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Monday, September 3, 2012

(A Somewhat Late) Sunday Chat: Natural Hair Product Explosion--Is It Good or Bad?

Yes I know.

It's not Sunday.

Let me explain. For the holiday weekend, my family converged on my grandparents house in SC (which was great fun!). My grandparents live in the country and while they do have internet, they have dial yeah. Y'all see what happened with that lol.

Now that I'm back in B'ham, I can post what I wanted to chat about. I was in the BSS a few days ago and I noticed a SLEW of products now geared toward natural haired ladies. Organic Root Stimulator has the Curls Unleashed line, Motions as well as Dr Miracles (which is a terrible line in general so why they are expanding into the natural line of things is beyond me) have their natural lines. I also stumbled upon a new line called As I Am (which seems like an interesting line). I know I'm probably missing a few but the point is, there are a lot more mainstream products geared toward natural ladies now than there were a few years ago.

On the surface, this seems like a great thing. I love how there are now more mainstream products that are readily accessible (meaning that you can swing by your local CVS, Rite Aid, Walmart,etc and grab a product). This also gives more variety in product and (in my opinion) it makes going natural an option for some folks because they can actually see the products geared for their hair (I've gotten the side eye IRL for mentioning a product I ordered yeah) and going natural becomes that much more feasible.


A thought crossed my mind as I bought that $15 bottle of As I Am moisturizer, what if this product explosion is NOT a good thing? A lot of these newer natural hair care line cost quite a bit of money (A jar of As I Am moisturizer was $25, the Curls Unleashed line has products that start at around $14) yet their ingredients don't justify the cost. I have no problem dropping money for lines like Qhemet Biologics, Darcy's Botanicals, Hairveda, and the like because their products are all natural and to make them does cost a bit. I have a problem with spending a lot of money on a product that is mostly filler. That product probably cost $2 to make and you want to charge me $20+ for it!? Get out of here. To me, that screams that these companies are trying to jump onto a trend. There are a lot of black women who are natural or who are starting to go natural and these companies are trying to capitalize off that. Therefore, it is entirely possible that they are pushing a crap product in order to increase their bottom line.

While the growth of natural hair products makes me happy, it worries me at the same time. What do you think about this natural hair care product explosion? Is it good or is it bad?


  1. LOL @ dial-up. And OMG I completely agree! I honestly feel that the marketing of black hair products in general is pulling a big punk'd on all of us. Mention the words curl, natural, or organic and it seems everybody goes crazy and like you said many times the price is NOT worth it. And while it is mostly the new "natural" lines jumping on trends, also mainstream and even non-black brands are doing the same thing. All the talk on the forums (and the movie Good Hair) was about how high the pH was in relaxers and what happened? Lo-Lye, lower pH, etc came out. When in fact the actual difference is basically negligible - they know that by marketing it as such it will get "our" attention. As you pointed out, I'll spend my money on items where they price seems warranted!

  2. It is definitely a bandwagon! A couple of friends and I had a bit of a FB discussion the other day about the marketing of black hair products and how it STILL plays on some deep seated insecurities of the consumer, which is just disgraceful, since the insecurities these days actually include "Are people judging me for being relaxed?" "Maybe I should go natural, everybody's doing it" "Maybe I can style my relaxed hair into a curly style with this product and also look trendy like the natural girls today" And the companies laugh all the way to the bank. As I'm getting deeper into my journey I'm getting to know what my hair likes and what not and I'm discovering that some staples will just always be there, like my Pantene products. Yip, maybe P&G originally only marketed it for Caucasian hair, but my hair loves it, so why give it up simply because of the current trends??
    Nice post as always Shar

  3. They take advantage of people who don't know any better. Miss Jessies is the best example. Like you, I could see if the ingredients are good, but a lot of the stuff is because they know that they can make a killing just because it's marketed towards naturals.

  4. I completely agree. I thought this same thing as I went into the BSS the other day, a few of the new natural lines caught my eye. I read the packaging, ingredients were not great. I saw the price and shook my head. It seems like alot of us ae getting robbed. First and foremost, we jump on bandwagons. We all want to try the new thing only to find out money wasted. I wanted to see if the moisturizers were better, but I'll just stick to what I know at a price that I can afford.

  5. Well, who came first the egg or the chicken.....? I firmly believe that it is the market that has created the natural hair movememt. For many years i didnt use relaxer and that was normal to me. If i dont use relaxer today i am all of a Sudden "natural"?? Back then, there were a lot of products as well in the shops they just didnt have the sign natural on them. Im just wonderinghow natural it is, relaxed or not, to have all those products put in you hair ? Sometimes i think natural have even more products on a weekly basis in their hair than relaxers.

    I think that the natural movememt is initiated and maintained by strong commercial powers. Just like the sleek look 12 years 1ears ago, that got even straight haired caucasian people to straightening their hair was a trend started by hair equipment producers and specifically flat iron producers. It alway go that way.


  6. Sharday,

    So are you coming back? Or have you decided to leave the blog, now that you've reached MBL? Since I've been chasing you by a length (EL, NL, SL,etc), since your first post, I hoped you would stay with it at least until I made full-APL. ;-) Like Wendy Williams would say, you were my grow-out buddy "in my head." LOL.

    Life In a Shoe

    1. LOL I haven't left! Life and general hair boredom got in the way of any regular posting. I'm back now though! :)