Wednesday, July 14, 2010

So you want my money too? I see you.

You've seen them. The ads talking about all they can do for your hair, and the newly developed companies and individual sellers cranking out products specific to the natural hair market. Some ridiculously so.....that's another topic I'll get into in the future. Everyone seemingly wanting a piece of the proverbial natural hair pie. Everyone seemingly having something they feel that those in their targeted demographic are seeking. Folks with newfound celebrity on youtube and in blog-space capitalizing on this growing niche and their growing audience.

But at what cost? What are you REALLY paying for?

Slick marketing maybe? Sure. Definitely a possibility. Hell, maybe you will find that product that does everything you want *cough*, but really....that's not gonna happen because guess what? Our hair and its needs change, as will your product rotation. Nothing will be your everything. There is no holy grail of products. There are products that serve specific purposes. Period. And guess what? The products that work best for you may not have a THING to do with "natural hair".

There....I said it.

Here are few tips I think every new natural or transitioner should take into consideration:
  • Just because something is marketed to "natural hair" doesn't mean it's meant for YOUR hair. Most of the products I use aren't targeting anyone besides folks seeking "moisture". Learn about what your hair needs to thrive and cater your products around that.
  • Don't buy every single product just because "girlwiththeperfectcurlsandvariousnaturalhairproductsponsors" tells you to. It'll save you money down the line. For the record, I have NOTHING against sponsorship. I'll just take your recommendations with an extra grain of salt because there's a possibility of [financial] bias driving your recommendations.
  • If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Anything that's gonna "transform" your hair should be looked at through the lens of a microscope, and if you're trying to transform your kinks into something it's not, maybe you need to turn the microscope onto yourself.
  • Be careful of bandwagon jumping. Far too many of you jump on routines not knowing the what, how and whys? DO YOUR RESEARCH!
  • The only hair types you should even be worried about (IMO) concern low, medium, and high porosity. The hair-typing systems are out-dated in terms of relevance and effectiveness in determining what works best for your hair. It's helpful in finding similarly LOOKING naturals, but not similarly ACTING hair and recommendations. Don't base product decisions on letter and number-typing systems. Base it upon the condition of your hair.
And for the record, I have no qualms about folks creating opportunities for themselves. There are many that I'm happy for and truly hopeful for their continued success. But I'm all about being responsible and putting the time and energy into R&D before selling anything. It's not always as simple as mixing up natural ingredients and putting it in a pretty jar.

I value information, knowledge and passion more than bottom-line, and I can see your bottom-line from a mile away.


Ronesha said...

thanks the this article is really helpful specially because I just did the BC couple of days ago. And I still have questions for you, I'm trying to get them in order so I don't sound stupid lol.

KP said...

Congrats on your BC!!! I emailed you last week, and don't worry about "sounding stupid". Just ask whatever questions you have. You have my email. :)

Glam Chic said...

Ditto on everything you said. Reading labels and knowing what ingredients my hair likes and dislikes has helped a lot.

Sarai said...

I completely agree with everything you just said. I like that you're real about everything you say and that you don't sugarcoat it!

Daree Allen said...

Well put. I was in Target the other day and got excited when I finally found many of the products that Youtubers and other bloggers tout with esteem. But then I stopped myself from buying them. If you look at my pic, you'll see why. I barely have any hair!

I will try to use thought and care when I decide to grow it out, wrt determining which products to try and not buying too many of the same thing. I am already a bath and body product junkie, and that just leads to waste.

KP said...

@Glam Chic YUP! I may get enticed every once in a while, but you won't find a closet full of products just because. LOL!

@Sarai Thank you! The last thing I want is to sugar-coat anything. While I'm all about being tactful, I will never compromise the truth for the sake of not stepping on someone's toes.

@Daree LOL! You aren't the first to ALMOST indulge because of glowing reviews. I mean, it's great when you can look at product reviews as it helps to sometimes make an informed decision, but relying on just that, having not done your own research, can leave you with empty pockets. I know far too many folks who literally spend (oh have spent in the past) most of their disposable income on hair products. It should never get to that point. Being natural doesn't have to be expensive or that time-consuming or complicated! WE make it that way.

Thanks for all of your responses!