On Feb 16th, Dark and Lovely, the brand that caters to the hair care and styling needs of women of color, celebrated the kick-off of its 45th Anniversary with a commemorative event in New York City. The Gramercy Terrace at the Gramercy Park Hotel was gorgeously decorated with hanging florals and blossoms in various shades of purple strategically placed throughout the venue.
The festivities which, highlighted Dark and Lovely’s rich heritage and impact within the African American community through the decades, was attended by leading beauty media and influencers. I was so excited to be in the house among a few of my faves!
Signature drinks and tasty hors d’oeuvres made their way through the crowd as the buzzing of convos filled the air and hundreds of selfies were taken.
Dark and Lovely was introduced 45 years ago as the first hair color product formulated specifically for African American women. Now, decades later, Dark and Lovely has grown to include a complete collection of deep conditioning treatments, shampoos, fade-resistant hair colors, relaxers, stylers and a full line of products specifically designed for naturally curly hair. Most recently, Dark and Lovely Au Naturale, which takes the guesswork out of styling and caring for natural hair, was introduced to consumers with curly, wavy, kinky and coiled hair textures.
“Since its inception in 1972, Dark and Lovely has helped women of color embrace their unique and highly individual styles, by offering innovative products and technology exclusively designed to meet their needs,” said Melinda Johnson, Assistant Vice President, Marketing, Dark and Lovely.
“Regardless of hair type – whether naturally curly, straight, color-treated or in a protective style – we pride ourselves on offering an array of regimens and treatments to manage these hair styles and textures.”
Due to a schedule change, actress Teyonah Parris was unable to attend but spoke to us via video on her feelings about her new relationship with the brand.
“I am thrilled to be able to help Dark and Lovely celebrate their 45th anniversary and I am so excited to be the newest brand ambassador,” said actress Teyonah Parris. “I grew up using Dark and Lovely products and I’m so proud to be able to represent the brand as an ambassador. It is a privilege to celebrate this significant milestone during Black History Month.”
The festivities were kicked off by actress Demetria McKinney who sang (her butt off!) to the crowd, starting with a brief cover of the “I’m Every Woman” intro – with crowd participation – followed by her new single, Easy.
As part of the Young Women with a Purpose Project, and in partnership with The Tom Joyner Foundation, the brand awarded five dynamic students with scholarships totaling $10,000 and assigned them to L’Oréal USA senior-level executives, who will serve as mentors thought out the school year. How cool is that?!
Scholarship winners include: Ashani Scales of Delaware State University, Renea Young of Mississippi Valley State University, Hollye Weekes of Wiley College, as well as Kimberly Burton and Cherise McAdoo of Hampton University.
Thomas Joyner Jr., president and CEO of the Tom Joyner Foundation, said this program is a great opportunity for these students. “We’re really glad that these outstanding students from HBCUs are getting a once-in-lifetime experience to get scholarships to help them complete their education, and to get mentors who will help them succeed today – and in their careers.”
In this anniversary year, Dark and Lovely has also launched two new collections: Dark and Lovely Color-Gloss Ultra Radiant Color Crème, a no-ammonia natural-looking hair color infused with Shea Butter, Coconut Oil and Pomegranate, that gives natural looking color, while delivering a glossy shine—and Dark and Lovely Au Naturale Clumping Curl Clay Cleanser and Clumping Curl Crème Gel, a care and styling duo formulated with Coconut Oil and Argan Oil, to help define naturally curly hair and reduce frizz.
A fun highlight of the evening was a lively presentation of our style throughout the decades that Dark and Lovely has been serving us, shown both in hair and fashion. Of course, the DJ provided the appropriate tunage.
“To have 45 years of excellence, to have 45 years of beauty, to have 45 years of empowerment – that’s what Dark and Lovely is,” said actress and singer Demetria McKinney. “To be a brand ambassador for this brand has been an awesome, awesome journey!”
Catch more POVs of the event by searching the hashtag #Lovely45th.