My Black is Beautiful

Procter & Gamble is bringing its long-running My Black Is Beautiful platform to life with a product line.

The My Black Is Beautiful brand is to launch in nearly all Sally Beauty doors in the U.S. and Canada — around 3,000 doors — with a collection of five products designed specifically for black women with very curly and coil-y hair textures. The brand is a result of a yearlong incubation project within P&G, with product ideas crowdsourced from social media.

The product assortment is infused with a proprietary formula called Golden Milk, comprised of natural ingredients such as coconut milk, turmeric, ginger, honey and coconut oil. Products include the Hydrating Shampoo, $11.99; Fortifying Conditioner, $11.99; Tangle Slayer Conditioning Creams for type-three curls and type-four curls, $12.99 each, and Intense Recovery Treatment, $12.99.

This the first product line P&G has designed specifically for black women with very textured and curly hair types. Pantene Gold Series was launched in 2017, though its products focused more on hydration and nourishment, rather than curl treatments.

The product line is an extension of the company’s My Black Is Beautiful initiative, which was started in 2006 by a group of black women within P&G, aiming to spark a broader dialogue around black women and beauty.

A campaign for the products featuring celebrity stylist Felicia Leatherwood, whose clients include Issa Rae and Ava DuVernay, is set to debut in July with pop-up experiences around New Orleans, during Essence Festival, when a half million mostly black and multicultural women are set to descend on the city.

“Black women are incredibly passionate and vocal about their beauty products,” said Lela Coffey, brand director of multicultural beauty at P&G, who spearheads My Black Is Beautiful. “We’ve spent time listening to what women have to tell us, what’s important in their lives…it’s important to me that we’re diversifying the brands [in the P&G portfolio.]”

Launching at Sally was important, said Coffey, because it is a “destination for black women.”

The launch coincides with a new My Black Is Beautiful campaign asking dictionary companies to rework their existing definitions of the word “black.” The campaign asserts that dictionaries prioritize definitions of “black” as connected with negative words, over definitions highlighting skin color and identity. The campaign is also advocating for dictionary publishers to capitalize the word “black.” Since the campaign launched in June, both dictionary.com and Merriam-Webster have updated their entries.

Incubating niche brands has become a trend in the mass market in the past few years. My Black Is Beautiful is one of the first to come out of P&G, which has focused mainly on acquiring new brands.

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