natural hair, shea moisture, bain capital, natural beauty

Far be it from me to make light of a “serious” situation.

OK, that’s a bit of halfie-truth because I’m always making jokes out of the “inappropriate”… but in this case, I’m forced to wonder what makes this SheaMoisture/Bain Capital situation ‘that serious’.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m just as “buy black” as the next naturalista so I totally get that we want to empower our OWN economy and embrace our OWN beauty without lining the pockets of the establishment.

After so many centuries of European beauty standards prevailing over our own natural hues and coils and their descendants profiting from it, we want to stand firm in our newfound remembrance of our ancestors definitions of beauty. And rightfully so.

Now, I’m the last person to label myself a “product junkie” so don’t think this is “natural blogger damage control” happening. With three sons I have neither the space, time or frivolous funds to throw around on custards and creams. As much as I LOVE my kinks and coils, many of my current “must-haves” are swag or sponsored. The ones I do pay for? You guessed it- Shea Moisture! You know you can’t resist those BOGOs either! Don’t lie Felicia!

Fact is, when you find something that works with your curls it’s hard to stray.

So when I heard tell┬áthat Bain Capital (of which Mitt Romney was once a chairperson) became a minority investor in Sundial Brands, Shea Moisture’s distributors, I was a lil bit taken aback. But only a like {–} this much.

See, I’ve been seeing the “perm sales declining” headlines for greater than a year now. I’ve been natural for 8. Everyone’s excited that we’re taking our hair back. And that’s cool but many have also been assuming that because companies boast “African” and exotic oils in the name, they are suddenly black-owned.

Only a fool would think that now, after ages of oppressing the curls, the mainstream is embracing them full force and the “powers that be” aren’t making BIG margins off of it. No no NO honey!

I knew better.

I was a 3-years natural cosmetology student when the natural craze really took off so I was getting the inside scoop on the hair care industry right from the get go. And while relaxer sales have had a SHARP decline, those same hair companies have done some serious rebranding, and experiencing HUGE INCREASES in profits. Natural hair is big business baby!

Think about it. When we were relaxed, we bought product (perms, oil sheen, moisturizer) once a month to once every 3-mos. we knew our best brands and our backup brands. Not anymore!

From proud product junkies to busy moms just trying to find what works, ALL of us at some point are buying MUCH more product than we’d like to admit and guess who’s rolling around on a bed of $100 bills with cowboy boots on…?

So what does that mean for Shea Moisture and brands like them, who’ve found formulas that work for LOTS of us? Will we boycott brands that don’t suit our economic interests? Shop small business that we know for sure are black owned?

SheaMoisture’s backstory, and the fact that the founder’s son is still CEO really wins me over. So I can’t say I’ll quit them altogether. I’d honestly be quitting EVERY big brand if I took up every moral cause that makes me want to go grab my soapbox.

What I can say for sure is that there are some luscious and luxurious, handmade products out there that are 1000% black owned and put mass produced product to shame.

We could all boycott and REALLY embrace our natural texture – but are we really ready to get all extreme and recreate the standard of beauty like that? I’m with it if y’all with it!

What say you? What brands are you using? What do you think about well established black-owned companies aligning with companies that only want to exploit their consumer base’s need to feel pretty?

You're in! Check your email for your FREE workbook now!