ESSENCE launches “Hot Hair” special edition on October 8 for African-American women

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First ever special issue dedicated to the unique relationship African-American women have with their hair.

Digital Extensions on to offer readers a more interactive experience with iPhone apps, 2D bar codes, and more.

NEW YORK, May 17 /PRNewswire/ — ESSENCE, the preeminent lifestyle magazine for African-American women for the past 40 years, has served as the definitive beauty bible for its audience of more than 8 million. Continuing in this role, ESSENCE will highlight the unique relationship between African-American women and their hair with the launch of “Hot Hair” — a cross-platform, interactive experience covering all things hair, from root to tip, for African-American women. The “Hot Hair” special issue, which hits newsstands on October 8th, will cover all of the beauty needs, questions, concerns and triumphs of African-American hair care and style. The cover price will be $4.99.

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The Hot Hair issue will include features on the best beauty salons and a “40 Years of Hair” retrospective — in honor of the magazine’s 40th anniversary. In addition, the issue will feature the latest in coloring, styling, hair accessories, healthy hair rituals, money-saving tips, and so much more.

“ESSENCE understands the special relationship African-American women have with their hair. We know that she will travel to the far corners of the globe for the perfect product and hairstyle,” said ESSENCE Beauty Director Corynne Corbett. “It is our goal to have Hot Hair to serve as a one-stop resource for African-American women to help her find timeless tips on keeping her hair healthy and gorgeous.”

Hair enthusiasts will be able to further enhance their hair experience by immersing themselves within a variety of engaging, informative, trend-focused experiences on via its Hot Hair Destination page — which will feature look books, hair tips, shopping lists, a “try on” tool where readers can experiment with new looks at no cost and other insights into African-American hair.

Hot Hair’s digital extension speaks to‘s track record of leading the way in technology innovation for the African-American audience. The web site will offer a robust digital platform to enhance both consumers and advertisers buying into the issue. The pillars of the digital program will include an application for the iPad/iPhone, 2D bar codes, and a Hot Hair database launching in Beta in June. The paid application will allow women to try on hairstyles featured in the special with subsequent themed updates available for seasons or special occasions (including summer hair, wedding hair, etc.) These styles can also be activated using 2D barcodes by either launching the application — which will allow you to purchase the application — or by accessing additional content such as video or text tips on how getting and maintaining a particular hairstyle. Hot Hair will also leverage ESSENCE’s extensive Facebook and Twitter presence to promote and allow for engagement where ever our audience is.

According to MRI Spring 2009, African-American women over-index in hair care product purchases — including home perms and relaxers, shampoos/conditioners and hair coloring products — as compared to their counterparts in the general market.

“African-Americans spend $1.7 billion on their hair annually, and African-American women are leading the way when it comes to these purchases — which account for 30% of all hair products sold in the United States,” said Michelle Ebanks, President, Essence Communications Inc. “ESSENCE knows that African-American women are leading consumers in this market, and that is why we are committed to creating this richer, deeper interactive experience to feed her passion when it comes to her hair. We are also excited about joining with our marketing partners to give our audience a more personalized experience for our audience.”

For more details on ESSENCE’s “Hot Hair” issue, visit

About Essence Communications Inc.

Essence Communications Inc. (ECI) is the number one media and communications company dedicated to African-American women. With a multi-platform presence in publishing, live events, and online, the Essence brand is “Where African-American Women Come First”. The company’s flagship publication, ESSENCE magazine, is the preeminent lifestyle magazine for African-American women; generating brand extensions such as the Essence Music Festival, ESSENCE African-American Women in Hollywood, Window on Our Women (WOW I & II) and Smart Beauty I, II & III consumer insights, the Essence Book Club,, and ventures in digital media (mobile, television and VOD). For 40 years, ESSENCE, which has a brand reach of over 8 million, has been the leading source of cutting-edge information relating to every area of African-American women’s lives. Additional information about ECI and ESSENCE is available at

(source: Essence)

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