Natural hair care industry booming as more women ditch the chemicals

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DALLAS, Texas — More and more women of color like Sequoia Blodgett are ditching chemicals to showcase their natural curls.

Blodgett even shared her journey on social media.

“A lot of the times we’ve been told straight is beautiful. You see that on all the publications, you see that in the media.”

She is among the nearly 80 percent of African Americans who wore their hair in a natural style last year, according to research firm, Mintel. It’s turning into big money in the $2.5 billion black hair care market.

“We were 100 percent ecommerce when we launched and very, very small.”

Mahisha Dellinger launched Curls 16 years ago after noticing a lack of products for afros, waves and curls. Today, it’s nationwide in several major retailers.

“All the experts or the people in the industry assumed it would be a fad. It’s been around now for all these years. It’s not a fad,” she said.

As more women choose to go natural, beauty industry giants now want to build their own brands. Cosmetic powerhouse L’Oreal bought popular line Carol’s Daughter and Shea Moisture was recently sold to Dove soap’s parent company, Unilever.

“Now what you’re starting to see in the shift, especially in the advertising world with brands, when they hire a black woman, she has curly hair,” said Blodgett.

She said she hopes her story encourages others to embrace their curls and feel comfortable in their own skin.