Six months ago, South Africa did not have any print hair magazines marketed to black women. In the last few months we now have three! These magazines were all published within months of each other. I would love to read the proposals that were written to justify publishing a hair magazine. What motivated these publishers to go in this direction? I thought I would just briefly review each of them for you.
Shimmer by Motions
The launch issue came out in April 2012. This was the May – June issue. It was the first ‘black’ hair magazine. The magazine is published by Ndalo Media which also publishes Destiny Magazine. As soon as I realised this I knew that I could expect a certain level of quality in the magazine. There are three issues out so far and all three have been consistent on being 66 pages long! I am not sure how the magazine partnership with Motions works. I would really like to find out. I did notice that the first double page advert in each magazine is by Motions. I love that the magazine features lots of products, I have come across some products in the magazine that I didn’t realise I could get in South Africa (e.g. As I Am products). Shimmer also has a ‘listing’ section in the back where small businesses can advertise. The magazine does venture into hair care as well – the latest magazine has an article on thinning hairlines with practical preventative measures. I hope as they get bigger and expand they will add more hair care articles. Each issue also has an article by a fellow hair blogger – Carice Anderson. I have been receiving this magazine with my subscription of Destiny Magazine. When that stops I will subscribe.
I have included Glamour Hair which at first glance doesn’t look like it contains any African hair info but once you start flipping through you’ll realise that the mag has lots of things of interest to us. Of all the pictures in the magazine, about half are of black women. It even has a four page feature on braids – care, styling, products etc. The only magazine available so far is the winter 2012 edition, a summer one will be published in November. In true Glamour fashion, the magazine is chock full of all sorts of tidbits, lots of pictures and fun info. It is also quite large for a launch issue – 136 pages. The magazine also has plenty of great giveaways. I will keep buying this magazine, it is a fun read.
The cost of the magazine (R40) initially put me off but then I bought it so I could see what was inside. It has got to be the most expensive women’s magazine on the South African market. I feel that the publishers should rethink the price. In my opinion Shimmer and Glamour Hair have more content but are cheaper.
The launch magazine mostly has local and international celebrities and their different looks. It also has 40 pages of hairstyles (locs, braids, weaves, natural and relaxed hair). I’m sure many of these styles will be copied at salons and women will take the magazine to salons with them. At the back of the magazine there is a salon guide by province. It gives mall / shopping centre, name of the salon and contact details. I wonder if the guide will be available in each issue.
Do you buy any of these magazines? What do you think?