Photo Illustration: By The Cut.Photo: Getty Images
In theory, you can use any hair product you like regardless of your hair texture or race or ethnicity. Because there are historical contexts and issues of cultural sensitivity and cultural appropriation to consider when buying products designed for communities other than your own. That may seem obvious, but after last week’s Mielle Organics Rosemary Mint hair oil drama, it’s clear that some people, especially white women, still need to hear it.
As you may know, I repeat, don’t be offended if a brand’s marketing doesn’t speak directly to you. For decades, black women have been neglected by the beauty industry, but now that black women and the products that meet their needs are finally here, black women are rightfully protecting these businesses, and the products or message in any way that is alienating. (Monique Rodriguez, founder of Mielle Organics, promised It has nothing to do with her company. )
That said, let’s navigate the nuances of the question.
First, hair stylists usually don’t think about hair in terms of a person’s race or ethnicity. They think about texture and type. “For me, functionality is more important than race. I choose products based on the look I’m trying to achieve.” Choose products based on your hair type and desired style. If you have curls, coils, or multiple textures, the best products may come from brands owned by Black people and/or designed for natural or relaxed hair. People are already having trouble finding products, so it’s understandable,” says Redway. However, if you have fine, fine hair, an edge control product can help smooth and detangle your hair. Alternatively, a deep conditioner for natural hair may be best for her dry 2c waves. In all these situations, education is important.
Beauty Reporter Darien Simone Harvin, Herstory black icon, points out that many products marketed to black customers are inspired by rituals that began in the black community. It also signals “the rituals and habits we create to take care of our hair, such as greasing our scalp before bed or asking our mothers and grandmothers to oil our hair once a week.” ” So remember that history. If you apply a scalp oil like conditioner and your hair becomes sticky, it’s not the product’s fault. That’s your lack of education.
Context is also important when it comes to ingredients. We’re not saying you should look into every oil, butter, or botanical extract in a product, but a little research may reveal useful information for your everyday life. It shows respect. Brooke DeVard Ozaydinli, podcast creator and host, said: naked beautyFor example, I studied Ayurvedic beauty and learned more about plant-based herbal remedies.
Are you guilty of cultural appropriation if you find a line of products created for the black community and use it as intended? “I talk to so many black founders on my podcast, and white people always ask them, ‘Can I use it?’ And they say, ‘Yeah, definitely. ‘It’s like,'” he says DeVard Ozaydinli. But when you’re publicly speaking about a product or trend originating in the Black community, like on social media, it’s obviously important to give credit. “Don’t brag on the internet like you’re Christopher Columbus about this ‘new product’ you’re using,” he says. In such cases, that’s when appropriation becomes an issue (see also slagging, “clean girl” makeup and cornrows).
Think carefully before posting and before buying products recommended in other people’s posts. “What I have a problem with is TikTok culture in general,” he says Redway. “Everything goes viral and people blindly follow advice, but it takes time to find what works for them.”
Ultimately, discovering new beauty methods and products is a way to learn about cultures other than your own, and you don’t want to miss it because you’re afraid to make mistakes. , as long as you accept feedback (TikTok?), no problem.
Jennifer Sullivan Practical advice and zero judgment answers to all your beauty questions.Submit your question AskABeautyEditor@nymag.com(By sending an email, you agree to the terms.) here.)