I fancy myself a relatively open and accepting person. I am open to new ideas, open to new cultures – so much so that I’m sure that I was meant to be born in India or Thailand – and I’m remarkably open to varying standards of beauty. I see beauty in all hues, all sizes and I can recall seeing people I felt were beautiful from many different cultural backgrounds. In fact I prefer a good Bollywood Epic over a Hollywood production! I was exposed to the wonders of Chinese Techno Funk before I fully embraced and understood the workings of Smooth Jazz on the soul.
In my daily life I’m responsible for selecting the products that will make it to the shelves of my business. I have been lucky enough to turn a passion for shopping into a career; and, so far, have been reasonably good at selecting what it is that people want.
One thing that is constant is change and, in the beauty industry, it would seem, change is a rapidly occurring process. There is a new product weekly, a new “flavor” of the month frequently and we seem to move from cocoa to shea to argan to baobab with a whim.
|If you had to calculate the number of product combinations available to Black Women it would be in the range of Infinity! (that’s infinity factorial)|
The natural hair industry, is like change to the 10th power (I guess I’m a bit of a math nerd). The products, ingredients, knowledge base and rules change rapidly that it must be daunting for a new natural to keep up.
So I’ve finally hit a bump in the road in my career as a buyer. After interacting with dozens of women, fielding requests for product after product; I know that there’s one product that is desperately needed on our shelves which I cannot source for them. I wish I could manufacture, mass produce, package and market this one item. This item is so powerful that if we could find a way to source it, we would see a spike in the number of women, who for lack of a better phrase, ” rock what they’ve got, Naturally!!”
What is this missing ingredient. What is this all encompassing product that trumps all the gels, all the moisturizers and all the co-washes on the market right now. What is this item that, before you learn what LOC, TWA, DC and BSL mean, you need in your arsenal. Ladies, just what is our must have item?
A word, an idea, a powerful tool!
My curls are not better than your curls, my kinks are not worse to deal with than her kinks. My hair type isn’t a negative or positive. It just is!
It is my own individual set of beautifully created, genetically stamped and culturally styled coils, curls and kinks. And the fact that my daughter now looks into the same mirror that I look into, means that it is imperative that I too, see only beauty reflecting back at me.
When all else fails, put this song on repeat and listen to the lyrics again and again: India. Arie – I Am Not My Hair