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Ethnocentrism

The idea that my natural hair journey may also be contributing to economic empowerment for U.S. small business owners is rather gratifying. However, as a researcher I like to look into the details to make sure that my assumptions are correct. For example, I was reading up on hair care market research and saw that Namaste Laboratories actually had a revenue increase during the current economic crisis. GREAT! I’m not surprised because Namaste’s flagship product line, Organic Root Stimulator, is rather popular.



However, I didn’t know that Namaste, founded in Chicago by Gary Gardner (the son of the family who founded Soft Sheen, http://www.beautytimes.com/news/articleView.html?idxno=3835), was recently sold to an Indian-based firm Dabur. Did you know that? When on Dabur’s website (www.dabur.com) I looked for the Namaste brand but I could not find it, even under the site’s international reach section. However, I found teleconference transcripts on Dabur’s site that verified the purchase (http://www.dabur.com/en/investors1/DIL-Transcript-Inv_Conf_Call-Namaste_Labs_Acquisition-18.10.10.pdf, http://www.dabur.com/en/investors1/DIL-Transcript-Inv.%20Conf.%20Call-28.04.11.pdf).


I must admit, I’m feeling ethnocentric. I want to be able to say that Organic Root Stimulator is owned by a Black family based here in the United States. Perhaps I’m being nostalgic but it saddened me to learn that it was sold. How do you feel about it? Maybe I’m just overreacting?

  • Sandra Lamb

    I totally agree. I too looked up the company to see who really owned it. I recognize that companies merge and sell all of the time, but it is disheartening when there are those of us who are trying to make a concerted effort to support black businesses.

    • Tina Opie

      Hi there. It is still majority-Black owned though, no?

  • Omar

    Would you happen to know some black own hair products, black owned coco butter?

    • Tina Opie

      Hello there. You might try Oyin Handmade (B’more based company). Also, Shea Moisture is still majority-Black owned and I believe that it has good good products. Best wishes! BTW, this is not an endorsement, I’m just sharing my personal experiences. 🙂

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