Most Black women have a deep personal connection with beauty products. And there are many statistics to prove that.
In fact, a 2018 Nielson report shows that Black consumers spend nine times more on beauty products than any other group. For example, in 2017 shoppers spent $475 million on skincare, $127 million on grooming aids, and $473 million in total haircare.
But, despite the huge demand for such products, Black beauty has historically been disproportionate and disregarded.
Black Beauty Business Innovators
Instead of making it ‘work’ with what’s out there, Black beauty innovators have started their own product lines. These entrepreneurs provide products that enhance the beauty of Black in addition to spaces where their communities feel seen.
Now that there are many Black beauty business innovators on the rise, appropriate products are more available for Black people. Now, let’s take a look at some of these pioneers.
Louticia Grier, One of San Diego’s Top Black Beauty Business Innovators
A woman as iconic as Louticia Grier needs no introduction. But if you’ve every needed to know what a truly self-made woman looks like, Louticia is the epitome of that.
Even as a child, she enjoyed creating unique hairstyles for her dolls. And within two weeks in cosmetology school, she was promoted to the Master Chair. Fast forward to 1990s when Grier created her own line of Scalp Protection haircare products. This four sku high-quality line of products is exactly what Black women needed. The products not only protect the scalp and hair from styling products, but also repairs damage.
Marjorie Joyner, Permanent Hair Wave Machine
Going back in history a bit, Marjorie Joyner opened her first salon in Chicago in 1916. Her experience in beauty and hair led to create the ‘permanent hair wave machine’. Later in 1928 she file a patent petition for her simple and efficient machine that would wave the hair of women. Unfortunately, Joyner never received payment for her invention. But that didn’t stop her from giving back to the community.
In 1945, Marjorie co-founded the Alpha Chi Pi Omega Sorority and Fraternity. The sorority and fraternity seeks to ‘uplift the educational and economic standards of the beauty industry’. And they both still exist today.
Madam C.J. Walker, Founder of Hair Weaves
Madam C.J. Walker was the first Black woman millionaire in America. And her fortune was made from her homemade line of haircare products. Born to parents who were previously enslaved, she was inspired to be more.
After an experience with hair loss, she was motivated to create her own line of hair products. Not only did Walker have a knack for self-promotion, but she was a talented entrepreneur. And she was a very generous philanthropist. Madam Walker used her fortune to fund scholarships for women at the Tuskegee Institute. And she donated large amounts of her wealth to the Black YMCA, NAACP and other charities.
While there are far more than three Black beauty business innovators to celebration, we chose these three for this article. It’s important to know that finances have a huge impact on how few Black-owned brands you see in stores.
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