Black-owned natural hair care company Mielle is trending after several TikTok videos of white influencers promoting one of the company’s products went viral.
Mielle’s Rosemary Mint Scalp & Hair Strengthening Oil treats dry scalp and split ends. It is also known to promote hair growth.
The controversy started when social media influencer Alix Earl posted a video of her “top finds on Amazon”, mentioning miel oil. Earl reported to her 3.3 million followers that she had already seen her hair grow after using the oil for about a month. This video has increased my interest in the product.
Although Mielle’s website lists it as part of the “multicultural category,” the brand is known for its natural hair texture, a hair type commonly associated with black women. increase.
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Earle’s video is now nearing 5 million views and is gaining attention from supporters as well as those concerned. Many users shared their frustration with her product promotion in her comments section. One comment got her over 16,000 likes.
Since the video was posted, the trend has started. Several other white female influencers and social media her users have shared videos trying out products and encouraging viewers to do the same.
And the oil seems to be splashing off the shelves.
Hundreds of social media users, many of whom are black women who say they use the product regularly, have struggled to get their hands on the $10 oil since the trend started.
Shortages are also reaching Charlotte.
QCity Metro searched inventory at 38 stores carrying this product in the Charlotte area. More than half were temporarily unavailable.
Twenty-seven stores reported being completely sold out, and three stores listed the item as “low in stock.” As of Thursday afternoon, the hair care oil was listed as “out of stock” at all targets in Charlotte, as well as locations in surrounding areas such as Gastonia, Kannapolis, Hickory and Monroe.
Many of Shallot’s major retailers were either out of stock or low in stock of their products, but a few smaller or local stores had them in stock.
Tisun Beauty Supply and Black-owned ArKay Beauty Supply each shared that the oil was in stock as of Thursday.
‘Our options are limited’
Shaliese, 32, says she has been using Miel’s rosemary mint oil “devoutly” for the past year since she got her hair done. She said, “I forgot to refill it and it’s running low, but it’s sold out everywhere, so I’ll have to let it go until I find it.”
Shareese told QCity Metro that the product is typically used to moisturize coarser hair types and that it works “miraculously” on the scalp and pores.
“I’m all for black-owned businesses growing and getting attention, but when it comes to hair,
, our options are limited,” she said. “The black hair section is just one aisle in most stores, sometimes only half the aisle. Aisles and aisles, just leave one small aisle open.”
One woman expressed her frustration with the situation on her YouTube channel Mayowa’s World, saying that black women are being “gentrified” in many ways.
Mielle’s concerns mirror similar concerns over another hair care company, Shea Moisture, in 2017. The company gained popularity as a line that catered to black women’s natural hair textures, but came under fire after an advertising campaign.
There were many women with curly hair, but very few black people.
Shortly thereafter, Shea Moisture was accused of changing product formulations to attract a more diverse audience. The company initially denied any changes, but some customers compared bottles of the new product with those of the old product and found differences noted in the ingredients.
Shea Moisture eventually apologized for the ad, but many social media users urged people to stop buying the product, saying the company “forgot” about black women.
Some worry that history is repeating itself in Miel. The fear is that the company may start catering to straight or finer hair types. This is a characteristic not usually associated with black women’s natural hair.
Monique Rodriguez, founder of Mielle Organics, recently turned to Instagram to ease people’s fears.
“There have been several comments posted on this topic recently, but I can personally assure you that no ingredient changes have been made,” Rodriguez said.
QCity Metro reached out to Alix Earle’s representative for comment but was unable to reach him.
QCity Metro also reached out to Mielle Organics directly for comment, but did not receive a response.