Black women have been short changed for a long time when trying to locate cosmetics, hair and beauty products as they are usually formulated for different colouring, hair and skin types.
The large cosmetic houses have finally set about re-addressing inclusivity and as a result improvements have been made in recent years, but not everyone is accommodated for just yet.
In the UK Afro-Caribbean women spend 6 times more on beauty products than any other ethnic group. Mintel and Nielsen studies have documented that African American women spend 9 times more on beauty products than any other ethnic group. Globally, spending in 2015 is projected to be around $1.1 trillion.
Boots and Superdrug stores stock a very limited range of cosmetics for Black women, such as Sleek Cosmetics and Olive Oil Relaxer, but this is an intermittent feature and more effort needs to be made.
On the other hand, Caucasian people can walk in to any Boots or Superdrug and purchase their budget cosmetics, whilst every department store stock premium beauty lines suited to them.
The current trend shows no sign of waning but Black women are embracing their culture and heritage, in the knowledge that their natural hair is far from ugly and that dark skinned women can be hopeful in the modern western world.
However skincare, bath/body and hair products that are specifically formulated for Black women with natural curly hair are so rare on the high street that entrepreneurial Black women have taken to their kitchens, in order to make their own.
Many have also been suffering from illnesses, ailments and hair and skin conditions that are caused by products containing harsh chemicals, additives and preservatives. Subsequently some have made the conscious decision to make their own products, whilst utilising natural ingredients.
Many of these women have gone on to form businesses, initially selling to family and friends, but it has been noted that the general consumer often has difficulty locating the products as many are only available online or at natural hair and beauty events.
It has also been observed that black women are not just selling them but are genuinely interested in what they are. Accordingly, brands are being sold to black women but the dots are not yet fully joined.
However difference maker Lorraine James and her @Bar business partners have found a way. They have conveyed a one-stop beauty shop for black women and have formed a platform for the entrepreneur by providing a retail location and marketing for their brands.
@Bar Beauty Boutique is a store that you can walk in to and test the products before purchasing them. They understand that buying a product in which you are unfamiliar with online can be expensive if you cannot return the product, for example if the colour match is wrong or if you dislike the smell of it.
Join @Bar at their grand launch party for their new store, which is opening in Zone 2 Willesden High Street @Bar 8 Queens Parade NW2 5HT on Thursday 10 March from 5pm onwards.
@Bar will be introducing the brands which include Almocado, Auxica, Ayo Beauty Black Secret Makeup, Christal Cosmetics, I Love Afro Haircare, Joliette, Natur’ Amor, Premae Skincare, Shea Innocence, with more joining monthly.
TNT Hair & Beauty