Laila Ali Launches Eco-Friendly Beauty Products Line

The boxing phenom talks product placement and plans for a lifestyle brand

Laila Ali is targeting the black haircare and beauty market, with an eco-friendly niche.

Laila Ali is known for her brawn (she is, after all, the women’s super middle-weight boxing champ) and beauty, glamorously strutting her stuff on last season’s Dancing with the Stars. But with the launch of her new eponymous line of beauty projects, Ali boldly enters a whole new arena.

Ali teamed up with International Beauty Brands to launch the Laila Ali line of eco-friendly ethnic beauty and haircare products that will be sold at drugstores, beauty supply outlets and other major retailers nationwide. With 21 sulfate-free products for men and women, this new project is just the beginning of her vision to build a lifestyle brand to include health and beauty products for infants, as well as cosmetics and home goods.

Having been a nail technician at age 16, and later, a salon owner, Ali says she took a hands-on approach to product development, trying them out  herself until she felt the formula was just right. talked with the sports champion about her inspiration for her products and how to approach the challenge of getting them on the shelves. Why did you decide to launch your own line of beauty products?
[With a background in the beauty industry], I thought this was the right time, not only because I have a recognizable name, but I saw a need in the ethnic haircare market. You see the same products that have been repackaged and put on the shelves for African Americans. We needed something new and something better–that is non-toxic and eco-friendly. I made sure I came out with a product that gives people the results they want as well.

Why was it important to you that your products were free of sulfates and other chemicals?
I think you have to be responsible when you do make a product [about] what effect it will have on the environment … When I partnered with International Beauty Brands, they knew it was important for me to make products that are both not harmful to the environment and are healthy for your hair …  I wanted natural ingredients included, such as wheat proteins and oils, that are good for the hair, and not so much focus on man-made chemicals … made for African-American consumers.

The beauty and cosmetics market is saturated with new products and the African-American market is tight. What would you say is the best way to capture this market?
The company I partnered with has a relationship with the retailers and can position my product. So, I’d say, partner with the right people to get in the door.

It’s a challenging market, especially for someone who doesn’t have a big marketing push. You could have the greatest product in the world, but you have to get the shelf space and the market share. Stores only have but so much space on the shelf for products, so getting that shelf space can be a challenge.

I think entrepreneurs should start small with a plan to grow big. There are so many ways to start, especially online, where you can build that foundation, and then you can get more attention and possibly get some shelf space on that alone.

  • Crystie

    What is an “ethnic consumer”? Are the products for Black consumers or no?

    My husband is Sorb, an ethnic group from Germany…can he use these products? I doubt it.

  • Cassius Clay !

    You do not exist: who did you to boxing: but the other boxers: the fighters exist: they all fighted against you to protect their boxing life: you do not exist: they all are legends: you fighted against the legends and stopped them: you do not exist: the middle of the ring was their own: they leaved because of you the middle of the ring: and: you leaved too: who leaves the middle of the ring: who loses the fights: you fighted outsides the middle of the ring: it was difficult to fighted against you: your moving arround the middle of the ring: you stopped moving and they killed you: but step by step they made you to the fighter who wons the fights against them: they are legends: you do not exist: Cassius Clay: do not you want to talk to your brother: they were great fighters: legends: the last fights you did all as joke: you have to accapt them as legends: Cassius Clay: you do not exist: look they ruined your life: you did all extra: only a game: no problem: talk to your brother and we can beginn with the education: i make you to a real fight mashine: TERMINATOR: only i can make the fighters to a terminator: the rules of a fight: and: before the fight beginns: i worked it out how can be a fighter to a: TERMINATOR: it calls as: THE SCRIPT OF DARKNESS: at first you must be like a blind fighter: do not look down: face to face: concentration: you have to eliminate the fists of a fighter: feet: leggs:….: you have to fight against the fight instruments: as a boxer: fighting against the fists: you can fight against the fists of a boxer: fighter: if you concentrate to the face to know what the fighter wants to do: concentration to see the fists: to fight against the fists: to blank out the fists: to jam: to block out the fists of the boxer with your fists: and: importent fighting on distance but face to face: last week the dicision: to make: Cassius Clay: to a fight mashine without mistakes: fighting to staying in the middle of the ring: concentration: face to face and do not look down: face to face to fighting o n distance: and: you are going into the ring: staying in the middle of the ring: close your eyes: and: concentration enough 15 minutes: 1 minute enough: 30 minutes: 1 hour: 1 hour concentration bigger than 30 minutes to a fight mashine: 15 minutes: this rules are enough for you: this rules got all fighters worldwide: any of the not because short educated: if you are looking into the eyes of a boxer: fighter: you are big like the boxer: fighter: the same strenght: big like: you got it: Cassius Clay: face to face: concentration: i make you to a fight mashine without mistakes: and: concentration: there are only one life: training take the handshoes of the trainer or trainingspartner and the trainingspartner yours and at the training to try to block out the fight instruments: you do not exist: Cassius Clay: you do not exist: i give you the rules: you are welcome: this is my life: Cassius Clay: you are welcome: give me a special sign and i make you to a real fight mashine human terminator: concentration: Cassius Clay: show fight: ? : you have to need: JUDO: KICKBOX: KARATE: KUNG FU: BOX: concentration: CHI: WING CHUAN: vs. my created fighters: worldwide: poster: …. : must be in quality: LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING: i am know also as: not only the: LORD OF MUSIC AND DANCE: not only a: FIGHT MASHINE: worldwide: nobody can´t touch: no show fight: but practicing: training: concentration: i can show you things you never knew they exist: never: Cassius Clay: i am known as: COBRA THE DREAM DANCE PEACEMAKER: CDDP: you know what i mean: you got it the rules to survive concentration: MARTIAL ARTS you do it for you: game: black belts: wow: what can i say more: you can say what you want to and do what you want to: let me be a man: Cassius Clay: let me hold your hand: there are only one life: we wanna together to me to HOLLYWOOD: too: like: The Marine: ? : what do you think about it: i do not like to talk to you as: CHAMP: you do not exist: Cassius Clay: you do not: concentration: we are in the 60´s you know it is true: wishing you the best: Cassius Clay: you are not my brother: forget it: no peace: no love: forget: see you later: Laila Ali: there are only one life: i do what i like to do: long kiss and and and: now you know: Cassius Clay: step into your own life !

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