In recent years, SheaMoisture, often heralded as one of the most popular natural hair care lines on the market, has begun to include white models with looser, barely there curl patterns in their advertising. Back in 2015, the brand thwarted whitewashing accusations when it featured white children in one of their campaigns.
And if you scroll through their Instagram account, right past the kinks, curls and brown skinned women raving about their products, you’ll see quiet a few white women doing the same.
Today's #TextureTuesday is @leyl0h who uses #SheaMoisture to maintain this gorgeous red mane! #bbloggers #beauty #beaute #hair #naturalbeauty #cfbloggers #crueltyfree #curls #afrohair #hairlove #ukcurlygirls #brownbeauty #sheamoistureuk #curlygirls #hairdo #ukcurlygirls #redhair #redcurls #texturedhair
SheaMoisture published a very ‘All Hair Types Matter’ statement today to finally address the whitewashing accusations head on.
For anyone who knows us (SheaMoisture) as a brand, you know that we could not let this article go unanswered. Not just because it was based on one account – with no outreach to us to clarify any of the misleading claims throughout the piece, but because it’s simply not an accurate account of who we are as a company, a brand, or people. We have to admit, though, it made for a great headline and click-bait.
We participate in hundreds of events each year – some run by our staff and others run by our partners. Either way, it is never appropriate for anyone to behave in a manner that is dismissive of any member of our community. We reached out to Raquel directly on Saturday when we saw the conversation happening and publicly extended our apologies for her experience with the representatives at our booth and for not feeling our SheaFam love. As we stated to her, we don’t take any of our community for granted and are a certified minority, black-owned, family-held business that has taken pride in serving our community for 25 years – when large conglomerates ignored women of color and simply marketed products to them vs. making products for them. We were there then – serving women who had historically been underserved in the beauty industry – and that will never change (did we mention that we’re still in control of our company?).
We’ve never believed that one size fits all – especially for hair and skin needs, and today is no different. We’re proud to now self-manufacture more than 150 different hair care products to serve our community’s varying needs with specific formulations made for the individual – not the generalization or the stereotype. We do not believe that we should accept or adopt the thinking that has made it possible and easier for others to put any of us in a box. We have different hair and skin needs based on who we are as individuals. As a company, we have chosen to take a more thoughtful and specific approach to our products that is based on those needs – whether hair that is 4c, 3b, 2a, thick, thinning, damaged, dry, coily, curly, wavy, straight…or skin that is dry, oily, or distressed by psoriasis, eczema or any number of conditions – we’ve created a product for it.
We make no apologies for solving for and speaking to our community as human beings and not as data points. It is the only way that we’ve been able to consistently address issues that few were willing to recognize on behalf of our communities – and continuing to make the highest quality products possible with natural, certified organic and fair trade ingredients continues to be our commitment for the future.
You can read the full statement here.