Nikki Walton with MSNBC crew

Yesterday, Actress Nicole Ari Parker of Broadway's Streetcar Named Desire, University of Pennsylvania professor Anthea Butler, cultural critic Joan Morgan and's own, Nikki Walton joined Melissa Harris-Perry on MSNBC for a discussion on the politics and business of black hair — what it has been about and how it is changing as more black women embrace their natural texture. While the sales of relaxers has been in a decline since 2007, there is of course still a huge market for black hair care. "The demand from all of those natural women for products to take care of their hair has given life to a cottage industry, made up mostly entrepreneurs of African-American women, some of whom whipped up products of their own to help meet the demand," Harris-Perry explained.

The idea that this change is a positive one for black women is juxtaposed to the truth that there is still the issue of internal judgement and negativity. Nikki points out that, thankfully, aside from the products industry, we also have the informational industry, where communities like provide a place for women to "encourage each other, share, and get this information, and it goes beyond the aesthetic and goes back to...self-acceptance, accepting hair for what it looks like…This is about empowering textured women to achieve healthier hair and versatility." Well said Nikki!

CurlyNikki on msnbc

Harris-Perry: There's big business in black hair

Let's work through any negatives and keep this discussion going! What do you have to say about business and politics of natural hair? 

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