Some Poor Woman Existed Her Whole Life Not Knowing Hair Wraps Were A Black Girl Thing And Then Tried To Make It Her Own
When Sarah Marantz Lindenberg was preparing for her wedding, she “wanted everything to be perfect”, but unfortunately, her skin had other ideas. She was suffering from pesky breakouts, so, at the advice of her dermatologist, she started tying her hair back at night to prevent oil and dirt from clogging her pores. And it worked–Lindenberg immediately noticed a positive change in her skin. The silk scarves she was using, however, left much to be desired: “They didn’t stay on,” Lindenberg said.
In fact, Lindenberg didn’t like any of the night hair-wrapping solutions she found on the market. “None of them had a functional and fashionable solution for me”, she told Fashion Magazine. “Synthetic fabrics that I felt did more damage or horrible colors that I felt silly going to sleep in.” So, Lindenberg decided to take matters into her own hands, or as she said, “create something of my own”. Being the Director of Marketing for the Canadian fashion line Pink Tartan, Lindenberg was already well-versed in entrepreneurship, so she decided that she would fix the problem herself.
Lindenberg got to work and created a ground-breaking new product: a silk hair bonnet.
But not just any bonnet. This one is made of “beautiful materials” that a woman can “merchandise with all of [her] products on a nightstand”. That’s right, Lindenberg “invented” a product that would help with “promoting growth, preventing breakage, preventing frizz” and aid in prolonging hairstyles. Sound familiar? That’s because it is. Silk hair bonnets have a long and storied history within black hair-care culture as any Afro-Latina raised around any female figure (literally any) knows.
According to NiteCap’s website, the product is intended to ” extend the life of your blowout and style, ending bedhead, frizz, damage and bad hair days, once and for all”. Lindenberg said that not only did NiteCap help her hair become shinier and thicker, but it helped “support the regrowth of all the little baby hairs” she had (aka edges).
Needless to say, this woman’s claim to have invented a silk bonnet to prevent hair breakage is not sitting too well with the online black community.
Additionally, the fact that Lindenberg’s so-called “invention” was featured in an international publication is further proof that there is a massive double-standard when it comes to the media’s treatment of white vs. black entrepreneurship.
To POC, it’s not only irritating that Lindenberg has claimed to invent the silk bonnet, but it’s also annoying that reputable, high-fashion publication is using their platform to perpetuate this myth. To many POC, this is just further proof that black beauty trends are only accepted by the mainstream if they’re presented to the public in a way that’s digestible for a white audience.
This seems to be just another instance of white culture appropriating and re-packaging black trends for their own economic benefit.
And to add insult to injury, Lindenberg admitted to Fashion Magazine that, before inventing NiteCap, wearing the regular-shmegular hair bonnet she found at the store made her feel “silly” because of the “horrible colors” she was forced to choose from. And another point of contention for the black community is that Lindenberg’s NiteCap retails for $98. In the same Fashion Magazine interview, Lindenberg compared wearing her bonnet as “sleeping in silk pyjamas” as opposed to “sleeping in an old dirty T-shirt” (which, we’re assuming, is what a regular Beauty Supply hair bonnet would be viewed as). Again, this is further proof that the high fashion world only accepts black beauty trends if it’s white-washed and presented as “haute” like the recent phenomena of baby hairs, “Bo Derek braids”, and locs.
Since the viral uproar against Lindenberg’s claim of “coming up” with the idea for a silk hair bonnet, she has since taken to her Instagram page to apologize for her faux pas, admitting that she “failed to connect [NiteCap] back to the broader historical context”. She also stated that she is “committed to honoring the historical significance of hair wrapping” and pledged to incorporate it into her business approach.
Needless to say, the black community on Twitter has a thing or two to say about NiteCap:
So now they saying they invented #nitecap now? What in the Christopher Columbus going on here!😂😂
— MrsWright (@MrsWright02014) July 24, 2019
This woman made an on-point comparison between this instance and another notable white person who claimed to have discovered something that POC had known about for a while.
This woman isn’t too happy with the exorbitant price tag attached to Lindenberg’s “invention”.
Y’all! This has me GAGGING! Ps. I read this whole thing while wearing my $4.99 bonnet. #nitecap
White Woman Sells Silk Bonnets for $98 and Black Twitter Has Some Thoughts https://t.co/Rz09Ruzabh
— Carla Bonilla (@CarlaBMakeup) July 23, 2019
But really–why in God’s name is a simple silk nightcap retailed at $100? It can’t really be because it was invented by a white woman, can it? Sigh.
This woman wanted to make it clear that we can all do something to help fix this problem instead of just complaining about it on Twitter:
Instead of ranting about the nitecap… I'm just gonna leave this here. https://t.co/stL1eG6Mci
— 🖤🧘🏾♀️🛸 Bᵃₙkˢⁱe🖤🧘🏾♀️🛸 (@The_AlliWay) July 24, 2019
She has a definite point. Positive action towards solving a problem will definitely make more of a difference than negative, passive complaints.