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Black women celebrate their natural look at Miami event

Michael Butler, Miami Herald on

Published in Fashion Daily News

MIAMI -- With a pink hair salon on wheels parked out front, mocktails being served and R&B songs playing loudly, the Miami stop of the Camille Rose Naturals hair care brand brought high energy to Fontainebleau’s Ulta Beauty store last Wednesday.

Camille Rose is a Black woman-owned hair care company founded by Janell Stephens in 2010 after she found hair-care solutions that helped with her five children’s eczema. More than a decade later, Stephens’ products have built a national following and are available in 300,000 stores nationwide.

“It’s the home of the Afro-Latino, so you get that diversity we were talking about,” brand marketing manager Porchea-Londone Spencer said of Miami and the supporters in attendance. “You may get the loose waves, tight coils and everything in between.”

While the Miami stop is the Atlanta-based brand’s first visit to the city, it has had successful tour stops in major cities like Houston and Los Angeles and recently completed a tour of Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

A 2022 Nielsen study estimated that Black hair care generates more than $2 billion in annual sales. Allapattah cosmetologist Ashliegh Powell has been a longtime supporter of Camille Rose and has noticed a lack of Black hair care products like it over the years.

For her, it’s important to support Black-owned companies in an industry that she and other loved ones have given so much money over the years.

“I like that you can find a product that works for your hair because a lot of products dry curls out,” she said. “[Products] will be advertised as for curly hair but will really not be and will have all the alcohol and stuff in there and dry your curls out.”

“It’s very important for your favorite hair-care brands to be accessible to you, no matter where you are in the world,” Camille Rose brand events manager Milan Crump added. Crump and her colleagues made it clear to onlookers that the products can be used by people with all types of hair. Customers at nearby stores like Target walked up to the pink truck bemused before taking pictures in a photo booth.

 

“I love doing events like this,” said Nikki Scott Bonilla, 34, the owner of Magic Mirror Miami Photobooths and the photo booth being used for the Camille Rose event.

Camille Rose hair stylist Destiny Kelly was one of two brand stylists working with attendees’ hair on Wednesday and emphasized the element of sisterhood among strangers that she saw during the Atlanta tour stop.

“There was a group of girls that came, and we all thought they all came together because they were taking pictures, blogging and doing all this stuff [together],” she remembered. “The way that we’re able to connect everybody together and have all of them become friends after this event is an amazing thing.”

West Palm Beach digital marketer Beverly Pierre traveled nearly an hour and a half to the event for an opportunity to connect with other women who use Camille Rose products. Beverly, 27, remembers a time when she would walk around her local mall and not see women getting their hair done that looked like her.

As Pierre continued to get footage of the event and mingled with other Black women with hair like her own, she was aware of the power events like Camille Rose’s Miami tour stop have on younger Black women and people wearing natural hair.

“I rock my natural hair as much as I can not only for myself because I’m proud of it but to show other younger girls on social media and in real life that this is a good look,” she said. “You can wear it just like this. It doesn’t need to always look perfect.”


©2023 Miami Herald. Visit miamiherald.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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