One Woman’s Plan To Bring Black Back To The Black Hair-Care Industry


By Ryan Velez

Despite the massive take that the $500 billion Black hair care and beauty industry brings in, the Black business community isn’t bringing in nearly as much as you would think. While there are plenty of Black women owning beauty salons, this is a big difference from Black beauty supply stores, where Black ownership is still underrepresented. Shanon Nelson, the owner of Amari Hair Extensions, an online hair boutique, is trying to buck the trend by leveraging her love of international travel, and EURWeb has the story.

Nelson is already a seasoned entrepreneur and former business professor, and is collaborating with some skilled individuals to put this venture together. “The collaboration will feature Jill Williams, the owner, founder, and CEO of Jay-Jill Cosmetics.” Nelson says. “She is a certified makeup artist who does the make up/makeovers for the ladies once they’ve gotten their extensions put in. Dawn Medaries, of Dawn Style Studio, or whoever the ladies prefer, to do their sew in extensions, they will typically be a variety of African American hair stylists in the community. Synergistically, we keep the Black dollar circulating in our community, while providing service to our clients.”

Nelson has also gone to China to deal directly with firsthand manufacturers of hair extensions. The goal? To create a collaboration of high-quality online hair and beauty boutiques that organically understands the hair styling, hair care, and beauty needs of Black women. Nelson affectionately describes this movement as the “Sistahood.”

This movement is well timed, as the Black community is beginning to push back against concerns about a lack of respect and ownership issues from the other ethnic groups with a major share of the Black hair care industry. This is exemplified by a boycott organized by Devin Robinson, an economics professor and author of How to Become a Successful Beauty Supply Store Owner, against non-black-owned beauty supply stores last November. “Distributors are mainly non-blacks and they handpick who they will distribute products to. This oftentimes leaves aspiring black owners disenfranchised.”

In a recent interview describing her offerings, Nelson mentions that “we have a proven track record for offering human hair extensions that can be colored, styled and treated to exceed your expectations. We only offer high-quality hair products for our beautiful customers. We are excited to offer you top quality hair extensions at affordable prices. Our online store focuses on giving you the best customer experience with great products, service and fast shipping.”