My natural hair care journey began in March of 2014. I transitioned my hair for about 2 months, and by May of 2014, I did the infamous Big Chop!! I felt very liberated once I stopped using chemical relaxers, and my hair felt free from all of the stress I put it through in order to achieve long and silky tresses. I knew that going from chemically processed hair to relaxer free hair would be a journey, but what I didn't realize is that there was an entire overwhelming selection of products to choose from.
Lost and confused, I decided to seek the advice of a trusted friend who had just transitioned to natural prior to me doing so. She introduced me to the L.O.C. method (which turned out to be an epic fail and all around bad idea for my hair), and she also referred me to various natural hair care products to try while exploring my hair's natural texture; however, this was no easy task. During my journey I discovered that I knew absolutely nothing about my natural hair!! I had no idea what I was supposed to do with hair which resembles that of a sponge. And like many women who have decided to crossover into natural, I had to learn my hair and what works all over again.
Products like Shea Moisture and Eden were among a few of the natural paraben and sulfate free products that I tried. The smell of these products are great and the texture of my hair felt extremely soft. I fell in love with the natural hair care products so much that I squeezed them into my budget to make a purchase at least once a month. I would splurge on products whenever I could; that is until about year ago. I went into a beauty supply store in search for my usual products and something clicked. I got tired of spending so much on products and I was in desperate need of finding an alternative. To tell the truth, my hair wasn't looking that great anyway. It lacked shine and definition. I felt that my hair needed something more. I'm not sure if it was the lack of parabens and sulfates, or maybe I was just too inexperienced with this type of hair care that I was missing some steps that needed to be taken. But whatever it was, wasn't working for me. That's when I went back to my childhood shampoos and cholesterol conditioners, raw shea butters and organic coconut oils, right along with alcohol free hair gels; I was able to figure out my curl pattern immediately. And yes I did sort of abandon the black hair care market, and if you keep reading you'll find out why.
Many customers have come into the store to either re-up on their favorite product, or to try out a product they were referred to. I always talk to the women that come in for black hair products because I want to know the different struggles the ladies are having, and the methods used to either prevent struggles or maintain what they have. Surprisingly, not many women have come in to purchase Manetabolism pills. We sell them, but the door isn't being torn down to get to them. Being the "Curious George" that I am, I decided to go home and do a little research on this particular product, and if you view the video above, you will find one of the reasons.
The YouTube video above was uploaded by Empressive in an attempt to share her experience with using this brand of hair growth pills. According to her, the terrible side-effect of teen acne was the result of her trial and error. She stated that she has seen hair growth, but unfortunately the acne grows right along with the hair. Other users have stated that it contains a high amount of biotin in it, and excessive amounts of this will cause abnormal or unwanted results in some areas, while achieving success in another. I'm all for supplements, and even medication when needed, but let's be honest with ourselves, the same things found in this "miracle hair growth pills" you can get from foods. There is no "miracle super growth" product out there, despite the claims. Empressive says that her hair grew inches within 3 months, but honestly, that's about the average growth for hair that is properly cared for by trimming split ends, minimizing heat and other stressors.
1. Salmon~Omega-3, Vitamin B-12, Iron
2. Dark green veggies~Spinach, Broccoli (Vitamin A&C)
3. Kidney Beans & Lentils~Zinc, Iron, Bitotin
4. Nuts~Brazil Nuts, Walnuts, Cashews, Pecans, Almonds (Omega-3 & Zinc)
5. Rosemary Oil
Is the Black Hair Care Industry Truly Invested in the Black Community???
Now after I watched the ad, my first thought was "what in the hell?!?!" Like seriously!! White women having hair struggles....really??? Since when?!?!? Let's be all the way honest here...white women have TWO....not one but TWO aisles of hair shampoo and conditioner and gel in Wal-Mart dedicated to their hair. They have all of the Pantene Pro-V and Tresemme and Garnier they need to get that bouncy volume and silkiness they desire. And it's been that way for years!! What in the heck makes them think that they can just waltz their way into the black hair care industry too?! But then again, it's all about the dollar at the end of the day. And when "black" manufacturers chase the dollar, it's very hard to not have the white man's hand in it.
There was a rumor going around that 2012 presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s Bain Capital acquired a “minority stake” in Shea Moisture in 2015. Now I understand the need to acquire more money and gain great profits for your business because that is the ultimate goal for most business owners. But when you find yourself catering to an entirely different demographic than your original plan, then it is time to rethink your business goals. And usually when this happens, the market that this business was established for gets thrown to the side in order to grow profits even larger. Now don't get me wrong, anyone can use any hair product they see fit; but don't cater to a certain demographic and then sell us out for profit. Black folks are quick to do that to their own people, just look how quick we were sold by our own ancestors as slaves on the shores of Africa, but that's another story. On a another note, we really have to know that when and if we are making that commitment to buy black, it is our responsibility to ensure that our profits are truly 100% black owned. That little story on the bottle of every single Shea Moisture product is a good one, but is it really?
Mielle Organics is a fairly new product to hit the hair care market. I would say that this is a product that works pretty well. It is a little out of my budget but working at Sally's Beauty part-time, I get access to new products to try in order to give the best advice to customers that enter the store inquiring about solutions to their hair struggles.
"Follow your dreams and your passion. Don’t start out chasing money, chase your vision and the money will follow. Don’t ever compare your journey to someone else’s because you never know what that person encountered on their journey and it’s easy to get caught up comparing in the social media world, but it’s important to find your unique gift and niche, stay in that lane and focus on what makes you special and stand out."
~ Monique Rodriguez, Founder and CEO of Mielle Organics
Founder and CEO of Monique Rodriguez has a vision in mind, and that is to cater to the black community and to keep her interest vested in that without white-washing the goal to healthy kinks and curls. I will say from my experience, her products are well worth the cost and are more effective to my hair as opposed to the Shea Moisture brand, but then again, as evidence shows, Shea Moisture is pretty white-washed anyway. The issue here is NOT about white women using these products, but when you stress being black owned and "for the people," you miss us when ads are advertised using white women with straight hair or women with extremely lose and bouncy curls with minimal shrinkage. It is insulting and a huge slap in the face. I appreciate Mielle and her product line. Although not always in my budget, but with that good ole' Sally's discount, I think I can squeeze in a conditioner or two from time to time. Check out Mielle's vision below.
I also wanted to put a list of products that I regularly use which are really inexpensive and worth every tiny penny. I use these products on my hair and on my two daughters and son's hair, as we are all natural. These products work very well for us and is my go-to whenever I am low on products. But like I stated before, I plan to use Mielle more frequently in addition to my typical product line because I respect Monique Rodriguez vision and I hope she does not alter this in an attempt to seek more profit.
Here's my typical product list......
I did not come here to give a hair tutorial or tell you what you should put on your hair. I'm not a YouTube sensation or trying to sell certain products in an attempt to seek residuals or anything like that. I am only spreading common knowledge to the black hair community and bring awareness to not only the cost effectiveness of the product, but to also talk about who is genuinely about the business of the black community. This is for the fellas too! I see a lot of curly haired black men walking into Sally's picking up products for their curls, kinks, and locks. I will dedicate my next hair care article to the men. Don't think I forgot you.
"I want to see our black brands grow in a way that doesn't resulting alienating us as a consumer base; it's something we've seen before." ~Patrice Grell Yursik; Creator of Black Beauty
Visit the links below and be sure to comment for discussion. Be Blessed!!