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The Black hair care industry is a billion dollar business, but Black hair care products are being pushed to the ethnic aisle, or not available at certain retailers at all.

Sales for the overall Black hair care market reached an estimated $2.7 billion in 2015, with Black hair care sales making up 35 percent of all styling product sales.

Fifty-one percent of Black consumers use styling products, compared to 34 percent of U.S. consumers overall. Despite the demand, nearly twenty percent of Black consumers report having trouble finding Black hair care products at retailers.

Rich Dennis, Founder & CEO of Sundial Brands, including the Shea Moisture line; Image Expert Michaela Angela Davis; and Allison McGevna, Managing Editor for Hello Beautiful, joined Roland Martin on NewsOne Now to discuss the black-out in the beauty aisle, implications of segregated shopping, and Sundial/Shea Moisture’s #BreakTheWalls initiative to change it.

Dennis told Martin stores/retailers have “made a lot of progress over the past 10 years, but we still have a long ways to go” as it relates to the placement of Black hair care products.

The CEO of Sundial Brands said the ethnic aisle was established off the idea of having “structural barriers within the stores and how the size of the stores and what they felt the size of the opportunity was for serving the African-American community.”

“These aisles or sections were set up where they felt they could bring in products that cater to the African-American community, but they were so small and so limiting that they could only bring in certain amounts of products,” Dennis said.

As a result of these constraints, Dennis explained women would have to travel to four to five retailers “just to find the products that they needed to do one hairstyle.” 

Another issue that plagued the Black hair care market was distribution. Oftentimes when Black women were looking for natural hair care products, they would only have access to hair relaxers at certain stores.

Shea Moisture’s “Break The Walls” campaign was launched to increase access, availability and choice when it comes to hair care and beauty products marketed towards women of color.

Michaela Angela Davis called the initiative “revolutionary.” She added for African-American women, “this is huge.”

For generations, “we’ve had to go into the margins, crawl on our knees to get things that care for yourself, that you use every single day,” she continued.

The move by Sundial Brands literally plans to “break the walls” to alter the segregated hair care industry.

Watch Roland Martin, Rich Dennis, Michaela Angela Davis, and Allison McGevna discuss Shea Moisture’s Break the Walls campaign in the video clip above.

For more information about the initiative, visit www.sheamoisture.com

TV One’s NewsOne Now has moved to 7 A.M. ET, be sure to watch “NewsOne Now” with Roland Martin, in its new time slot on TV One.

Subscribe to the “NewsOne Now” Audio Podcast on iTunes.

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