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New York Magazine Calls Natural Hair Website a “Dumb” Investment

• Jul 30, 2012

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?

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

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Rachelle
Guest

Wow how small minded he is!

MissJoeyK
Guest

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.

Blessings!

Joey

Tati
Guest

+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.

Coconut + Cream
Guest

Very nicely put! I agree 100%

NancyM
Guest

Couldn’t agree more!

Liz
Guest
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 »
Shahidah
Guest
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 »
Curly Queen
Guest

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

Arlana
Guest

Perfectly put MissJoeyK. Point.blank.period.

Tee
Guest

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

anastasia
Guest

+1: Blessings to you as well!

Jasmine
Guest

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.

NikNak
Guest

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.

LBell
Guest

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

Claire
Guest

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.

nina
Guest

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.

Mai
Guest

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

Vanessa
Guest

LOL.…

Unraveled Locs
Guest

That was funny, Mia! Loved it!

KaraJ
Guest

Interesting to think that he believes that natural hair website is a “dumb” investment. I think that just proves how narrow minded some people are and when an opportunity comes about and they miss it they wonder why. Step outside the box!!!

FormerDread
Guest
NaturallyCurly.com is a white-owned business with no black leadership in decision-making or strategic positions of influence. NaturallyCurly.com is a business that has made the hair of black women its bread and butter, and reason for its success, but has not invested resources or dollars into black entrepreneurs, experts or professionals. NaturallyCurly.com’s profits are not circulating within or benefiting the black economic base. NaturallyCurly.com, from its formation, has been supported by natural-haired black women. But as it has grown, it has sought to embody a more inclusive brand that, by extension, has dimished the vital and unique role of the black… Read more »
Shahidah
Guest

I’ve heard of Curly Nikki but not Naturallycurly. I will look into your claim though. Very interesting

Liz
Guest

Wow. Double Wow…will do my research. Thanx for the info…

Curlyg
Guest

AMEN FormerDread. I was thinking the same thing as I read the reply from the “straight haired” CEO. We ( people of color)spend billions of dollars that go into everyone’s pockets except our own. When I read things like this I want to yell “WAKE UP” like Laurence Fishburne in School Daze.

FormerDread
Guest

Co-sign, CurlyG. Our people, our people. Connect the dots and follow the dollars and we will realize, ultimately, we are “benefitting” symbolically only, not in ways that really matter and change the game.

Nikki
Guest

How do you know what deal CurlyNikki got? I always hear this rumor but did she say this? Is this fact? I know some people close to her and this doesn’t seem consistent with what they told me so I would just like to know how you know this information about her deal with NaturallyCurly.com.

FormerDread
Guest

Nikki,

Yes, it is a fact. The terms of the deal have not been made fully public, but that she got one has been. NaturallyCurly bought out CurlyNikki, to whatever extent, aligning her with them and elevating their brand, while leaving her with the symbolic crumbs. Whatever she got PALES in comparison to the brand recognition and profits being driven by having a “black representative” aligned with them.

Nikki
Guest
So what your saying is you don’t really know since the terms haven’t been made public. I don’t know how anything can be fact without the terms being released to the public. Sounds like speculation and assumptions. I have known her husband for years through work and when we have talked about it about what she worked out with NaturallyCurly.com. He laid it out and it isn’t what you are saying here. Rumor mills are interesting. I feel like people take what they see at face value and don’t ask the questions that verify their “facts.” Just wanted to check.
FormerDread
Guest

NaturallyCurly.com issued their own press release, which alluded to the deal. It has also been mentioned and covered in media coverage.

Why, really, would her husband let you in on all their business anyway? Get real.

Nikki
Guest
I have seen the press release and it never said “bought and paid for” or even the word purchased. I have some background in business and there are any number of contracts that could have been worked out with the site that wouldn’t necessarily me it was “bought and paid for.” You have a press release but some how I am the one that is not informed because her husband is going to make stuff up. OHHHH K! As I said before, basically you don’t know whats up but since you want to make an argument that NaturallyCurly.com is not… Read more »
FormerDread
Guest

Your laser focus on CurlyNikki is a minute detail of my bigger-picture supposition. Feel free to creep out of the rabbit hole and examine the wholistic nature of my point, of which CurlyNikki is merely a feeble example.

Nikki
Guest

I think your bigger point is also problematic. You make assertions about the company and what they are doing with black businesses or their work with Black professionals but how do you know these as fact either? Are there reports out there about their work with Black professionals? I am actually interested to know but you seem to just becoming out of left field with out facts or figures.

African Violet
Guest
Excerpt from Huffington Post (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/04/black-hair-natural-relaxed-_n_918200.html): Perhaps no one knows this better than Alicia Nicole Walton, the writer and psychotherapist behind CurlyNikki.com, a natural hair care blog. Curly Nikki’s blog stands out in the sea of online voices talking about the decision to “go natural” and the care and maintenance of natural hair. Walton does more than just evaluate products, she pays attention to the emotional and social issues that surround black women’s hair in a regular series of posts written by Walton and guest writers called On the Couch. Walton grew up in a home where chemical hair treatments were… Read more »
CurlyInTheA
Guest
Thanks for posting this! I can agree that we do need to address the investment in products that are made and sold by us — a very valid issue. However, I don’t think that Naturally Curly/Curly Nikki or even Curly Nikki/Miss Jessie’s as others have mentioned, should be drawn into this. Let’s not turn our argument on each other — Black women in business (Curly Nikkie, Miss Jessie’s, Carole’s Daughter, etc.). Let’s focus on the lack of the capital, investment and support of Black-owned hair companies. That’s the real issue here. We can debate this until the cows come home,… Read more »
Mai
Guest

Curly Nikki was bought by NaturallyCurly. But what is contradictory about the OP’s statement is that if NaturallyCurly truly did not want to support black entrepenurs, experts, or professionals, they wouldn’t be supporting CurlyNikki as we speak. I also question if the OP knows of any other person besides the CEO who is or is not of color.

Nikki
Guest
How do you know she was bought? How do you know that she gave up complete control of her site? This is why I ask this. There are many types of deals/partnerships/buyouts that can be done where she may or may not be giving up her rights to her site. You see certain changes to the site in that maybe certain things are advertised more or maybe there are more tie ins with NaturallyCurly.com but I feel like the dialogue is always that she “sold-out” but no one knows this to be true. It is just assumed based on what… Read more »
Zenith
Guest
There are certainly noteable changes. Most of the CN entries now are articles which appear on other sites day(s) before they appear on Curly Nikki. I see original articles on Hairscapades and Around the Way Curls which then appear on CN a day or two later. I dont see many articles which originate from the CN site anymore. It has become, from what I can see, a conduit for other bloggers. Nothing wrong with change, but it has been quite noticeable. So, for me, I like to read articles when they first appear. As a result, I have found myself… Read more »
Nikki
Guest

I also agree with you @Mai. I think the assumption about NaturallyCurly.com and the support of Black professionals is just as problematic as well. We don’t know but people are assuming they do. Do you work there? Do you know the people who run the company? Are you looking at their business numbers? Where does the information come from?

FormerDread
Guest
“Support” does not have to mean “buy out.” That we so easily correlate support with buying someone out shows how far we’ve gone in losing our business sense and entrepreneurial bent. Is NaturallyCurly.com helping the black community, or black hair experts, stylists, products developers or others in any meaningful way? Are they changing the distribution game? Are they investing in black community service organizations? How many black people are even on their staff? That we do not question these sorts of things or seek to research them, before jumping on a bandwagon, is quite disturbing. What’s worse is that we… Read more »
Mai
Guest

So Titi and Miko (I don’t care what their names, the Miss Jessie owners) feel like they are benefiting the black community when they load their products with mineral oil and petroleum and recommend silkeners or texturizers despite promoting natural hair. Does Andre Walker think he is benefiting the black community by saying all 4-types need a relaxer?

Please, we have foxes in the chicken coop. I’m a worry about them before I go outside to deal with the ones I see.

FormerDread
Guest

Keep your straw-woman arguments in their appropriate space. I am talking about business strategy, economics and corporate-social responsibility.

Mai
Guest
Please tell me what is “straw-woman” about it. Tito and Miko pad their products with mineral oil thus saving themselves money while still aiming their products to natural hair. By offering a relaxer and texturizer, they are able to market to all woman of color despite the small but growing (my opinion) natural hair community. If I am not mistaken that is business strategy and to be a honest a big lack of corporate-social responsability. Andre Walker is the same way; it is apparent he has no clue how to style natural hair so he keeps money in his pocket… Read more »
FormerDread
Guest

If you want to correlate the state of black economics to the ingredients in Miss Jessie products, feel free.

I am done with this conversation. I have made my points, very plainly and transparently. These are not esoteric observations. But if you don’t want to see them for what they are, for whatever reason, you won’t.

Comments like yours make women like the owners of NaturallyCurly.com and other white-owned businesses that make money off of us very happy.

Mai
Guest
If you want to correlate my online comments to my “blindness” then go right ahead. I am sure the owners of NaturallyCurly are extremely excited to know that I don’t visit the site nor purchase products through their website also. If you want to ignore the parallels I am making about some black individulas who are taking advantage of the “natural hair movement” to only make money (which is obvious by their poor hair care products, advice, and meetups — Tyra Banks and the TypeF vidoes ring a bell) to white-owned businesses profiting from black buyers despite not giving back… Read more »
Annie L.
Guest

So with that, have a good day. After all, only one more month before the summer ends and all of us can enjoy a perfectly defined braidout for 24 hours again.”

LoLLLL!!!!

Thank you Nikki and Mai for a skillful and stimulating discussion!

Barbara
Guest

I’ve been to several NaturallyCurly.com events and guess what? They catered to an almost all black women audience-far from diminishing.

NaturallyCurly.com is a ***business***, first and foremost so kudos to them for tapping into a lucrative market, they are not stopping black bloggers/businesses from pooling their resources together and starting their own.

chloe
Guest

Everything you said is true except your 4th point. NaturallyCurly.com’s initial support base was curly haired white women. As it grew, it diversified its marketing. Curlmart was launched on the Jessicurl line. What Naturallycurly is doing is no different than what Target has done. By carrying natural boutique brands, they’re raking in black dollars which ultimately benefits their shareholders and enables their CEO’s to buy a third vacation home. The black community doesn’t reap the rewards.

Barbara
Guest

A-N-D

The natural boutique brands (many black owned) profit, this is how capitalism works. You have to be in it to in it, whining about evil whites who have the audacity to go where the $$$ is, does nada. Look at those “big bad Asians” w/ stores after stores in our neighborhood; guess how it’s possible? They have association after association where new immigrants and old immigrants pool money and start businesses! All the while 1st, 2n, 3rd, 4th generation black Americans do bupkus as a community.…well, except complain about others realizing the American dream.

CJ
Guest

They also do it by actively preventing black people from starting up their own BSS businesses AKA racism, but then again that is the American way so we can’t complain can we?

Brianna
Guest

http://www.lipstickalley.com/f38/attn-enchanted-vs-curly-nikki-341298/index15.html

No need to research. The people on the forums go in at every chance.

chloe
Guest

That sounds like a lot of gossip and speculation sprinkled with a few outright lies just for dramatic effect.

Brianna
Guest

You are great at pointing things out.

anastasia
Guest

=)Yes, Truth!

jb
Guest

I think people need to chill a bit. He didn’t question the meaningfulness of the site. He questioned the investment sense. Even facebook strives to make money from its popularity. Not everything is insult to our hair.

atimakuh
Guest

how shall minded!!!! they always expect us to bow down for them by embracing all their ways!!!!

Nikki
Guest

+1 I think he is talking about the monetary gain from these sites. This doesn’t seem like a slight at the actual textured hair types. Yes we by a lot of hair care products but that doesn’t mean a site on the topic of hair care would be just as profitable when a $1.2 million investment is made. I think NaturallyCurly.com’s response about their figures was good but again, I am not sure if this proves the profitability of the site based on the amount of the investment. Its just business…not personal.

DH
Guest
I don’t think it got seriours until he (ForemDread) demeaned someone’s response that merely highlighted the fact that there are two evils in the business world. People are just asking everyone to look at the two evils and decide which one (if one at all) do you choose to support.I see his point, but I see the point of the others,‘Why not support companies that support your own community’ vs. ‘What’s the point of supporting a business, that poisons you, just because they are black owned?’ While they are both great points, no one shoud put someone down just because… Read more »
Love JAH
Guest

My only question is what is Silicone Valley? Lol…Obviouosly the journalist-analysist is not aware of the money spent from consumers on beauty and hair care, it is him who is in fact foolish not only because lack of due diligence but because he is a mirror to this entry in the ‘dumb’ factor, this is not a personal attack on naturally textured hair ladies, I invite us to not take it there…peace and blessings3

Rou
Guest

Silicon Valley refers to an area in Northern California, in which many internet and tech companies started to boom. It is where you will find tech corporations like Google, Yahoo, and Apple. HTH!

anonymous
Guest

Sometimes the use of a word tells more about the one that uses it than the one who it is thrown at…Maybe the dumbest one is NOT the one he thought… Give that a little thought next time You kevin NOONE Roose wants to qualify someone/something as being dumb. Just saying…

Kesha
Guest

I fear he is completely unaware at how clueless he is. Of course it is a big deal to a lot of people. Thank you for pointing it out to us. The scary thing is that this dismissive attitude by “power brokers” happens daily which stunts the growth of non-straight haired/ non-white/ non-male opprtunities/services and business.

Annie L.
Guest

The scary thing is that this dismissive attitude by “power brokers” happens daily”

2nd!

Darlin
Guest

Wow this shows how ignorant some people are even when they are touting how politically correct they are.

Candice
Guest
This has nothing to do with cluelessness. If your perception of people with naturally curly hair, most specifically black women, is that they are uneducated, welfare mothers with no income, let alone disposable income, to speak of, then investing in a company that would target that demographic would seem ridiculous to you. Silicon Valley is made up of Mitt Romneys, and we already know what he thinks about black people who “want free stuff.” Not every business is oblivious to what is happening in the natural hair community. If you look at any tv or print ad recently, you would… Read more »
Sonya
Guest

People fear & put down what they don’t understand. Typical response from a very ignorant man who didn’t bother to research his own statement. Clearly shows his lack of objectivity and how he can’t report on something unbiased or even properly. Speaks volumes of his education as a so called journalist/writer.

Dana
Guest
I’m gonna cry wolf. $1.2million is a lot of money for a HAIR blog. Also, when I visit naturallycurly.com I don’t think of African-American women as I do when I visit this site and another like curlynikki.com. Yes, I see a few pics but its focus is on women of all ethnicities and often when that happens our particular struggle gets washed out or dimished. So, call me a bit biased, but I’m not gonna hold up the blood stained banner for it as I would if he took a swipe at this site. And to think, the site is… Read more »
HandsInHair
Guest
If they see a need, you’re saying they should hand over their idea and their monetary investment to someone who looks like their target audience? Should one forgo starting a home for orphaned children because they were never orphaned? If there’s a need and no one else has tried to meet it, why can’t people who haven’t been through it help out from the top down? So basically it seems (and please clarify if I am way off base) that if someone is not directly affected by something then they should keep it moving and let someone else maybe figure… Read more »
Tel8
Guest

+100000000

Thank you for this- I agree completely! We can’t turn around and exclude others just because they’re not the “right colour”, and then get upset that they continue to return the favour.

nina
Guest

Agreed! Yes, i do believe that the hair struggle amongst Black woman for and against our natural hair has been most intense of all. However, this is not a pissing contest! A good friend of mine is a curly-haired Greek. She was called ugly (her hair was mentioned in the insult), by some straight haired, blond guy. We’re not the only ones who suffer because we’re not the “norm” or seen as less than ideal.

Annie L.
Guest

4th! Nothing to add.

CJ
Guest
I do believe Dana was referring to the curious pattern of a lack of ownership amongst people who have specific needs like natural hair, or media representation for black women etc. Your argument sounds good if it was simply a case of nobody from marginalised groups sitting around doing nothing to meet those needs but this is just not true. Essence, curlynikki.com, Dark & Lovely all were once black owned companies. As a black person I find it disturbing that we will regularly start up businesses and create opportunities for ourselves only to then hand it over to white people… Read more »
Mai
Guest
I agree with you, but I have to wonder if that is really what is happening. I think the better quesiton would be, do black investors want to invest in black people. I hear about a ton of black celebrities buying stake in facebook, professional sports teams, and clothing companies, but none of these things are black owned and I have to wonder are white investors more willing to invest in a black company than a black investor. For all the accolades Solange and Beyonce have been getting on natural hair blogs, not once have I seen any news about… Read more »
chloe
Guest

Beyonce and Jay Z have invested in Carol’s Daughter. That’s why Solange is a spokesmodel but I get your point. If we invested in our own start ups we wouldn’t need white investors.

Mai
Guest
I don’t know if that is true because Carol’s Daughter does a good job of letting everyone know the celebrities that use and promote their products (Jada Pinket and Will Smith, Mary J. Blige, Oprah). I have yet to hear about Beyonce and JayZ. Solance was picked because the second she BC’d every natural blog posted pictures raving about her hair every week so they took advantage of her popularity and used her as a spokesmodel. They also chose Cassie and Selita Ebanks. I highly doubt Diddy stopped dancing long enough to sign a contract so Cassie could be spokesmodel… Read more »
chloe
Guest

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) — Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith and Jay-Z are among the big-name investors in a Brooklyn-based beauty line called “Carol’s Daughter,” according to the New York Post. http://money.cnn.com/2005/05/18/news/newsmakers/cosmetics/

Mai
Guest

THANK YOU! Finally somebody who backs their claim up. I know this off topic but I am so sick of the people who are like “Oh it happened, but I can’t find the article” or “You just have to go look for it.” So thank you Chloe for making me day.

CJ
Guest
I see that as the other side of the same problem. A lot of black people scoff at the potential of natural hair as a business, even those of us with natural hair. You therefore get less people interested in wanting to invest and black business owners having to go elsewhere out of necessity. Then at the same time a lot of people (consumers) are simply happy that there is a company that provides their needs regardless of the scruples of those supplying those needs, so don’t see the need to support black businesses. It all adds up and it’s… Read more »
HandsInHair
Guest
I will take a couple of educated guesses regarding your last sentence, CJ (since I don’t have any background in business). What I assume could be the case is that a company/person with a lump sum of money offers to buy another profitable company and the smaller company agrees that what they were offered is more than they stand to earn in profit that year or for the next couple of years. Some people see this as a sell-out, others see it as simply handling business. Another scenario is that some of these companies are public and someone else buys… Read more »
CJ
Guest

I understand possible reasons why it could be happening but I’m not trying to call all black people as sell outs if they do sell their business. I just hate the fact that no major black companies seem to be in it for the long haul, to the point where you have communities that used to have plenty of black owned bussinesses being monopolised by racist asians. It’s just so irritating and every opportunity we as a whole get to turn it around seems to be squandered. Do you get where I’m coming from?

Dana
Guest

So basically it seems (and please clarify if I am way off base) that if someone is not directly affected by something then they should keep it moving and let someone else maybe figure it out.”
You are right. You can also add that black women/people are dumb as hell.

caramel
Guest

This is good! He actually took the time write about the website which actually helped to promote it, because i have never seen this site before and Im here now because of the article. Your site has a purpose keep u the good work. 🙂

Michelle @Radiant Brown Beauty
Guest

WOW I love her rebuttal. I’ll bet Kevin was sitting around with his finger in his a*& after that!

Idiot should have thought twice. I can’t stand how people feel the need to insult what others consider valuable. Even the “failures” of silicon valley should at least be applauded for taking a chance. Where would we be if ppl didn’t take chances on things they believed in?

Annie L.
Guest

Even the “failures” of silicon valley should at least be applauded for taking a chance.”

2nd!

Good for healthy
Guest

Textured ladies (most of whom happen to be of color) are currently showing that they have the nerve to believe in self, love self, and find beauty in self despite continued and protracted efforts to decimate their self esteem.

Liz
Guest

I *heart* the re-post. Hope this means you see virtue in the words…

Priscilla
Guest

Huffington Post response to the piece:
“Kevin Roose, New York Magazine Writer, Disses Investment In Natural Hair Business”
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/30/kevin-roose-natural-hair-business-investment_n_1719828.html?ir=Black+Voices

Priscilla
Guest
Kevin Roose updated his NY Mag article to include this: Update: In the introduction to this post, I cast some doubt on a $1.2 million investment in NaturallyCurly, the self-described “leading social network and community for people with wavy, curly and kinky hair.” That line drew some criticism in the comments to this post and over at the Huffington Post, which pointed out that there’s a large market for natural hair businesses, especially those targeted at black consumers. I should have explained myself in more detail: My point about NaturallyCurly (which sells products and provides advice to curly-haired people of… Read more »
HandsInHair
Guest

Sounds like a feeble attempt to back-peddle. He says, “My criticism was of the idea of a social network for curly-haired people, not the influence or viability of the curly-hair market in general.” Well.…why? Why critique a social network for curly haired people if the influence of said network is far reaching and, in turn, has become highly profitable?

Annie L.
Guest

Mmm-hmm!

Babs
Guest

What I find even more disconcerting is that the writer’s view seems to be more of a offhand, first blush, no research involved commentary which speaks to his critical thinking process. He definitely wasn’t basing his views on concrete numbers.

Maryse
Guest
what this writer is failing to understand is that naturallycurly isn’t TRYING to COMPETE with Facebook as a social network. Facebook isn’t catering to my curly/textured hair needs. Also, NaturallyCurly was NOT created FOR women of color. It was created for ALL people with curly hair. As it turns out, women of color spend even MORE on hair and products than other women with curly/wavy hair. Their platform has always INCLUDED 3c, 4a, and 4b textures and those boards naturally got more attention than the others. It grew SO much that I believe they were LOOKING for a rep to… Read more »
Rose Kahendi
Guest

I think he was writing from a position of ignorance, and that’s fine. His ignorance doesn’t take anything away from the experiences of curly-haired people. I’ve met plenty of people like him: people who encounter an idea and laugh at it because they think it’s stupid. They think it’s stupid because they haven’t heard of it before.

I do wonder, if he got it so wrong in that one sentence about the website, to what extent does the rest of the article get it wrong?

kristina
Guest

Ignorance breeds itself. And it’s colorless…that’s why there’s so much money to be had in the natural hair industry in the first place — plenty of us, just now awakening to the beauty of rocking our naturals, and plenty of “other people” who don’t have a friggin clue about the potential in that at all.
We’re all in this…together? Hmmm.…

HB
Guest
This takes me back to the “Why Natural Hair Should Not Be Considered Unprofessional” post. It’s a White man’s world and the reason our hair seems militant or unimportant is simply because they don’t find it so. Same thing went for the Africans they found in Africa who they felt were just wasting space on Earth and whom they felt needed “civilization”. Technology is a blessing and a curse. It can help educate the masses but it can also do massive damage at keeping a large amount of people ignorant. Kevin is ignorant by choice despite all the knowledge at… Read more »
Lia
Guest

This is ridiculous! The textured hair culture extends past the black community to even those of European descent and Asian descent. These sites are for EVERYONE who has textured hair and what we go through on a day to day basis. People need to have someone to talk to who understands what they are going through. It is not a dumb investment, but rather an irreplaceable investment in women’s (and men’s) self esteem.

NarciceZa
Guest

I would have told him to go f*** himself, but that’s just me…

Nikki
Guest

Men (not all of course, but many with access to an audience and think they know too much) are always up in arms/ignorant about the way women utilize technology. This is similar to the reaction I heard about Pinterest. What? Women use technology? To talk about hair and the junk they like? Not to build computers and spend hours playing video games? Yeah, we do some of that too, but we also use the internet and tech for other things. Get over it.

chloe
Guest

Bravo! Sexism is probably at the root of his angst.

hhjourney
Guest

Why do we care what he thinks?? o_O.…I mean…it’s not like the fact that there are a ton of ignoramuses in existence is actually new to us… *shrugs and sashays* as I bob my kinky-curly Afro side to side…

Nichole
Guest

I don’t know what I would do if it had not been for the natural hair websites and books. All I have to say is we can show you better then we can tell you.

Bri Bri
Guest
Isn’t this hating on Curlynikki getting old already. I have just a few points to make. First, her site has not changed at all, save for the fact that she does a whole lot more giveaways. Two, she uses a lot of guest bloggers, but she always has. All you have to do is go back to 2008 and look at the post. More importantly, most other sites have taken this model and used it, including this site. Why not criticize them. Three, CN got famous from this hair thing, but if you read her interviews you’ll notice that she… Read more »
chloe
Guest

I agree 100%! CN does give back.

Alison
Guest

You should go back and see how much curlynikki has taken from this site. Copied outright. And if you go all the way back you could see the email exchange between Leila and cn over the “copying”. CN published those personal emails on her website then deleted them. I know someone remembers.

Bri Bri
Guest
Thanks chloe. Alison, why wouldn’t we see a lot of overlap when a bunch of black women are talking about the exact same topic? If you have clear examples of plagiarism provide the link. If not, its just slander. Also, if I was CN and some chick I don’t even know started accusing me of plagiarism I would put her on blast too. In addition, when I look around the web, I see people stealing CN’s style all the time. I think its safe to say that everyone borrows liberally from everyone. For instance, look at how many people do… Read more »
Former Dread
Guest
BriBri, Why does any critical analysis of the Curly Nikki site or the selling of it to a white-owned company always have to equal “hating” on Nikki the person? CurlyNikki can only do giveaways or scholarships precisely because she sold out and was acquired by NaturallyCurly.com. Why isn’t NC.com sponsoring scholarships or promoting a difference aesthetic for black people globally? Because they don’t have to. In fact, they can continue to cater to us in iconography only, and we will still spend our time and money on them. Just like why doesn’t Obama do anything to improve the lives of… Read more »
Bri Bri
Guest
Former Dread, (1) Because I see a whole bunch of hating. If the site’s quality has diminished I would understand, but I see Nikki taking initiative and doing things that no one else does. So lets keep the analysis about CN professional and not just simply call her a sell out bc she did a smart business deal. Not to mention its a bit racist to say that its wrong to sell to white people just bc their white. If they did that to us, we’d be calling Al Sharpton. (2) I agree, the deal with NC preceded an uptick… Read more »
Mai
Guest
Honestly, every black person who though Obama was going to visit them in their “hood” and give them a handout is legitmately stupid. If we are really going to say “why hasn’t Obama improved the life of black people,” first you need to ask why didn’t Bush improve the life of white people. He improved the lives of rich people — both black, white, asian, hispanic, and so on — but he didn’t do anything for the middle or lower class. And here is a 5th grade US government history lesson; the US government has a system of checks and… Read more »
anastasia
Guest

=)

Jc
Guest
The problem with USA is the obsession with the almighty dollar as a measure for success. What happened to forming a natural hair website purely to educate other women and promote the idea that natural hair is not an affliction but simply a beautiful variation of texture? The truth is that when you start doing things for money, that is what becomes your guiding light.….…money. Let us be honest, the vast majority of natural hair websites are not profitable and those that are are modestly profitable (certainly not in the range of several hundred millions or billions of dollars as… Read more »
anastasia
Guest

Truth!

Claire
Guest

The title of this post ought to be altered. (Perhaps the text as well.)

NaturallyCurly.com isn’t a “natural hair” site. Its focus is on all types of curly hair. That includes kinky hair. However black folks’ hair isn’t their sole focus.

Years ago, I thought of it as a curly hair haven for the non-black population.

Mo
Guest

I guess I don’t find it THAT bad of an article. He stated his opinion as he has a right to and who gives a rats toosh what he thinks. Sounds like he is bitter that maybe one of his friends or his ideas did not make it off the platform but here that site did. . bleh. Nothing to give too much attention too…

Drika
Guest

How ignorant. Like he’s actually paid attention to the natural hair market. Ugh, open your eyes, man!

Alicia
Guest

Seriously. Why would ANYone give a person who looks like this, a second thought? Please. Does not even show up on my radar. http://www.flickr.com/photos/68073433@N00/4569203713/

Sarah London
Guest
I have been tryin grow my hair out for the last 3 years. And was consistently getting breakage. I have black kinky hair. I also use a relaxer which I will NOT give up. Anywho, this past winter I had the most breakage in the crown area, so that if I pull my hair up it looks like a crown. Shallow in the center and long around the hairline. So I bought the Shielo VOLUME Collection out of desperation. And as one last go around before I get the clippers. But the VOLUME Shampoo and VOLUME Conditioner work! My hair… Read more »
Jacqueline Hartzog
Guest
I am black and relax my hair,I love the natural hair. I work out a lot and because of my job, I wear a uniform and my position It is easire for me. I work around a lot of all races, and guess what? All races have issues with their hair, including men. We all talk about breakage, age, stress, what color looks good on us, should I cover my greys, it is so humid outside look at my hair, I got to workout my hair will mess up. And I notice, that 95% of people have culy, waviy, and… Read more »
Eatmydessertfirst
Guest

This article doesn’t upset me as the person writing about how stupid naturallycurly.com is clearly doesn’t know anything about the natural/curly hair market. But what does upset me is that the parent company of naturallycurly.com has no one of color at the top. Neither the founders or any member of their management team are African American. For a site that capitalizes on the natural hair movement within the black community you would think that they would add some color to their management team. http://www.texturemediainc.com/company

louisokay
Guest

The next time I read a blog, I hope that it doesnt disappoint me as a lot as this one. I mean, I know it was my option to read, but I really thought youd have something interesting to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something that you would fix for those who werent too busy in search of attention.

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