July 7, 2009

Why Does Carol's Daughter Have So Many Haters?

Carol's Daughter is arguably the most recognized African American company that uses natural ingredients and markets heavily toward women who wear their naturally kinky, coily and curly hair. They have been endorsed by celebrities like Jay-Z, Mary J. Blige, Jada Pinkett-Smith and the list goes on. Most of their products contain relatively good ingredients when compared to many product lines sold in black beauty supply stores and the owner and founder, Lisa Price has given back heavily to the community through her philanthropic work. So why the hate? Now, I must admit that I am one of those that was weary of using Carol's Daughter products. When I first went natural I didn't even consider them as a go to to tame my tresses. Instead, I went online and found a company most naturals at that time rarely heard of and started telling people how great it was and that the company I discovered was 'it'. At that time Carol's Daughter was being sold online through their website and had just been introduced to Sephora and since than their products have popped up at salons and retail stores targeted to people with curly hair types.
I first tried Carol's Daughter when I went to New York and saw a kiosk in a mall in downtown Brooklyn. Myself and my cousins couldn't pass up the opportunity to get some Carol's Daughter. One, because we knew of no where in Toronto that sold it and ordering online was out of the question, and two, we wanted to see what all the hype was about. We picked up the Mimosa Hair Honey, Tui Hair Oil, Groove Body Spray, a body butter and a few more odds and ends. I really liked the Mimosa Hair Honey and since than Carol's Daughter has been introduced to a few salons and retail stores in Toronto I have repurchased it a few times. Their products for the most part get the job done but in my humble opinion I don't see what all the hype was about. Although, I do have a few ideas why I see all the hate:

  • Carol's Daughter is mainstream. You can find them at Sephora both online and in store or at one of Carol's Daughter stores in the United States. At HoneyFig in Toronto and other various salons in the city. Also, you can just order from their website. So no one has any excuse not to buy their products, they are here , there, everywhere!

  • People like the 'new' thing. Exclusivity reigns supreme when it comes to setting trends with natural hair. We see our selves as leaders, rebellious and non conformist. We go against society and challenge the establishment. That means also being ahead of the game and not taking what is given to us. Many naturals love finding that new product and telling their friends about it and slowly that company gains loyal consumers and the previous company becomes stale, passe.

  • Some brands are just better. I love all natural and organic brands. The more the better, I am sensitive to scents and certain ingredients. The more straight forward and simplistic the ingredients are the more likely I am to try it out. Many naturals can attest to this. The harder it is for us to pronounce the ingredients or the more we have to reference the encyclopedia to know what is in the product the easier it is to back away from trying it and use another product that is simple, straight forward and gives great results. Thankfully, today their is no shortage of brands that deliver in all these categories.

  • Many naturals think they sold out. Let's face it, if you have investors than money becomes the main game and cost cutting becomes the means. One of the first things to change when a hair company becomes ginormously successful is the quality of ingredients. In order for Carol's Daughter to be in so many retail stores in North America and Europe the shelf life of the product must be extended some how, some way and you know they figured out a way. I have heard of naturals speak of when Carol's Daughter first came out and you had to buy online and wait a good while for delivery, than some of the products had to be refrigerated to keep it fresh, not anymore.

  • Too much hype. Myself and my cousin heard so much hype about Carol's Daughter that we thought wow this must be 'it'. After trying it we both agreed it was good but nothing to call home about. I have yet to read on a Fotki page, forum, You Tube, or blog of someone telling anyone that will listen to run and buy a Carol's Daughter Product. They either say it was okay, indifferent, or they hated it. Nothing life changing.

In a sense I do feel I was taken. Like a virus that spreads I was got too. But I didn't let the bug consume me. It was okay and that is it, nothing special. My hair looked the same, I didn't get amazing growth, and it didn't make me look at life differently. With all that said you must give respect where it is due. Lisa Price was the first within the natural hair movement to take an idea to use natural hair products on naturally kinky, coily and curly hair mainstream. She has been very successful at it and I will not hate on a sister who has her hustle right.


Laquita said...

Very well written :o) I was wondering about the same thing as well. My CD favorites are the Tui Smoothie and Healthy Hair Butter.

Anonymous said...

Great read, thank you and I agree 100%

Anonymous said...

The main reason I stopped using CD is that much of her products contain alcohol (not the oils of course). Alcohol does not agree with my hair - it dries my hair and turns it gray faster. I use mainly organic products and items from my kitchen.

Anonymous said...

what do you suggest instead?

Anonymous said...

CD's Philanthropic contributions verses poor customer service, lack of availability (backorders) and exceedingly lengthy delivery times are two separate issues. That is what is disliked, not so much CD's products in itself which I also have enjoyed. Ms. Price's effort to bring general acknowledgment that African Americans need and want good products for our hair like other racial groups is much appreciated. Hopefully what she has done will encourage an even wider variety of healthy, wholesome hair products for us. Switching gears, I did experience similar complaints of dryness and tangling after using the Rosemary shampoo. Obviously CD's products are not good for everyone, as the owner allegedly stated herself. Allergic or other reactions to a given product is common with almost anything. I guess the search for the perfectly right thing will continue.