Is it okay to use what works for you or are all the naturalistas judging you for not buying from Black-owned hair companies? News flash: A lot of that stuff’s really damn expensive. For poor and working class people trying to care for themselves, including their hair, its not always an option.
Coming up on the bottom of my jars of rarely used Cantu and Sof n’ Free Gro Healthy pudding, I promised myself I’d investigate Black-owned hair companies the next time I needed hair products. And I am. I was okay in the beginning of my natural hair journey in 2011 to find something that worked for me and stick with it. Then I read THIS– Black owned natural hair products/companies. It gave me pause and made me realize what I was inadvertently doing–supporting a long, violent history of white exploitation of my race.
I never had anybody tell me my hair was beautiful. Never had anybody teach me how to care for my hair. That my hair was worth caring for without a relaxer. I was so excited to realize my hair was fine exactly the way it is that I just went with the first thing I used that worked for me. I vouched for Sof n’ Free until I realized who owned it. Now I cringe when I look back at my past posts. I wonder how many Black women might’ve come across my blog and dismissed me and what I was writing out of hand for not using the products of Black-owned companies. At the same time, I’ve come a long way and I can only treat my hair better. This is where I am now.
My ideal product is one created by Black women with Black women and Black love in mind, owned by a person who deserves every penny, one that I respect.
But these business owners have to get paid and likely Black hair is simply a business to them, as anything else is in the capitalist American mind. The next step for me is to see what they know and what they’ve got. Ultimately, I want to find simple, homemade remedies for my hair so I don’t have to rely on anybody.