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Hair care is big business, especially within the African-American community. As a matter of fact, it has been reported that ‘more robust growth’ is expected within the next five years. 2013 saw a 7% increase in the $2.7 billion industry for black hair products.
In order for companies to take advantage of consumers within the black hair care industry, they are doing what is necessary to understand how black consumers care for their hair.
Case in point – Whitney White has a YouTube channel that’s helping companies capture the market. White began her YouTube channel in 2009 ‘when she chopped off her hair and vlogged the process of growing it back.’ Her channel Naptural85 has roughly half a million subscribers along with 53 million video views. Because of her success, White who is 29-years-old has received endorsement deals from major brands such as Carol’s Daughter.
YouTube has about a billion views a day while readers of popular magazines dwindle. According to Yahoo Finance, “You might say she’s the Michelle Phan of the natural hair movement. And yes, it is a movement.”
Many African-American women are ditching relaxers and turning towards natural hair care. That’s right; since 2013, there has been a decline in sales of relaxers by $130 million. On the other side of the spectrum, there has been an increase of $200 million in natural styling products.
Because of what White has been able to accomplish, she has seen her income increase year after year. Admitting that she was tired of going to the salon and dishing out money while maintaining a heavy college workload, White “found a small community of women on blogs and YouTube who were tossing out their perms and growing out their natural curls and afros. She combed blog posts, photos, and videos from some of the go-to hair gurus of the time — but she couldn’t find anyone who represented her cork-screwed hair pattern. So she decided to chop off her own damaged hair and vlog the process of growing it back on YouTube. From there, her brand was born.”
YouTube advertising revenue system, Google AdSense began generating money for White. By working with brands and creating sponsored content, White started seeing positive change. White went on to say, “I try not to promote anything I wouldn’t personally purchase,” says White. “I’ve turned down a lot of money … I’ve turned down deals from huge companies … because I didn’t like the ingredients in the product.”
Without a doubt, White has used YouTube to her advantage.