Honoring the Black Legacy in… Hair Care

During Black History Month 2024, The Estée Lauder Companies (ELC), in collaboration with Bumble and bumble, Aveda, and esteemed media partners, orchestrated a thought-provoking panel discussion titled “The Black Influence On…Hair Care.” Held on February 26, 2024, this event, hosted by The Estée Lauder Companies (ELC) and the Network of Black Leaders and Executives, brought together over 100 attendees, including both in-person and virtual participants from diverse backgrounds, ranging from industry professionals to journalists representing top-tier publications.

The panel, comprised of influential Black women leaders spanning media, government, and the hair care industry, convened to delve into the profound significance of Black hair narratives. The discourse underscored the pivotal role of salons and barber shops as cultural sanctuaries within the Black community, fostering a rich tapestry of tradition, community, and trendsetting in hair care practices.

Kicking off the event with poignant remarks, Corey Reese, Senior Vice President and Global General Manager of Bumble and bumble, set the stage by highlighting the historical and cultural importance of these spaces in shaping Black identity and expression.

Moderated by Juanita Tolliver, MSNBC Analyst and Crooked Media Podcast Host, the panel facilitated an engaging dialogue, amplifying the voices of industry pioneers and advocates for diversity and inclusion in beauty and hair care. Noteworthy panelists included Jessica Cruel, Editor-in-Chief of Allure and creator of the acclaimed “Melanin Edit” brand; Felicia Burrows, Editorial Hairstylist and partner at Bumble and bumble; Renee Gadar, Global Artistic Director of Texture at Aveda, who shared insights into her groundbreaking research and development initiatives tailored to meet the unique needs of Black consumers; and NY State Assemblywoman Michaelle Solages, a key proponent of the Texture Education Collective legislation, which mandates textured hair education in cosmetology school curricula and board testing.

The event attracted a diverse array of esteemed guests, including Abby Phillip, CNN nightly news anchor; Hannah Giorgis, culture reporter at The Atlantic; freelance beauty writer Kayla Greaves; India Espy-Jones, Essence magazine reporter; and Catharine Malzahn, beauty assistant at Good Housekeeping.

Through dynamic discourse and shared insights, the panel illuminated the profound impact of Black influence on hair care, underscoring the ongoing quest for inclusivity and representation in the beauty industry.

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