Woman Forgoes Sleeping Cap with Black Woman On It and Pays More (Story Time & Lesson) | Natural Haircare News
LaToya Harris

Sleeping Cap Controversy

I went to a discount store and witnessed a white woman, who looked about 80 years old asking a store worker for a sleeping cap. The store worker, who looked like she could have been 19 or 20 years old lead the customer to the aisle with the natural hair products better known as the “Ethnic Section.”

She pointed to a package with a Black woman wearing a bonnet on the front. Just as the customer was about to speak, the manager, who had been watching from a distance apologized to her. Then, she showed her a section of sleeping caps with white women on the packaging.The funny part about it all was the sleeping cap the women purchased was $3.29 and the bonnet was $2.99. She could have spent less money for basically the same product.

When selling products, there is always a target market. If you’re buying natural hair products you’re going to buy products that appeal to you. The customer identified with the white woman on the package, so she bought the sleeping cap. However, if both products were sitting on a shelf side by side with nothing on the front, she probably would have chosen the less expensive item.

Another element in selling a product is the wording on the packaging. We refer to “sleeping caps” as “bonnets” in the natural hair community. In the 1800s French women often wore bonnets like hats. The words “Sleeping caps” to the customer meant something that could protect her hair at night.” Bonnets” to the natural hair/ Black hair community means the same thing.

My analysis of this experience at a store helped me to really think more about natural hair products and the people who buy them.

Author: LaToya Harris



Comment on this articleChanging attitudes about natural hair” is what we do at Natural Haircare News. Through informative articles, podcasts and videos, we go beyond just sharing the latest advice and tips on kinky, curly, wavy haircare – We shake things up and focus on the realities of wearing our hair natural. 

2 Responses to Woman Forgoes Sleeping Cap with Black Woman On It and Pays More (Story Time & Lesson)

  1. AC Britt says:

    I hadn’t realized there was a difference nor have I seen “sleep caps.” I think that it’s interesting that the manager intervened to offer the other product.

    • Hey @AC Britt! Thanks for sharing! Yes. I also thought it was interesting that the manager intervened. I guess things like that happen on the regular. I’m also guessing that the girl was new.

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