The Beauty Of Natural Hair

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[Business News]

It’s a hot topic. Black women going natural. 

More than 30 women showed up at a “Hair Mixer” at Frank Talk Art Bistro & Cafe in Red Bank, New Jersey, on August 22nd to discuss natural hair.

Many were natural, while others were making the transition or had locks. It was a spirit filled discussion about how to groom your hair when you don't have a relaxer. 

The women learned tips like shampoo that lathers is not good for your hair because it contains the ingredient sodium lauryl sulfate, the same ingredient used in floor cleaners and to degrease car engines.

According to published reports, the Black hair care is a $1.8 billion industry that’s worth talking bout. Even First Lady Michelle Obama is not immune. Simply Google her name and hair, and you will see that news operations are devoting a considerable amount of time and space to the politics of her tresses.

Does she perm her hair? Is it natural? Indeed, her hair choices have been translated into a social statement.

At the web site The Follicle Chronicles,, you’ll find everything you wanted to know about kinky, curly & coily hair. The multimedia news site is more than a blog; it's a hair news web site.

The site features information about everything from hair culture and hair news and popular YouTube videos. The founders both have natural hairstyles and after being approached by women everyday about their hair styles for years, they realized a website was in order.

Whether on the streets or in the grocery store, women share their natural hair stories that are ultimately featured on the site. The site’s founders, Candace Kelley and her sister Palisa Kelley talk products, styles and pop culture. Kelley has also been in the kitchen creating a natural product called "Curl Prep" which launched this month. The non-chemical Shea based solution softens and elongates curls.

"So many women asked for a product like this, so I got to mixing,” Kelley says. “It's just what women and even men need to define their natural curl pattern. Everyone who tries it is in awe." Currently the product is sold online and will be in three locations in New York and New Jersey by September, she adds. "We have beauticians who want it, so we go show them how to create simple natural styles with our product."

It’s no surprise to the sisters that Mintel Report, an industry publication, predicts a 23 percent decline in sales of straighteners or "relaxers," through 2011.

The natural look is stepping forward boldly. “It’s more popular now than it was say 10 years ago when I was natural, and it’s more than just a trend,” says Kelley, who has been natural for more than 25 years.

Popular New York City dermatologist Dr. Dina Strachan is also on board and will answer questions about ethnic skin and hair health. “Skin is the largest organ on the body and what women across all races put the skin on their head through is frightening,” Kelley warns.

The site launched with a feature article on stylist Anthony Dickie of Hair Rules New York but will also feature lesser known hair masters, and include information and tricks of the trade.

A journalist by trade, entrepreneur Kelley is an Emmy-nominated reporter and has worked for a number of media outlets including BET, Court TV and NY1 News. She serves as Creative Director. Her partner Palisa is an entertainment attorney in New York City and serves as Editor-in-Chief.

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