By  on February 22, 2017
Actress and singer Demetria McKinney with Dark and Lovely scholarship recipients.

Dark and Lovely celebrated its 45th anniversary last week at an event hosted by actress and singer Demetria McKinney held at New York’s Gramercy Park Hotel.McKinney said she grew up with the brand, now a subsidiary of the L’Oréal USA Multicultural Beauty Division, which has “done wonders for her hair.” Her remarks were followed by a trip through memory lane of hairstyles from the decades including the Jheri curl and today’s natural styles.Erica Bowen, senior vice president, marketing, L’Oréal USA Multicultural Beauty Division, shared the company’s newest launches for 2017. One is Dark and Lovely Color-Gloss Ultra Radiant Color Crème, a no-ammonia hair color that protects curled or relaxed hair from damage.That product honors Dark and Lovely’s heritage as a pioneer in hair color formulated for African-American women. Decades later, the brand has grown to include a complete collection of deep conditioning treatments, shampoos, fade-resistant hair colors, relaxers, stylers and a full line of items for naturally curly hair.That’s where the other new line, Au Naturale Antishrinkage Clumping Curl care and styling duo, comes into play. Bowen said the launch was the result of listening to consumer needs. “We went to our consumers to see what are they doing and what are they talking about. ‘Clumping curls’ was a technique that we saw, where consumers were combining all these different products at home,” she said noting people were using everything from apple cider vinegar to clay. Both new items hit shelves in the past few weeks.“The category is on fire,” noted Bowen. “The multicultural category is outpacing growth in the general market.” She said the audience is broadening based on the changing demographics of America ushering the need for specifically created products.Dark and Lovely also awarded five students with scholarships totaling $10,000 as part of their Young Women with a Purpose Project in partnership with The Tom Joyner Foundation. They were also assigned to L'Oréal USA senior-level executives, who will serve as mentors throughout the school year. Scholarship winners include: Ashani Scales of Delaware State University, Renea Young of Mississippi Valley State University, Hollye Weekes of Wiley College, as well as Kimberly Burton and Cherise McAdoo of Hampton University.

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