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Relaxer Hair Sales Continue Decline as Black Hair Industry Aimed to Be Worth Over $774 Million

A person who is "natural” is any African-American who does not have chemically altered or damaged hair.

A person who is “natural” is any African American who does not have chemically-altered hair.

The consecutive fall in popularity of relaxers and the increase in natural hair products confirm that the natural hair “trend” is now a movement – and it is here to stay. More and more Black women everywhere are making the choice to go natural.

While there aren’t many statistics on the natural hair business, other research suggests that the natural hair movement is real, and it shows in market sales. Market research firm, Mintel, estimated that the Black hair business is worth $774 million and relaxer sales are aimed to decrease 45 percent before 2019. This decrease in demand for relaxers suggest an increase in products to replace them. While we could assume these replacements are products for natural hair, there aren’t statistics available for this specifically. Instead, we can confirm relaxer sales are decreasing— and will continue to.

With or without the statistics, the natural hair movement is momentous! While many speculate the reason behind the popularity of the Natural Hair Movement, the hair is obvious. For years, Black women have been discouraged from wearing their hair natural. We are finally transitioning into a world where we have more options for “socially acceptable” hair styles. We can exercise our right to feel beautiful without bearing the pressures of utilizing chemicals to achieve a certain “look.” Unlike other trends, the care of natural hair is symbolic, and it means so much more than an Afro on a hot day. It means having the power to choose. It means giving little girls the power to know that “curly” can mean pretty. It’s about time we stop teaching young women that only straight hair equates to beauty. 

We aren’t just going natural. We are returning. And we are coming back with more elegance and more confidence than ever.

Are you thinking about returning to natural hair? Start by asking yourself why. Make sure you do it for all of the right reasons, and do the necessary research. There are a variety of resources online that will make the process easier.

@NapturalHair85, @NaturalHairDoesCare, @AmazingNaturalHair, @BeautifulBrwnBabyDol,

In the meantime, rock on my fellow Naturalistas! Remember: the bigger the hair, the harder they stare.

What people are saying

37 thoughts on “Relaxer Hair Sales Continue Decline as Black Hair Industry Aimed to Be Worth Over $774 Million

  1. How can the people whose ancestors were slaves and then discriminated against for over 100 years move on when they are still doing this to themselves:

  2. What I don't get is, if going natural is natural why do you have to research going natural.Why can't we just stop putting chemcial in our hair, keep washing and braiding it and just let it be?

  3. I hope black women would stop buying wigs and weaves and put that hair industry out of business since they have been getting rich off of us. It seems crazy that black people cant own successfull beauty supply stores

  4. There is a lot of work when a woman decide to go natural, it's not just wash and go, not even with other types of hair. I personally went natural about five years ago and every night I have to put products in my hair and braid it too.

  5. I've been natural for over 20 years. I don't put products in my hair every night and braid it. I can put it up and go!

  6. I personally hate perms, they take out all your natural kinkiness, curlingness, and it leaves your limp and lifeless, and it retards the growth of your hair. I had one once and could not wait for it to grow out.

  7. We are going natural because our own hair look better of us than wigs, hair extension. You can be more creative with you natural hair, you can color, braid, flat iron than with someone else store bought hair. Kiavana just look how a Black man looks in a wig for a hair extension, he looks terrible and no matter how hard he trys to make look like he own, he still looks like a fool with fake hair, That's how I see Black women with wigs.

  8. Shun Hill says:

    Perms will always be relevant. So will weave. And so will natural hair products! It's all about what works for you.

  9. Yes it's fake,with alot of real natural hair underneath. I love natural hair and i agree it looks much better and men prefer it. But to say before you go natural seriously think about it like a person came out the womb with weaves and perms

  10. Monifa Foster , I'm loving your sister locks.

  11. Jenny Storm says:

    You need research for everything in life, you may impulsively do anything and hope for the best. But sometimes with just a little time and research you decrease the chances of doing things wrong or of having to redo them. Like learning how to drive, learning how to properly clean youself as a human being. Learning how to care for a loved one with certain disability. Learning how to save money, needless to say the list goes on and on.

  12. I been natural for four years and dont do much to my hair its healthy grows faster I'm a black woman that love my natural hair and and ain't afraid to wear it I show these white people men and woman that I'm no longer brain washed some of them look at me angry and I just laugh in they face

  13. We need to ask ourselves why we're going natural? Lol. I went natural on impulse alone and loved it. Hair well always grow back so idk why we would have to ask ourselves why?

  14. I am tired of people saying natural hair is now a "movement." Hair we were born with is not considered a "movement." Relaxed hair was/is the movement.

  15. You know damn well why that is- same reason that we weren't natural to begin with!

  16. Bennie Clark Pridgon By products I mean moisterizers or oils. I just like the polished softer look of braided hair

  17. I agree I hate the look of wigs and some hair weaves. Black women like to buy the cheap plastic weird color looking $39.99 wigs and they look fake and cheap.

  18. You do research because if you have never wore your natural, you might not know how to take care of it or the product to use or the style that you can have with your hair type. Going natural does not mean just wash and go.

  19. Right on Candace!!!

  20. Chance Ward says:

    EXACTLY! I think calling it a movement is problematic as hell. Me existing as I am should not be considered a movement. Me leaving my hair in it's natural state should not be talked about as some revolutionary act of disobediance. Talking about it like this still builds up eurocentric hair as the norm, even for black people. And fuck that.

    If anything, PERMING your hair was a movement, it was a wide-spread action to CHANGE (one's hair to something it wasn't before, or wouldn't have ever been). And glory be to god that movement is finally ending.

  21. At Mara, you don't have to have wavy hair to go natural, some of the most beautiful styles that I have seen, are with Black women with tight kinky hair. By the way I think you would love lovely with a natural hair style.

  22. Also, you are a pretty woman but you would look much younger and stylish with your real hair, the style you have now just jumps out as fake.

  23. What do other races call their hair that is untreated chemically? They call it "Hair." I will be glad when we can do the same. Saying Natural implies that our hair is doing something unnatural by going natural… When will we learn? When will we stop trying to do everything on their terms? When will we be accepted? MOST importantly when will we learn to love and accept ourselves? Stop letting them define us and PLEASE – when will they stop COPYING everything we do and say???????

  24. To me going natural does not mean you just wash and go, it mean doing what you can do to enhance the natural beauty of your own hair, products that don't change the inherent nature of your hair such as, , flat ironing allows for temporary change, braiding, twisting, color, wet sets, roller, we have plenty of lead way with our own hair, some of us have not explored the freedom in discovery the joys our hair.

  25. Weaves been here since the beginning of time our ancestors used weaves and all sorts of things to achieve there looks. They also used henna to dye there hair. Peope need to let people do there own thing we all cant be the same

  26. Yet majority of natual hair proucts are white owned….

  27. to be honest, i went natural because i got tired of spending 3 hours under the dryer, and having my stylist spend more time eating and gossiping than actually doing my hair. being able to do my own hair in the comfort of my own home, plus not worrying if it got wet was reason enough. my hair has never been healthier.

  28. Cree Seven says:

    The caption on the photo that accompanies this story is a defintion that is very problematic: "A person who is “natural” is any African American who does not have chemically-altered hair."

    Heat is heat—whether from chemicals or a straightening comb. The chemicals became popular 35 years ago when black wmen got tired of having burns on their, ears, necks and faces and tired of the effort that went inot straightening it from scratch every two weeks…..

  29. Yo Reek says:

    Natural women look great with natural hair. Sensation Station Network, where radio is not dumbed down!

  30. what if they suffer from hair loss or just want to change up their look?

  31. Cherise Leffall whats up with the generalizations?

  32. I think we may be dealing with a natural hair nazi ??. "Perms don't mean she ain't enlightened. Some girls with natural hair are about as deep as a puddle. Leave your ego at home with the coconut oil"

  33. Lakitha Goss says:

    I can relate. I went natural after 29 years. I was inspired due to Amber Rose and Chrisette Michelle. I was in awe iver their hairstyles.

  34. Chris Ismail says:

    yeah i love natural hair but hey who ar we to ask our sisters to wantto be natural ..

  35. Keturah Lynn says:

    The treaty/trade agreement between S. Korea and America is over, so the Country let go of legally forcing Black Women to wear straight hair to Work. Black Women are now able to take the hair Care Industry back, so now the media and community have push a "Natrual Hair" Industry. The problem is that Black Women are buying expensive ingredients to treat their hair at home, instead of building a New Black Hair Care Market. A Billion Dollar Industry is now dwindling instead of the Industry having New Masters.

  36. I love the fact that our women are returning to their natural state.This does't solve the prolem of putting that money into the hands of the people who are the primary customers. They shift their attention to the natural products so, you're still filling their pockets. Until we take back what belongs to our culture, they will continue to exploit us. This can't happen until we support our own. I'm willing to put my life on it that if we show group economic, we will starve them. And in return everything will fall in place! Contrary to what you believe, black women are the back bone of our people.

  37. Its ALWAYS has amazed me at how deep the programming of self hate could go…..I wonder WHAT would be the response of sistas if white bitches started rocking chemical induced Afros. Where has the logic been this whole time?

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