Well… This is unfor­tu­nate :/ New York Mag­a­zine writer Kevin Roose name dropped NaturallyCurly.com in a recent arti­cle detail­ing 3 of the “stu­pid­est” invest­ments in Sil­i­con Val­ley. While the site wasn’t one of the 3 com­pa­nies detailed, it did get a dubi­ous shout out in the arti­cle intro:

But Sil­i­con Val­ley, like any oth­er indus­try, has its share of tru­ly dumb ideas. For every start-up that changes the world and makes its founders rich, a thou­sand die quick, anony­mous deaths.

Some of tech’s clunk­ers nev­er get off the ground, but oth­ers man­age to get big, high-pro­file invest­ments despite hav­ing no redeem­ing qual­i­ties what­so­ev­er. (For exam­ple, what kind of genius decid­ed to throw $1.2 mil­lion at Nat­u­ral­ly­Curly, the “lead­ing social net­work and com­mu­ni­ty for peo­ple with wavy, curly and kinky hair?”)

In our new series, “Dumb Mon­ey,” we’re going to peri­od­i­cal­ly trawl tech blogs for the worst exam­ples of Sil­i­con Val­ley stu­pid­i­ty, then sub­ject the investors behind them to pub­lic mock­ery.

Tex­ture­Me­dia (the com­pa­ny that runs NaturallyCurly.com) CEO Crista Bai­ley jumped in on the com­ments to offer a rebut­tal of Kevin’s state­ment:

As the straight-haired CEO of Tex­ture­Me­dia, par­ent com­pa­ny of Nat­u­ral­ly­Curly, I thought I would share a few facts about the size and engage­ment of this mar­ket. The first is that approx­i­mate­ly 60% of the world has tex­tured hair (waves, curls and coils). That’s a lot of peo­ple — close to 80 mil­lion tex­tured hair females 18+ in the US alone.

Com­bined with oth­er brands in the Tex­ture­Me­dia port­fo­lio, Nat­u­ral­ly­Curly serves close to 2 mil­lion unique vis­i­tors every month who appre­ci­ate hav­ing an engaged com­mu­ni­ty plat­form to share and learn more about prod­ucts, styl­ists, pho­tos, trends, hair health and more.

Women with tex­tured hair spend 3x more on aver­age than their straight-haired peers.

Our com­mu­ni­ty alone spends an annu­al $1/2 BILLION on hair care. They cre­ate 15,000 pieces of con­tent every week, and they con­stant­ly strug­gle with weath­er, frizz, body chem­istry changes as well as with social feed­back rang­ing from recruiters rec­om­mend­ing straight­ened hair in order to be tak­en “seri­ous­ly” in job inter­views to mil­lion­aire match­mak­er, Pat­ti Stanger insist­ing guys don’t like girls with curly hair.

Every day is a new hair day. Hair does not define some­one, but tied to hair are intan­gi­bles like iden­ti­ty, self esteem, con­fi­dence, and per­son­al­i­ty. It’s a big deal to a lot of peo­ple.

Our small, medi­um and glob­al part­ners and adver­tis­ing brands would agree nat­u­ral­ly curly, wavy and coily hair is a seri­ous mar­ket. I’m hap­py to dis­cuss more in per­son with Kevin on my next trip from Austin (where the frizz fac­tor today is high) to New York.

I think there are peo­ple both with­in and out­side of the black com­mu­ni­ty who are still igno­rant about the increas­ing influ­ence of textured/natural hair on media, busi­ness and cul­ture. But I guess, at the end of the day, it’s their loss #Kanyeshrug. Ladies, what are your thoughts on this?

Black Girl With Long Hair

Leila Noel­liste, founder of Black Girl with Long Hair (April 2008). Social media, pop cul­ture and black beau­ty enthu­si­ast. bell hooks’ hair twin…

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122 Comments on "New York Magazine Calls Natural Hair Website a “Dumb” Investment"

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I guess this guy doesn’t know how dan­ger­ous the nat­ur­al hair police are…

Unraveled Locs

That was fun­ny, Mia! Loved it!




The guy is just obliv­i­ous. I sup­pose from a guy with straight hair’s point of view, who prob­a­bly spends lit­tle to know time think­ing about his hair, he wouldn’t under­stand how impor­tant hair is to women, and worse hair that requires extra atten­tion.


I com­plete­ly agree with NikNak. I think he saw it as some fringe mar­ket because he’s com­plete­ly removed from the real­i­ties of being a woman an amer­i­ca… much less a woman of col­or — who have been, en mass, avoid­ing our nat­ur­al curls for years. Cristal’s rebut­tal is spot on; hon­est, fac­tu­al, mea­sured. Hope­ful­ly he’ll be less like­ly to write knee-jerk respons­es in the future and actu­al­ly per­form a bit of research.… like a good jour­nal­ist.


This right HERE. It’s real­ly not that com­pli­cat­ed. *LBell shrug*


I agree. I’m vague­ly famil­iar with Kevin’s writ­ing. He’s a smart man. I just think he doesn’t have any idea of the impor­tance that hair plays in women’s lives.


My thoughts are that when he wrote that he was pur­pose­ful­ly look­ing for a back­lash. Any­one with half a brain already knows that the beau­ty indus­try as a whole has a great fol­low­ing but when you focus in on hair and specif­i­cal­ly the care for tex­tured hair I would even argue that it pos­si­bly gen­er­ates the most rev­enue. Just sit him down.


We have to remem­ber that, in our efforts to cre­ate com­mu­ni­ties for our­selves, there will be oth­ers that see no val­ue in our endeav­ors. Our goal is not to con­vince them of our cause, but to press for­ward with­out reser­va­tion. I don’t expect the entire world to see the val­ue in what I do with my hair, or the sites I invest my time in, for that mat­ter. What’s impor­tant is that I know the val­ue and share it with oth­ers who may very well ben­e­fit.




+1: Bless­ings to you as well!


You are speak­ing the truth Mis­sJoeyK! I’m putting this in my quote book.


Per­fect­ly put Mis­sJoeyK. Point.blank.period.

Curly Queen

Well said as Kevin’s words don’t make us or break us. He’s a man with a nar­row point of view.

This whole thing just reminds me of a post I read last week on Face­book about why men don’t find Beyonce’s new braid­ed style attrac­tive. I read some of the com­ments and these jok­ers were telling her what styles she should go back to because “no woman looks good with their hair like that”. Too annoy­ing because I’m try­ing to wrap my head around how YOU gonna tell ME how to wear MY hair. I try not to give ener­gy to those that seek to tell me how to live my life (even in the most minor aspect) while simul­ta­ne­ous­ly… Read more »
hmm­mm very suprised by this. Didn’t click on the link-I’ve had my fill of igno­rance this morn­ing from teabag­gers– I real­ly liked her hair. Even though we know its exten­sions braids always remind me of who we are, where we come from etc…very cul­tur­al for me. I was lis­ten­ing to Mal­colm X yes­ter­day (for motivation)a speech he did in 1962 and he was ask­ing ‘who taught you to hate your hair, the stuff GOD gave you? why would you rathter slap some lye on your head the stuff that can burn a hole through metal’etc.… here it is 2012 and… Read more »

Couldn’t agree more!

Coconut + Cream

Very nice­ly put! I agree 100%


+1 I real­ly like how you phrased this. Butthead-Kevin’s remark reminds me of com­ments I’ve heard from a few non-Blacks about how “point­less” the NAACP is. Oth­ers (by oth­ers I meant igno­rant turds) may not see the val­ue in it, but it is for the ben­e­fit of our own com­mu­ni­ty.


Wow how small mind­ed he is!