Are There Enough Natural Hair Care Lines Already?

This weekend I decided to delve into answering the emails I have allowed to pile up over the last few weeks.  I had more than a few requests for reviews from various new “natural” hair care lines.  I place quotations around the word natural for a few reasons:  First, as I’ve said so many times, the product does not know if your hair is relaxed or natural.  If it is a shampoo or co-wash product…will it not clean chemically treated hair?  Will the moisturizer feel the broken chemical bonds within each strand of relaxed hair and suddenly repel away from your head?  Granted, chemically treated hair (relaxed and colored alike) have some different needs, but for the most part what products work are determined by the individual…not whether you are relaxed or natural.  So even labeling an entire product line as being for natural hair only annoys me.

Natural-Hair-Care-Lines-Longing-4-Length

Another thing that irks me about many of the newer natural hair care lines, especially from major retailers, is they are playing with our emotions.  Using key “trigger” words they’ve learned that WE look for in our products from lurking our blogs, hair forums and watching YouTube videos.  So many products are attractively packaged in green and brown colored bottles to signify their “naturalness” with phrases like “No petroleum, No Mineral Oil, No Sulfates” splayed across the labeling.  And like fools women flock to it.  The smarter brands bump it up a notch by adding delicious sounding foods like butter, pudding, souffle, and jelly to the name; Viola! It is an instant best seller!  Never mind the fact that many of these lines contain synthetic ingredients and horrible fillers like lanolin in place of the missing petroleum and mineral oil.

As I peruse the aisles of my favorite drug or beauty supply store, I often find myself listening to women debate about which of these products to purchase.  Like children, they chatter excitedly about which item is best and will help them along their (often time new) natural hair journey.  They grapple if they should drop $20 on a detangler or go with the cheaper version.  Almost always, the more natural looking brand wins out…especially if it promises to enhance curls.  Hook, line and sinker!!!

tendrils-and-curls-2-longing-4-length

Tendrils and Curls, a Natural Hair Beauty Supply Store based out of Houston, Texas.

Now, I won’t give unsolicited advice but anytime my hair draws attention or a compliment, I seize the opportunity to give my two cents about the INGREDIENTS of the products in their hands and offer a few suggestions.

I’m just so tired of feeling as if Black women, for all our vast growing knowledge in taking better care of our hair, are still being taken advantage of with new marketing ploys.  It seems every other day a new “natural” hair care line pops up! Are you over it?  Although I don’t have a firm stance on the subject, what I do know is that we have more than enough quality brands that contain ingredients to keep our hair healthy, natural or not.  Whether or not there is room for more is debatable.

Please share your thoughts – do you think we have enough natural hair care lines already?

Ebony C. Princess About Ebony C. Princess

A self proclaimed hair enthusiast and healthy hair advocate, Ebony C, Princess is the chief editor of Longing 4 Length. She shares her personal journey towards growing long, healthy hair while providing hair care tips and information.

  • Tiger Lily

    no. for every natural hair care line there are 5 white-owned companies. let’s flood the market and support our own. women need variety because they have different types of hair and we should be providing that variety.

    • http://www.blackhairinformation.com/ Alma

      I agree, I don’t think there are enough yet. It’s true that every other month yet another shea butter company launches but with ORS and other such large companies bringing out their own ‘natural’ lines which are usually of inferior quality I think we should be giving them the competition where they dominated before. So bring on the Aunt Jackies and III sisters of nature!

  • S.O.S Hair

    I’m not sure if the question should be are there enough “natural” hair care lines already– demand will most certainly dictate that. I think that the real question is are there enough educated and informed black/latina consumers to be able to tell if what the company claims is “natural” is actually true. Companies send oodles of dollars perfecting their marketing pitch—I wonder if they are spending enough time/money to see if the product actually works for their consumer….

    Great topic chica!

    http://www.savingourstrands.com

  • LaToya Sheppard

    This is almost like asking “are there enough bloggers or Youtubers already?” It might seem like the market’s saturated, but that shows that companies recognize and acknowledge our unique hair needs–even if it is only to make a profit. They are listening to us, black women. I think that’s something to celebrate!

    But I have to agree with you about their marketing techniques. They know exactly which words to use to reel us in, but hey that’s what good marketing is all about. I’m sure they have certain buzz words that they use for white women as well.

    Great discussion Eb!

  • Danielle

    If you mean natural as in marketed exclusively to those with natural hair, then yes, there are enough of those. I think you made some good points in your article with the fact that the product in the bottle doesn’t care if your hair is natural or not, you need to go with what’s in the ingredients. I myself am a good example of this. I’m relaxed, and products that are marketed at chemically-treated hair are usually very protein-heavy, but my hair hates protein. At the end of the day, it’s just a marketing ploy.

    But if you mean natural as in products with all-natural ingredients, then no, there are not enough of those, regardless of what type of hair they’re being marketed at.

    Great post!