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Startups, Target Go After the Multiracial Hair-Care Market

Target sees an opportunity in going natural
Startups, Target Go After the Multiracial Hair-Care Market
Photograph by Aaron Dyer for Bloomberg Businessweek

In 2009 the comedian Chris Rock created a stir with his documentary Good Hair. The film, about the $684 million black hair-care market, details the lengths women go—from scorching their scalps with chemical relaxers to paying $1,000 for a weave—to achieve soft, flowing tresses.

In its wake, many turned to the Internet in search of alternatives. In chat rooms on websites such as Curly Nikki and Afrobella, women shared tips for grooming afros and compared mom-and-pop product lines catering to women who’d decided to “go natural.” According to market research firm Mintel Group, in the three years after Good Hair’s release, sales of chemical relaxers fell more than 30 percent.