Black woman entrepreneur making ‘money moves’ to recapture the $500 billion Black beauty and haircare industry


Shanon Nelson, founder of Amari Hair Extensions, is looking to do business with other Black-owned beauty supply stores.

Shanon Nelson, owner of Amari Hair Extensions, the online hair boutique, is both anxious and excited about the future. The seasoned entrepreneur and former business professor with an MBA is poised to take her love of travel and international business for a foray into the massive $500 billion Black hair care and beauty industry.

She travels abroad to China to deal directly with first hand source manufacturers in the hair extension business. Shanon is working with certified makeup artist Jill Williams and hair extension stylist Dawn Medaries to create a collaboration of high quality online hair and beauty boutiques that organically understand the hair styling, hair care and beauty needs of Black women.

These women are confident that working together and going to the source of the extension and hair care manufacturing industry will give them a chance to compete for the lucrative global Black hair market. They look to partner to recapture a significant portion of the Black hair care and beauty industry.

Point person Shanon Nelson affectionately calls this movement the “Sistahood.” Working very close to her in the hair care dimension of Sistahood is the highly regarded haircare and extension professional Dawn Medaries of Dawn Style Studio.

Working together and going to the source of the extension and hair care manufacturing industry will give the women a chance to compete for the lucrative global Black hair market. Shanon Nelson affectionately calls this movement the “Sistahood.”

Their collaboration is well-timed in that recently a significant segment of Black women has expressed concern about lack of respect and ownership issues with other ethnic groups running the Black hair care industry. This is illustrated by a range of responses recently – from calls for boycotting the industry to more Black women beginning to own beauty supply stores.

Devin Robinson, an economics professor and author of “How to Become a Successful Beauty Supply Store Owner,” organized a boycott last November against non-Black-owned beauty supply stores. “The problem is with the distributors,” he has stated. “Distributors are mainly non-Blacks and they handpick who they will distribute products to. This oftentimes leaves aspiring Black owners disenfranchised.”

While Black women owning beauty salons have been a business mainstay in African American communities, only recently have we seen a slow increase in ownership of Black beauty supply stores. Shanon and her partners will have to disrupt the status quo in this global trade business and use e-commerce to be successful. Getting into the global business trade in the hair and beauty business for African Americans has been a rarity.

Nelson, Medaries and Williams are prepared to grow the business from an international e-commerce platform. Nelson states, “The collaboration will feature Jill Williams, the owner, founder and CEO of Jay-Jill Cosmetics. She is a certified makeup artist who does the makeup and makeovers for the ladies once they’ve gotten their extensions put in.

“Dawn Medaries of Dawn Style Studio – or whoever the ladies prefer to do their sew-in extensions – they will typically be a variety of African American hair stylists in the community. Synergistically, we keep the Black dollar circulating in our community, while providing service to our clients.”

“Synergistically, we keep the Black dollar circulating in our community, while providing service to our clients.”

While the collective of women is aware of the ethnic ownership issues, and that obviously resonates with them, they are determined to win market share with outstanding products and customer service.

Amari sells 100 percent virgin hair extensions in a wide variety of textures and colors. They currently offer Brazilian, Malaysian and Vietnamese virgin hair that is machine-wefted and handpicked for quality. The hair comes to you in its most natural state which is natural black on an easy to sew-in machine weft track but can be professionally colored by your stylist.

“I recently started using Amari Hair Extensions and they are incredible! They simply clip in and are super easy to put in all by yourself. I love the natural look they give you and being able to completely transform my look in a just a matter of a few minutes,” says Cathy Robeson.

In addition to the Amari Hair Extension Collection, the online hair boutique will feature edge control and 3D Mink lashes. The online boutique will also expand to include additional beauty and accessory products as well.

Imani Newsome adds, “I have the Malaysian Deep Wave. I love the texture and natural look and feel of this hair. No funny smell, true to length and no shedding so far.”

In a recent interview, the owner of Amari Hair Extensions, Shanon Nelson, stated, “We have a proven track record for offering human hair extensions that can be colored, styled and treated to exceed your expectations. We only offer high quality hair products for our beautiful customers. We are excited to offer you top quality hair extensions at affordable prices. Our online store focuses on giving you the best customer experience with great products, service and fast shipping.”

To reach Shanon Nelson and/or to shop on Amari Hair Extensions, visit or call 352-214-2033.