Growing up and having access to many different hair stores was the norm — until I moved to the State College area where there are no hair stores or salons to accommodate Black women.
You would think Walmart or Target would have a better selection of hair products for us, but even going there was a slight disappointment. Asking employees is also a waste of time because many of them are not familiar with the brands I ask for.
I eventually gave up.
There aren’t places to buy braiding hair, high quality eyelashes, wigs, edge control and more. It got so bad that I had to start stocking up on products when I went home to Philadelphia to bring back to State College.
I even thought about selling some of the items I brought to other Black girls I know who also struggled finding hair products and accessories, but that meant my stash would run low, and I would have to stock up on more — I didn’t have the money for that.
I never thought I would see the day where a Black-owned beauty supply store would be in the heart of the Nittany Mall — but on Nov. 1, that day came.
Nu Beauty is the name, and owner Callie Turner had a grand opening for her store that day. Many people I know attended and supported by posting her store all over Instagram.
I was in shock and disbelief. I couldn’t wait to see for myself what types of hair products and accessories the store offered.
When I went I wasn’t disappointed — everything from the braiding hair to wigs, down to the edge control brush were there.
Turner was extremely welcoming, as I walked up to her with a huge smile on my face as if I had never seen a hair store before — but she didn’t know this was exactly what I needed.
I expressed how happy and shocked I was to finally see a beauty supply store that Black women can go to without feeling uncomfortable or let down.
There’s nothing worse than having to order products on Amazon and wait for days until they arrive or being miserable until it’s time to go back home — which is not often — so you can finally get the things you need to get your hair done.
The drive back to my apartment was peaceful knowing that it would only take me 10 minutes to get hair products that will accommodate my beautiful 4C hair.