Natural-hair care for African Americans can be expensive, from products to specialty hair salons. For proof, just ask a black woman with free-flowing curls in a beauty-supply store as she navigates pricey creams from the likes of Mizani, Miss Jessie’s and Mixed Chicks. Unfortunately, New York magazine writer Kevin Roose didn’t get the memo. He included the natural-hair-care site NaturallyCurly.com on a list of “dumb” investments made by Silicon Valley, and Racialicious editor Latoya Peterson calls foul.
Wrote Rose: “But Silicon Valley, like any other industry, has its share of truly dumb ideas. For every start-up that changes the world and makes its founders rich, a thousand die quick, anonymous deaths.
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?”
The viability of the natural hair care market isn’t something only discussed in publications geared toward minority markets. Inc. Magazine ran a case study on Mixed Chicks after discovering they faced a huge quandary: their product line was so successful that Sally Beauty Supply allegedly created a knock off called “Mixed Silk.” Mixed Chicks is a growing company with revenues of $5 Million a year — Sally’s is an established behemoth with more than $3 Billion a year at its disposal. While the lawsuit may ultimately endanger the business the two founders…
Source: The Root