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!