Some things in this life will never change. From your favorite childhood storybook down to the grooves worn in the sway of your hips when your jam starts playing, these deeply rooted attributes are locked into your personal history. However, there are some things that must move into a new time, a new season. This sentiment has not been lost on one of the most widely recognizable brands in the world: Luster Products, Inc.
Luster is fascinating for several reasons, one of which is its approach to reach the millennial curly and natural hair consumer. Another is its focus on innovative product development and brand management. Following its undeniable pulse in the community, I found what can only be called the heartbeat of the brand: Miss Resa B. Luster, Brand Manager at Large for Luster Products, Inc.
Photograph retrieved from @resabluster.
Chatting with Miss Luster, I discovered that there's a plethora of information about the brand that all naturalistas need to know. The Chicago native had quite a lot to say to me about her family heritage and business, giving back to the community, and, of course, natural hair.
Luster-ous Roots and New Growth
NaturallyCurly: Please tell the NaturallyCurly community about your company history.
Resa B. Luster: Luster Products Inc. was founded in 1957 by my late grandfather Fred Luster, Sr. He was a barber based on the Southside of Chicago. His clients would frequently complain about not being able to find products in the marketplace to help keep their hair well-conditioned, moisturized, strong and healthy. He instantly knew he wanted to create products to satisfy his clients' wants and needs. He began to mix ingredients in his barbershop and created the first product: Luster Crème. He gave this product to his clients, and they instantly fell in love. From there on, word of mouth spread around Chicago, and the demand grew immediately for the product. Demand was increasing so rapidly that he was forced to drive around the Chicagoland area to sell the product out of his car. Creating the goods and maintaining his clientele also became a bit cumbersome, so he hired his brothers & children to help him produce the products. From that point on Luster Products Inc. was born and became a family business.
NC: What makes Luster Products, Inc. unique?
Luster: Our collection is unique because from start to finish it allows you to have ease while detangling all the way to maintaining long lasting moisturized hairstyles. Our products are gentle yet effective. No flakes, no dryness, no residue. This Pink® Shea Butter Coconut Collection has something for everyone's curls & coils. We do know that women with tight curls patterns are seeking products that help moisturize those beautiful coils and keep their desired hairstyle elongated. Our collection will do wonders for coily girls.
NC: Please tell me about new products.
Luster: We recently launched our Pink Shea Butter & Coconut Oil collection that contains certified organic ingredients. Each of the items was developed on-site at our headquarters by chemists of color that understand the importance of keeping curly hair moisturized, hydrated, defined & well-conditioned. Once our Research and Development team has created these formulations, we immediately start testing them in our in-house test salon. After our test salon approves the product, Luster Products employees and external consumers test the products on themselves. My coworkers and I find this collection to be the solution to every girl with curls needs, from wearing Bantu knots, wash 'n' go, twists and braided styles.
Photograph retrieved from @resabluster.
NC: What initiatives are you most excited about that Luster is doing?
Luster: Recently launched the SCurl Free Flow Line to help men rock their natural styles! We've also executed on the following listed initiatives:
• Rolled out a social media program that gives our coworkers the opportunity to actively engage in an online space. We want our co-workers to grow with us and know the importance of how social media can impact them personally.
• We are hosting our 2018 New Face of Pink contest. Be sure to follow us on Instagram for details @lusterpink.
• We are also hosting a SCurl Beard search.
• We are always in the testing phase looking for new items to develop.
5 Things Naturalistas Never Knew About Luster Products
NC: What are things about Luster we might not know?
- We are 61 years strong. We remain Black-owned, family owned and operated.
- We value giving back to communities both domestically & internationally.
- We develop and manufacture all of our formulations in-house, testing thousands of heads before releasing our products to the marketplace at our in-house test salon.
- We have R&D, quality control and test salon on-site.
- We have two locations in Chicago and an aerosol manufacturing facility in Blue Island, IL. We have another office in London and all of our products are sold in over 70 countries!
Luster is On Point and On Trend
NC: What are the most exciting trends in texture?
Luster: I will always say the best trends that I've seen in the beauty realm is healthy hair. I believe that it is very important for women to keep their hair well-conditioned, moisturized and hydrated at all times. I meet naturalistas all of the time who complain about breakage, but don't understand the importance of a simple "dusting" of their ends (hair trims). By having this foundation in place it allows women to achieve long-lasting styles and maintain their length retention. To this day I love braided styles with added colorful braiding hair (blue, pink, purple, green and yellow), and I'm also in love with over the top Bantu Knots styles.
NC: What have you seen consumers looking for right now, and how is Luster addressing those concerns?
Luster: Moisturizers and conditioners (leave-in, co-wash, rinse out and deep conditioners) are the frequent requests of naturalistas. We are often asked what products we offer that contain a great deal of hydration & conditioning benefits. We know moisture better than anyone else in the market. We started this thing 50 years ago with our Pink Oil Moisturizer lotion which was originally developed for natural hair. We have over 60 years of R&D experience in meeting our consumers' needs.
What's Next For Resa B. Luster?
As you have read, this Brand Manager at Large is making waves in the beauty and hair care industry. With her extensive product knowledge and passion for natural hair, Resa B. Luster is the one to watch. We're excited to see what she will do next! You can keep up with her next move by following her on Instagram @resabluster. Also stay in the know by reading her NaturallyCurly guest features every month!
Read more from Resa B. Luster: How to Care for Bleached Natural Hair
This post is sponsored by Luster Products, Inc.