I first met Richelieu Dennis at a CurlyNikki Meetup more than six years ago in Atlanta, I knew he was something special.
Periodically, I am asked if I think that texture is now mainstream. Is there even a need for special content about curly hair? It would be easy to look around at all of the curl products on the market now and think that’s the case.
Athletic wear Reebok has a wonderful new campaign that confronts unattainable notions and standards of perfection.
This week, Reebok hosted the #PerfectNever Revolution, an empowering event that challenged hundreds of women from all walks of life to come together through a series of activities including a workout class and a panel discussion. Panelists include Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman, actress Lena Dunham, ESPN broadcaster Jessica Mendoza, actress Ruby Rose and actress/musican Zoe Kravitz.
Victoria's Secret is known for going au naturel. Now the brand is going natural as well.
Last year at the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show in New York, amid models with the signature beach waves, Angolan model Maria Borges became the first "angel" to walk the runway with her natural hair. In this case, it was a gorgeous teeny weenie afro (TWA).
Over the years, there were many times when we considered compiling some of the best tips and stories from our website into a book. But to do a book that would truly reflect the power of NaturallyCurly—and be worthy of the many other people who have helped shape the curly world—would take time and resources. Time was always in short supply. Every day there was so much that needed to be done – clients to call, stories to write, products to sell. And there were always meetings—lots of meetings.
At TextureMedia, we work with a wide range of haircare brands – big, small and everything in between. Our job is to help the brand connect with our audience, and we tell them that our community likes to see people with hair like theirs – curly, coily and wavy.
But this year, I want to take on some meatier resolutions – resolutions that can be truly impactful in all areas of my life. I may not accomplish them all, but I hope to take a stab at it
1. Remember that the glass is half full. I’ve always been a glass half full person, but have found myself slowly turning into a glass half empty person. It’s easy to do. It’s easy to focus on the negative of a situation rather than the positive. But that positive attitude is so important, and can change your outlook on everything.
2. Appreciate the good things in my life. I’m blessed with being able to meet amazing people and getting to travel to great cities for my job. I truly love the business associates I’ve met through NaturallyCurly, and I’m fortunate that many have become friends. So when I head out to the airport at 4:30 a.m. to head to New York or Chicago, I better feel damn lucky that I have that opportunity.
3. Surround myself with positive people. I’m not talking about people who smile all the time and tell you exactly what you want to hear. I’m talking about people who can provide constructive criticism because they want to see you succeed. I am blessed to have many people like this in my life, and I appreciate each and every one of them. I want to steer clear of people who make me feel powerless, vulnerable and depleted.
4. Accept that there are things I know and things I don’t know and be okay with that. I don’t need to know it all. I need to surround myself with those who complement me – who have skills and experience I don’t have.
5. Put the phone away. For me, a technology junkie, it may mean sticking the phone in a drawer. It has become habit to pick up my phone all the time, even when I’m out with friends. No email, Facebook post or text is that important that it can’t wait.
6. Appreciate the good in people. It’s easy sometimes to focus on the things that annoy you about people, whether it is my husband, or a co-worker. Life is so much better when you can focus on what you like about people.
7. Take advantage of opportunities. Whether it is my 35th high school reunion, a trip to visit my parents or an upcoming sorority reunion, these are things worth doing. These relationships have helped shape who I am as a person and there are few chances to see these people, especially since we’ve moved throughout the country. If anything 2014 taught me is that life is short. You don't want to have regrets.
8. And yes, eat less sugar, do more yoga and spend less money!
It was the end of a 3-day iMedia conference in which I’d been inundated with all the latest and greatest trends in algorithms and data that are transforming the world of digital advertising. I’d been bombarded with terms like viewability, attribution and data-driven creativity. There were panels on neuromarketing and agile marketing models; real-time bidding and programmatic buying.
I was sitting around with some fellow professionals at lunch, and the conversation turned to etiquette. Business etiquette. Or, the lack thereof. As we shared our stories, I was relieved that I wasn’t the only one who had experienced the trend of:
Last week, we were thrilled to see that the NaturallyCurly Texture Typing℠ System ranked first on BuzzFeed’s list of essential tools for the curly girl! Stylists and curlies chimed in about how helpful the chart has been for them as they learn to work with their own and other’s texture – a daunting task for many curlies, coilies and wavies.
I recently had a conversation with the president of a haircare brand. He asked whether his company should “buy a blogger” to promote his company’s products.
I told him that while I’m sure there might be some bloggers or vloggers that are willing to be “bought,” buying one would defeat the whole purpose. The power of these bloggers and vloggers was the credibility they have with their audience. And if they were to tout the benefits of only one brand, their credibility would be gone. And so would their value to his brand. When we started NaturallyCurly almost 16 years ago, there were no bloggers or vloggers (YouTube didn’t exist and Google was just starting). Brands got their messages out to consumers in the traditional ways – TV and magazine ads.
Today, bloggers and vloggers have become an integral part of how most hair-care brands promote their products to consumers, harnessing the strong trust and relationships they have with their audience to spread the word. But as more bloggers and vloggers are getting paid to review products, it’s changed the dynamics.
Because of all the talk about the topic, TextureMedia gathered some thought leaders on the topic for a webinar on the subject. We brought in Richelieu Dennis, CEO of Sundial Brands (makers of the SheaMoisture and Nubian Heritage brands); Shannon Boodram, an award winning TV personality and creator of her Shannonteresa.com blog and her ShannonTBoodram YouTube channel; and Jordan Maney, a NaturallyCurly member who regularly looks at a variety of blogs and vlogs, including TightlCurl.com, UrbanOG and JustKellee 101.
There is no denying the power that bloggers and vloggers have to influence product purchases. But does the dynamic change when brands are paying for those product reviews? Do they risk losing their authenticity, and therefore their audience if those reviews lack?
The panel discussed the changing landscape and the new challenges they face as bloggers and vloggers become a key part of a brand’s marketing strategy.
Legally, bloggers and vloggers must tell their audiences if they’ve been paid to provide a review. In 2009, the Federal Trade Commission released Testimonials & Endorsement Report, which was updated in 2013. It requires the disclosure of endorsements, sponsorships and other payments from online endorsers, including bloggers. The primary reason for the disclosure requirement is to assist readers and viewers in determining whether a blogger or endorser has a material connection to the brand about which they’ve produced content. It seems pretty obvious (to me, at least) why this is important to know.
Boodram said she knows firsthand that getting too financially tied to one brand can be tricky.
There is no fine line, she said. “There is a thick, black, gaping hole. If I feel the line is fine, I have already lost your trust.”
The marketing dollars moving toward the blogosphere aren’t likely to go away, especially as influence of bloggers and vloggers on purchasing behavior continues to grow. It may soon rival traditional forms of advertising such as TV and magazines as our society increasingly looks to one another for their product opinions rather than slick marketing messages from brands.
But that will depend on restraint and integrity on the part of both brands and bloggers and vloggers to ensure that money doesn’t distract them from “keeping it real”.
I am totally obsessed with “Orange is the New Black,” but never thought it would become the inspiration for new styling techniques. But alas, I was visiting with one of my favorite people, Karen Smith at Unilever, and was commenting on her amazing color – beautiful shades of caramel and cinammon. She told me she did it herself, using a technique inspired by Crazy Eyes on “Orange is the New Black.”