By Jamesetta M. Walker The Virginian-Pilot.
Twenty years ago, few brands catered to the hair-care needs of those who sported their naturally coily or kinky tresses.
At the time, Lisa Price was building a name for herself with the natural body care products and fragrances she'd been producing in her Brooklyn, N.Y., kitchen.
Requests to mix concoctions specially intended for hair led her to create Carol's Daughter in 1993. The line quickly developed into a prestige brand.
As more women have ditched chemical straighteners and the market has become flooded with products targeted to naturalistas, Carol's Daughter itself has had to transition. In April, Price closed five stores, opening the way for a distribution deal with Target.
Terminology and perspectives are changing, Price said about the evolution of the natural hair-care market.
"Five years, 10 years, 20 years ago, women who decided then to no longer relax their hair are now raising daughters whose hair never has been relaxed and may not refer to themselves as having natural hair, but just hair," Price said.
To save money, many naturalistas have turned to do-it-yourself care, which includes mixing oils and butters, much the same as how Price got her start.
Also, several chain discount and beauty supply stores have devoted entire sections to natural hair-care brands, many of which are less expensive than their predecessors.