Have you thought about giving back to the natural hair community by starting a business? You might be new to business, but if you’re familiar with natural hair, you’ll already have an advantage over others who know nothing. Or maybe you’re a veteran in business who’s not sure how to get started.
Natural hair is huge. This niche is a multi-million-dollar industry, and there’s a lot of profit to be earned. Are you considering working within the community as a side or full-time gig? Here’s a helpful list you can use to get ideas flowing.
1. YouTube Beauty Vlogger
YouTube brought the Natural Hair Movement to life. Millions of women rely on video for tutorials, entertainment, and advice about their kinks and curls. Beauty is a popular topic because it’s what every woman wants. Gorgeous hair is not the only thing we seek, but it’s up there on the list.
The biggest beauty bloggers on YouTube earn a whopping $15-40K per month. Even just a fraction of that could make an attractive side income.
How does it work? Google pays you when viewers watch and click on the ads that appear before and during your video. The more views and activity you have on your video, the more money you’ll stack into your AdSense account.
Plus, you can earn affiliate income on your videos by putting affiliate links in the description box below the video.
Pro-tip: Creating excellent infotainment is the key to making a steady stream of income on YouTube. Your videos must be informational, yet entertaining. People will follow you when you deliver top-notch quality. Having lots of followers means YouTube will market the videos on your behalf, so always advise your viewers to subscribe.
2. Natural Hair Blogger
Are you camera-shy? It’s understandable. Commenters on YouTube can be downright cruel and senseless. Not everybody wants to put themselves out there for the world to pick apart.
One of my favorite natural hair clients does articles only, and absolutely no videos. It’s going well for her.
A blog is forever. The last thing you want to do is start a blog with no monetizing plan. When times get tough, your blog will be the first thing to go, especially if it’s stealing your time and not producing an income. Plan the money part early so you’ll continue to blog successfully for life.
How do you make money with a blog? When your articles gain traction, you can make money by selling affiliate products. The natural hair community adores products. We need them like we need food.
The easiest affiliate program to do is Amazon. It’s quick to sign up and get started. You can place Amazon ads on your site and get paid when people click on them.
Or, you can write entire articles about natural hair and mention the products. Both ways will earn you a nice stream of income. Beware though. Being a blogger isn’t a get rich quick scheme. It’s more like a slow and steady wins the race thing.
The caveat: You need a ton of high-quality posts to do it right. Anything less, and Google will routinely ignore you. So, make sure your articles are informational and flawless.
Another money-making technique is to place ads on your site, through Google AdSense and native ads.
It’s all about monetizing your site to bring you the most cash while you sleep. Shout Me Loud is an amazing resource to use if you want to get started making a profitable natural hair blog.
3. Natural Hair T-Shirt Sales
Before you raise an eyebrow, there’s something you should know about t-shirts. People buy them. They purchase them to make statements, they give them as gifts when they have no idea what else to get, and they wear them around the house because they’re just so comfortable.
Why does selling natural hair t-shirts work? There are lots of different reasons people decide to go natural. One reason is that they don’t want cancerous chemicals in their hair and body. Flipping the European standard of beauty flat on its butt is another reason people go natural. Or it could be that they just like curly hair.
Any which way you look at it, some women will want to make a statement. The statement could be the hair itself, or the declaration can come out in other ways. Like by wearing a provocative t-shirt!
How does it work? The first step is to apply for a Merch by Amazon account. After you’re accepted, you’re free to make and sell up to 10 t-shirt designs through Amazon.
Do you need skills? Yes and no. Photoshop is the best software to use to design your shirts, but if you’re not a creative wizard, you can easily hire someone to design the shirts for you on Upwork.
The cool thing about Amazon is that they print the shirts and take it out of the money they pay you. In fact, it’s print on demand, so there’s no worry about inventory, storing products, or getting wrapped up in packaging tape.
4. Natural Hair Stylist or Consultant
You could do hair. Naturals occasionally need someone to do their hair. Our arms get tired. Plus, certain styles are too difficult, or we just can’t get it right like they do on YouTube. That’s where you come in.
How do you get started? Go to a school of cosmetology or just do it willy-nilly, depending on which state you live in. Check with your state to determine whether you’ll be able to style without formal training.
You could even do phone or email consulting if you don’t want to open a brick and mortar shop. Everybody in the community wants gorgeous hair, and it’ll be your job to advise clients on how to get it.
5. Online Beauty Supply for Naturals
Starting an e-commerce store is harder than it looks, but you can do it if you have the determination to see it all the way through. You’ll need to do product and market research before you begin, and you’ll need a strong business plan to guide you. It’s crucial to form relationships with vendors and to do lots of creative marketing before and after you launch the store.
Owning an online store is a long-term biz, as you’ll likely see profit 2-3 years down the road. You’ll need lots of investment capital for this one. However, if you can get some of your suppliers to drop ship, you won’t have to spend as much up-front money to give people what they want. Drop shipping only means that when you order the goods, they send it to the consumer, and not you.
Learning the technicalities of having an e-commerce store can be difficult. Shopify and Magento are two of the biggest players in the e-store world, and they offer tons of guidance.
6. Natural Hair Product Manufacturer
Have you been in the kitchen, perfecting the most fantastic DIY curl cream? Put a label on it and market it. Many naturals love to buy products from small, independent manufacturers because they feel like they’re supporting the greater good and getting something pure in return.
Be ready to give away a lot of free product in the beginning. It’s a good idea to beta-test your product first, by having a few friends try it. Then, send it to some YouTube beauty vloggers and have them review it.
Products you can make from home and sell include shampoo, conditioner, curl cream, hair growth oil, and detangler. Be sure to adhere to home cosmetic safety standards by following the Federal Food & Drug Association (FDA) cosmetology guidelines.
7. Natural Hair Accessories Manufacturer
Natural hair accessories are just cool. You see creams and shampoos all over the place, but when you see that special satin-lined beanie…it’s impossible not to smile and feel tickled inside. We love stuff that’s made just for us.
Are you skilled at sewing? Anything satin works. Pillowcases, beanies, scrunchies, scarves, and whatever else you can think of will be ideal for a natural hair accessory product.
This type of manufacturing is probably one of the easiest to get started in. There’s no need to consult with the FDA or hire a chemist, since the product won’t be consumed or applied. Plus, you don’t have to have an e-commerce store for accessories because you can sell on mega-platforms like Etsy and Amazon.
Naturals also prize wide headbands and jeweled clips that are big enough to hold thick hair. Use your imagination and make it look pretty.
8. Natural Hair Freelancer
Have graphic design, writing, social media managing, photography, or marketing skills? You’re needed in the industry. Companies look for clever people to design and write their marketing materials. You could always take a job, but why not freelance and be your own boss?
The best way to get started is to build a website and portfolio. Make it look impressive. Then contact companies you’d like to work for and send them your samples. You won’t hear back from everyone, but you’ll hear back from somebody if you’re diligent about emailing.
The natural hair is massive, and the community needs lots of help. Can you see yourself working within the community and owning a natural hair business?