The theme for the 67th annual Bronner Brothers International Hair Show and Convention was “Happy Hair,” which set the tone for the entire agenda including “The Business of Natural Hair: Changing Landscape or Trend?” hosted by LaTavia Roberson of “R&B Divas Atlanta” and sponsored by Ford Motor Company.
Panelists included Jane Carter, CEO of Jane Carter Solutions; Tamika Day and Jamal Edmonds, natural hair stylists and 2013 Ford Top Ten winners; and Lexi, founder of natural hair blog www.lexiwiththecurls.com.
Having grown frustrated with the lack of chemical-free product choices for all hair types and textures, hair stylist Jane Carter formulated her eponymous hair care line using plant-derived ingredients, essentials oils, sea botanicals and natural proteins, which is available in Target stores. She travels with Clairol’s natural style team and an educational director for Avlon.
When asked what is the biggest misconception people have about going natural, Carter comments, “The flexibility that going natural gives you is key. Everybody has this conversation this is trendy. It’s a lifestyle choice. There’s a whole [new] energy. [For example,] when you’re exercising, you don’t want to drink Pepsi. You want water.
“As a stylist, it is a perfect opportunity to reevaluate the services we offer, timing, and pricing. I’m a colorist, so I think it’s a great opportunity to have the color conversation and to prescribe and retail products that never existed in the past.
“As stylists, we make the world beautiful. When you are no longer relaxing your hair, part of the color conversation is your hair is flat [dull]. We advise our clients there are a lot of things to do to have you look finished and polished when you make the transition. I feel a way about protective styling. There’s a whole journey you go through about who you are. Women torture themselves. It’s just hair, calm down.”
On how social media affects the beauty industry…
“Social media changed the whole game. Whether you are a stylist or manufacture natural products, social media gave us the opportunity to have ongoing conversations with our clients. That’s so powerful,” she informs
On how she was discovered by big-box retailer, Target…
“My experience was using four different product lines for my clients. I really needed a line for all my clients, whether they were relaxed, wore locs, or had straight hair. That was important to me. Relaxer sales were down. The buyers from Target hired a consulting firm that [found us] on the grid, social media. It’s easy to qualify once you’re on the grid. They saw we were one of five brands and they did a test on the end cap for a year. The test did $18 million. Everybody woke up. The big guys realized the little guys like us had access to their customer, more accessible and more intimately than they did,” she shares.