Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Natural Hair Trend Among African-American Women Having Impact


While hairstyle trends change throughout the decades, the one constant is hairstyling and product launches being big business. But new research from Mintel reveals that natural may be the new normal in black hair care, as relaxers account for just 21% of black hair care sales and the sector has declined 26% since 2008 and 15% since 2011, when sales reached $179 million—making it the only category not to see growth.

Mintel's research estimates the relaxer segment will reach $152 million this year, down from $206 million in 2008. Furthermore, in the past 12 months, nearly three-fourths (70%) of black women say they currently wear or have worn their hair natural (no relaxer or perm), more than half (53%) have worn braids, and four out of 10 (41%) have worn locks.

"The natural hair trend is driving an increase in sales of styling products such as styling moisturizers, setting lotions, curl creams, pomades, etc., but the increase has caused the relaxer segment to decline in sales," says Tonya Roberts, multicultural analyst at Mintel. "A look at expenditures from 2008–2013 shows steady growth in the black hair care category for all categories except relaxers/perms."

Shampoo and conditioner formulated for black hair is estimated to reach $257 million in 2013, up from $211 million in 2008. The styling products segment has also increased from $220 million in 2008 to an estimated $268 million in 2013. Meanwhile, the hair color market is forecast to see sales of $36 million in 2013, compared to $32 million in 2008.
However, when it comes to achieving the perfect look, it seems black women are willing to shell out top dollar to change up their hair. More than half (51%) agree that it's worth spending more on hair care products to achieve the best results while 39% say they like to experiment with new hair care products.

"Given their passion and love of hair, black consumers represent a lucrative market for companies. Black consumers are always looking for new products to try and seeking information about hair care products," notes Roberts. "Social networking is one avenue that has helped to garner trust, empowerment, individuality and pride, as it relates to hair care. Brands have been born and re-born using social networks."
So what's the appeal of the natural style? Forty-eight percent of women believe natural or curly hairstyles exude confidence and the same percentage consider them daring. Meanwhile, 45% of black women think natural coifs are trendy.

This article compliments of  GCI Magazine

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Can You Straighten Afro Hair Long-Term without using Caustic Chemicals?

Hi my name is Tia I put a perm in my hair two months ago and now I have a bald spot. Also I put one in my daughter head 3 to 4 months ago. At first her scalp was just dry but now where the dry spot is it's  coming out. Please can you tell me what's going on?




The biggest problem with relaxers is how they are applied. They are smoothed against the scalp and they go into the pores and they change how the hair cells function. The DNA of the hair cell (the brain that tells the hair what to do) is actually altered when the chemical goes inside the scalp. You need to think of a relaxer as being the equivalent of liquid drain cleaner. It is the same chemical you pour down the drain to eat away hair clogs that you are pushing into your head. You would not take a relaxer and rub it up and down your arm and legs for 20 minutes, but you do it to your head. The reason so many black women are giving up relaxers is because of the damage relaxers cause. In the past we were ignorant to the permanent damage but now with education we are resolving to NEVER allow relaxer chemicals to touch our heads again.


The change to the DNA can be gradual or immediate. I have had people say to me “but I see fuzz so it is growing back.” The truth is, the fuzz will grow no longer than the 1st notch in your finger (about 1”) then it falls out and starts over. Once the DNA has changed, there is no reversing it. There are a lot of gimmicks on the market that will “claim” to reverse balding but don’t waste your money, they are just gimmicks. To prevent losing your hair entirely, I recommend you NEVER put another chemical relaxer on your hair or your daughters hair EVER again. There are products on the market that will straighten your hair without caustic chemicals and I will gladly share my Product Quick Reference guide with anyone who ask. It outlines how to use my products to achieve straight hair without causing hair damaging. 

Email me at mail@ultrablackhair.com and ask for our Product Quick Reference guide. 

Cathy Howse

Friday, September 26, 2014

Can Hair Weaving be done safely to prevent hair loss?




Cathy's recommended method of hair weaving


Hair is a symbol of beauty and weaves can enhance your natural beauty if your hair is less than perfect.

Weaves can be sewn on, fused, bonded and even clipped on.

Bonding uses glue to attach weave to the hair roots while fusion uses wax or glue to attach weave to single sections of your hair. They both claim to be removed very easily and cause little harm but glue in your hair IS harmful. No matter what kind of glue it is. Glue and hair do not mix!

  • Fused and bonded weaves are the worst ways to attach weave.
  • The most widely used weaving technique is: Sew on weave which is applied by taking your natural hair that has been braided in cornrows and the weave is sewn on the braid.

Keep in mind you still have to take care of the hair underneath the weave which can be difficult depending on the option you choose unless it is a clip on lace weave that you can take off at night so you can maintain your own hair, then reattach the next day.

Bottom line, I don’t recommend any type of weaves or extensions be put on your head unless you absolutely have to and when you do, the only hair weave I recommend is clip on.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Does Mayonnaise make a good deep conditioner?





Cathy Howse answering your questions on good deep conditioners.

Let’s look at what Mayonnaise really is: It’s a few eggs and a whole lot of oil whipped up together, add a few seasonings and you have a creamy dressing or spread.

  •  Oil it is an excellent lubricant for the hair, thus the reason we do hot-oil treatments.

  •  A good deep conditioner contains Protein because it bonds to the hair making it stronger.

  •  So the oil and eggs in Mayonnaise are the same ingredients that make for a good hair conditioner. Except Mayonnaise is food!

And as for me I prefer not to put food on my head.

For more info on these hair care tips visit ultrablackhair.com

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Is Natural Hair A Trend?

4 Reasons Natural Hair Is Not A Trend


  • In the 60’s and 70’s we wore natural hair because it was a statement that identified us as a proud black people. Today we know, more than hair defines us.
  • Natural hair is versatile. It is not just for Afros any more, but for Locing, twisting, twist-outs, braiding and numerous individual styles only we can imagine.
  • In the 60’s and 70’s hairdressers rebelled against natural hair, because it was not profitable for business. If it was not about relaxers or press and curl, and coming back for maintenance, your efforts to keep your hair natural could be sabotaged. Fast forward to today; stylist love natural hairs numerous styling options and they are embracing them all the way to the bank!
  • We are better educated. Chemical straighteners and blowout products have left us bald, thinning and devastated. Now, the world-wide web has allowed millions and millions of black women to vocally take a stand to be chemical free for life.


We love and embrace our God given beauty and wear our natural hair proudly. Although I often wear my hair straightened (blown dry) my hair has been chemical free since 2004, I vow to NEVER resort to chemical straightening EVER again.

Cathy Howse

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Natural vs Organic Hair products: Should We Care?


With all the talk about cancer in our environment, we all want better products that are safe. So we are now making decisions about using natural or organic products and whether to use products that are paraben free.

  • Organic products use ingredients that are made without antibiotics, synthetic hormones, genetic engineering, sewage sludge, or irradiation. There is minimal processing and no preservatives or artificial ingredients. Organic products have to be used quickly because they won’t last long without preservatives.
  • Natural products use ingredients that are Unprocessed. But natural does not mean they are grown organically.

Which brings us to preservatives and parabens in our hair products.

  • Parabens are an old preservative system that the FDA says you can safely use about .02% in products. Parabens are in just about every cosmetic and hair product. Having preservatives in our hair products prevents mold, and harmful bacteria from growing in them, and paraben free can be a safer alternative.
How many times have you bought a product and used it once then stuck it under the sink and forgot about it? Then when you find it again you take a quick look and smell check, and it seems okay, right?
Mold does not have to be black and it does not have to smell. Bacteria can grow in products and you not know it is even there!
My rule of thumb is: use your hair products within 6 months or throw then in the trash!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Main Causes of Hair Thinning Around the Edges

Everywhere you look now you see sisters with thinning hair and hair loss especially around the sides and edges. The medical term for this hair loss is alopecia.


There are many different types of alopecia. Alopecia can be caused from disease, stress on the hair roots, and medical treatments such as chemotherapy. There are 2 types of alopecia that can be prevented: Traction alopecia and Traumatic alopecia


Traction alopecia is caused by constant tight pulling and stress on the hair at the root. Traction alopecia results from very tight hair styles: ponytails, buns, braids, cornrows and can become permanent if tight hair styles are worn often.


Traumatic alopecia is most commonly caused by improper chemical applications. Think about how relaxers are applied. They are smoothed against the head with the back of the fingers, or the comb. The goal is to get the hair really straight around the face. Around the face is where chemicals are smoothed most. How often have you heard the stylist ask “are you burning?” Burning chemicals on the scalp cause trauma to the scalp. The bad effect is that these chemicals go into the pores of your head and they "change" the hair cells underneath the scalp. The unfortunate thing is that this is a permanent change.


Traction alopecia and Traumatic alopecia are preventable. So to prevent hair loss around the edges, choose hair styles that don’t put excessive stress on the hair shaft and ----Stop thinking that chemicals are Safe and use them cautiously to keep your hair on your head.