Thursday, May 13, 2010

The business of natural hair [care]

Do you ever feel like companies are taking advantage of your ignorance? Ignorance in terms of newness to understanding your hair(if you're newly natural) and what products can work best for your hair? There are a multitude of products and product lines claiming to be almost like the "holy grail" of products. Promising you healthy hair for an OBSCENE amount of money(slightly less than an arm and leg) but encompassing ingredients that you can sometimes easily purchase yourself, or find in many basic BSS(beauty supply store) products.

Now, I know all about percentages and composition of the products and the [sometimes slight] variances from other products, but really.....what exactly are you paying for? In many cases, your naivety. As someone who makes stuff from time to time, I definitely understand that raw materials cost. ESPECIALLY in smaller amounts. Plus, time is money. If you have the ability to work with a chemist/manufacturer, it can help mitigate some of the costs, but only if you plan on offering these products to sell. But there are many product lines that REALLY take advantage of their presence (i.e. celebrity-status) in this industry and feel like they're in the position to charge whatever for their products. But what's sad is people buy them with expectations of their hair being transformed into a perfect head of hair; sometimes finding themselves disappointed. A product can't change your hair(unless it's a relaxer, ;)). It helps to MAINTAIN it. It's important to realize this and have realistic expectations of what these products can provide.

This doesn't always happen.

This isn't to begrudge anyone who has become successful. Not at all. Business is business. But I give more kudos to the businesses that understand that their target demographic may not have $60 bucks to splurge on one product that may not work. That's like gas money for a week for some people(A NECESSITY)! And if you offer samples to your customers, EVEN BETTER! I also give props to the companies understanding that if you want to keep your customers, offer quality products at a price-point that doesn't put a strain on their pockets because there is NOTHING reasonable about a product costing around $4 dollars per ounce. You can't rationalize that out of a paper bag. LOL!

So my advice to newly naturalistas or those who've been natural for awhile: Don't feel like you HAVE to use all of the "popularized" products. If you can afford to try them out, more power to you. Give them a try because they may end up being great products for you. But I would first reach out to other naturals to see if you can swap products to minimize how much money you're spending, or ask if you can have samples from the company whose products you're interested in trying. Even larger cosmetic/beauty suppliers such as Sephora give out free samples if you ask. But if you can't, don't forget that there are great products that you can find at your local beauty supply store or drugstore that can do the trick! It's all about learning about what can work for you.

And for those that have established a routine that works...... if it ain't broke, don't go trying to fix it! No need going broke because you couldn't tame that inner PJ! ;)


Pretty Natural Divas said...

This is sooooooo true! I think because going Natural is becoming more "mainstream", there are people trying to capitalize off of it, which is RUDE!

I'm amazed to find Naturals who are willing to spend 30-40 on a single product!! My rule is $5 or less! lol

Great post!

KP said...

Key words: Mainstream and capitalize. That's why so many folks are questioning whether this will become a fad and not just a way of life.

And the only products I spend more than $10 bucks on last me 3-4 months. Otherwise, I don't buy/use em. lol

Thanks for your comments!