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  1. #1
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    Default 10 African-American Entrepreneurs In The Black Hair Care Business


    It’s no secret: the black hair care industry is big business. Very big business. According to marketing research company Mintel, sales of black hair care products in 2008 exceeded $165 million. Although a third of those sales went to corporate conglomerates like L’Oreal and Alberto Culver, who own many ethnic product lines from Soft-Sheen Carson to Mizani, there are still many independent African-American players in the hair product game. From old businesses like S-Curl manufacturer Luster Inc. to new product lines like Kimble Hair Care Systems, black entrepreneurs are thriving. Here, we included a list of 10 independently, black owned businesses that continue to fuel the ever-evolving market for black hair care products.

    Miko and Titi Branch – Miss Jessie’s Original


    Behind Miss Jessie’s hair products are founders Miko and Titi Branch. The sisters launched their company out of a Brooklyn brownstone and it’s been uphill ever since. Their unique blends of puddings and cremes are primarily targeted to those gals looking to enhance their curls and waves. These type of products were barely present on the market. The sisters realized this market opportunity by drawing from their challenges with their own hair and from their experiences with “hair recipes” learned from their paternal grandmother, Miss Jessie. The duo has wracked up many accolades for their savvy entrepreneurship and hair treatments. The sisters have also opened up a salon in New York city to cater to their curly haired fans.

    Kimberly Kimble – Kimble Hair Care Systems


    Where style and healthy hair maintenance collide you will find Kimble Hair Care Systems. The company is led by founder celebrity stylist Kimberly Kimble, a third generation hair dresser turned entrepreneur. While her high performing hair solutions can be bought individually, she offers haircare “systems” of complimentary treatments to get hair to its absolute best. The Los Angeles based stylist made a name for herself in the Hollywood scene as the personal hair stylist for Beyonce and also works with other celebrities like Mary J. Blige and Kerry Washington. With star backing for her line of “yummy” smelling products that incorporate avocado, peppermint oils and ginger, Kimble will be sure to be on the scene for a very long time.

    DeShawn Bullard – NouriTress


    Like so many stylists, Atlanta-based cosmetologist DeShawn Bullard saw the types of issues experienced by stressed out tresses like breakage and thinning. It’s not only the years of chemicals, coloring, weaves and glue that affects hair growth; it’s bad eating habits, fast food, poor circulation and many times, it’s illness,” she once stated. Bullard launched her company by introducing the NouriTress Perfect Hair Vitamin pack in 1998. Today, Nouritress continues to offer different vitamin supplements for men and women as well as a line of vitamin-enriched products including shampoo, conditioner, and styling products. The Tuskegee University grad worked as a computer programmer for 7 years before she stepped out and pursued her passion for hair care. Now that’s true entrepreneurship.

    Jane Carter – Jane Carter Solutions


    Like many of the listed product brands, Jane Carter Solutions was created in 2006 out of frustration for the lack of market presence for certain hair products. Jane Carter channeled her frustration into creating a line of wholly natural haircare treatments. Thinking outside of the box, Carter uses ingredients such as essential oils from rosemary, grapefruit and ylang ylang to treat a variety of hair conditions. Her organically created and transforming formulas are available nationwide and through Jane Carter’s Solutions virtual store. Buying into the solutions is a very wide consumer base and those responsible for style behind the glossy pages of publications. The line is a beauty editor’s favorite, as it has appeared in Essence, Ebony and Paper magazines. Carter’s products positions the hair mogul as one of the first African-American, eco-friendly entrepreneurs in beauty.

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    Taliah Waajid – Black Earth Products


    Taliah Waajid is passionate about natural hair. Having opened up her first hair braiding and natural hair salon in Harlem in 1988, she eventually moved to Atlanta and founded her company Braids, Weaves & Things in 1991 from which spawned Black Earth Products. The natural line of products include products made specifically for children. Besides Black Earth Products, Waajid also has a salon and is an active educator of natural hair care, offering seminars and workshops. Her products are offered in select Target and CVS stores.

    Lisa Price – Carol’s Daughter


    Lisa Price is an entrepreneur whose 11 year old venture was started by happenstance. The products were born through an experiment with fragrances and moisturizers, intended to be given as crafted gifts to friends and family. As word of these homemade products quickly spread, Price was in business. In 1999, she opened the doors to Carol’s Daughter’s first brick-and-mortar retail location in her native Brooklyn, NY. Since then, the brand has matured forcefully with major media endorsements and high profile business partnerships with investors like Jay-Z, Steve Stoute, and Jada Pinkett-Smith. High selling hair products like the Jada Pinkett-Smith inspired ‘Jada’s Dynamic Duo and The Hair Milk Collection are indicators that Price’s home-grown experiment has grown into one of the most popular ethnic beauty brands in the world.

    Drs. Joe and Eunice DudleyDudley Beauty Corp., LLC


    Drs. Joe and Eunice Dudley probably didn’t have any idea that their small family owned operation would become one of the longest standing black-owned hair care companies when they were mixing products in their kitchen 43 years ago. Story has it that while the husband and wife team were creating formulas, their two oldest children would help package the products at night. The rest, as they say, is history. Their oldest daughter, Ursula Dudley Oglesby, currently runs the North Carolina based company as President. Besides boasting a large array of products from relaxers to styling pomades, the company also has a beauty school, which operates in four locations.

    Fred Luster Sr.- Luster Products Inc.


    When you think of Luster, you think of Luster’s Pink Oil, the ubiquitous hair lotion that’s been a staple of bathroom cabinets in black households thoughout America. But did you know that Luster’s essentially branded the “S-Curl?” The company behind these iconic brands was founded by the late Fred Luster, Sr in 1957 and is now headed by his children Jory Luster, Fred Luster II and Sonja Luster-Munis. The Chicago-based company is one of the largest black owned companies in the African-American hair care market.

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    Kim Etheredge and Wendi Levy – Mixed Chicks


    It may seem that the Mixed Chicks brand jumped onto the scene overnight but founders Kim Etheredge and Wendi Levy have been hashing out their grand scheme to target the curly locks and frizzy manes of ethnic chicks for a few years now. The bi-racial duo (both of black and white heritage) invested $10,000 to initially develop the shampoo and conditioner and have relied on celebrity buzz from the likes of Halle Berry to propel sales. With distribution in both coasts, Mixed Chicks sales topped $3.5 million in 2009.

    Drs. Tiffani Bailey Lash and Tashni Ann-Dubroy – Tea and Honey Blends


    A very new product line to the hair scene is Tea and Honey Blends, which was launched by two chemists in December 2009. The founders realized that there was still a need for more African-American hair care products to address dry scalp and hair breakage. They utilized their scientific background to create a specialized surfactant, which is a group of organic compounds fortified to offer the best results. “When we thought about all of the shampoos that were on the market, they were using surfactants that were really outdated so we came up with a secret surfactant blend that allows excellent cleansing properties,” Dubroy told the Atlanta Post. With such a recent launch, the founders are hopeful that they’ll be able to mimic the success of so many.

    Article Link:
    http://atlantapost.com/2010/08/20/10...duct-business/

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    Seeing the title of this list made me think of

    Anita Grant
    Darcy's Botanicals

    Oyin Handmade and Qhemet Biologics
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    When I was going through the article at first, I just knew that honeychild/Jamyla, creator of Oyin, was going to be mentioned....

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Claire76 View Post
    Seeing the title of this list made me think of

    Anita Grant
    Darcy's Botanicals

    Oyin Handmade and Qhemet Biologics

    I agree my fav blk haircare owners are represented. i don't use any of the lines sited for my own hair. i do use CD body products though.

  7. #7
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    A couple of those names are new to me. Thanx for sharing, Whitley Gilbert.
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    Thanks for posting! Now I might look into a few more hair care companies!
    Hair Texture: 4a/3c, fine, low porosity
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  9. #9
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    This is abt sales right?

    Oyin is still pretty small and regional, despite folks on hairboards buying products
    Same for Qhemet
    You cant find their products in any major stores

    And they have production issues... the lack of consistency problably due to lack of human and financial resources keep them small
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