Dubuque couple creates hair care line for black community


DUBUQUE, IA – No matter what hair type you have or race you are, your hair – or lack there of – is a part of your overall look – and it’s important to you. Your hair is one of the first things that people notice about you.

Loras Senior, Jon Quinn, shares his views about how hair is distinctly tied to his identity. “My hair, to my identity, is something that I hold really dear to my heart. I actually grew my hair out to show more of who I really am as a person, as an individual.”

But what if you can’t find the tools you need to even keep a healthy head of hair? As a black woman, this is something I struggle with myself on a daily basis. So I decided to reach out to some of my peers on campus to talk about their experiences.

Although many local stores in the Dubuque area have small sections of black hair products – the quality and options are very limited.

The problem doesn’t just exist for students, though, as Loras employee Darrian Hugger and his wife Nicole have been battling this same issue ever since they moved to Dubuque six years ago. 

“I knew that I was coming to a place that wasn’t as diverse, so I came with a full tub of hair care products, and that lasted me about a year,” admits Nicole. “When you go to the store and they don’t have what you need that can be a major problem, especially if you have a nine-to-five or have class.”

That’s when Nicole started cooking…literally…and the Huggers came up with a solution of their own and are ready to share their black hair and skincare line with the Loras students Darrian works with every day.

“I want them to know that they do have someone that can hear them and understand where they come from. It’s also a way for me to bring awareness to the fact that we are not as diverse as we would like to be.

DARRIAN HUGGER – Loras Employee & Co-Founder of NileRocks

Throughout my teenage years and early twenties, I have noticed a big shift in the black community embracing their natural hair and authentic styles instead of conforming to standards for hair set by white culture.

In the weeks to come, Darrian and Nicole will be setting up a stand of products on the 5th floor in ACC outside the Center for Inclusion and Advocacy. 

Loras students can order products from the NileRocks online webstore and have them delivered right to campus. 

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Kamaya is a junior at Loras College majoring in Media Stuides.

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