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Dear Natural Hair Companies: STOP Changing the Formulas of Good Products

Avatar • Jul 23, 2014

by Elle of Quest for the Perfect Curl

kiss my face upper management gel natural hair stash

 

My stash of Kiss My Face Upper Management Gel (old formula)

We’ve all been there before. We find our favorite products for our natural hair and it’s like the sky opens up and glitter rains down over our afros and curls. But then, the company decides to switch it up and change our formulas! The holy grail that you once thought was going to get your hair through winter and any other hair dilemma is gone. In my opinion, when companies change ingredients, they might as well not even call the product the same thing, because the ingredients are totally different and it will most likely behave differently on your hair. But why do companies do this?

It really could be a number of things, but in my experience it looks as if this is mainly driven by the almighty dollar. When a company increases in popularity, they have to produce more and a lot of the natural ingredients that we love make a hefty dent in their profits. So, they opt for cheaper ingredients and we’re left with watered down products (sometimes, literally) and frizzy hair.

One of the most disappointing ingredients changes that I will never (ever) forgive are the changes made to Kiss My Face Upper Management Gel. This was my and several others absolutely favorite gel, yet they decided to change the formula and make glycerin the second ingredient. Luckily, I bought twenty bottles when I found out about this change. Companies – let me make something clear to you: When you add a large amount of glycerin to a product, it is NOT the same product. And yes, we know about the moisturizing properties of glycerin, but there are several other ingredients that have the same moisturizing properties that are not as heavily affected by the weather or climate. Please, give us those instead.

But sometimes, a change may be unavoidable. The owner of Uncle Funky’s Daughter recently went through a messy personal situation that caused her to change the ingredients to the Curly Magic, leaving several of us in shock and disappointment. I was extremely happy to find that she is starting another line called Hello Curly that will have the same formula as the original Curly Magic. Mark your calendars, curlies!! The holy grail is back.

In the end, we can’t really control what these companies do to their products. But what we can do is choose what to purchase. If a company changes the ingredients to a product every six months, I’m not buying it because I don’t know what will happen in another six months. No thanks, my Izzy likes some stability with what I use. But I will say, if Curl Junkie starts switching up ingredients, I’m inciting at natural hair riot. Just saying.

 Have you fallen in love with a product only to have the manufacturer change the ingredients on you?

Elle is the owner and editor of Quest for the Perfect Curl, a collaborative YouTube channel and blog dedicated to promoting healthy hair through research and the sharing of information. A former product junkie, Elle promotes the importance of product ingredients, knowing your hair properties, and your climate when choosing what products to use on your natural hair. She also frequently explores healthy hair care practices and methods to achieve the “perfect curl,” which to her is big, healthy hair.

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BGLH now sells raw and whipped shea butter, cocoa butter and mango butter. Purchase here: bglh-marketplace.com

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Blair Cadet
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Blair Cadet

I really liked this article Elle. I read your blog and do a lot of research on what is going on the Natural Hair Community: products, news, blogs, events, etc. We as Naturals have a lot of power: purchasing and demand, since the Natural Hair movement is not exactly an organized market. Many Naturals have started taking things into their own hands and make their own products, start blogs, like yourself, and we do have the power of social media to make companies accountable and more transparent. So when you stated: “We can’t really control what these companies do to… Read more »

D
Guest
D

I don’t even bother sticking with one product. If what I have runs out and I find something that claims to do the same thing or is cheaper, I’ll just get that and roll with it.

jaime
Guest
jaime

I really hate this as well. I remember using AOHSR and found it strange when it suddenly could not condition my hair like it use to. Sometimes companies like to say their product is “new and improved”, but really they substituted the higher end ingredients for cheaper ones. I now know to buy hair products I like in bulk, just in case they change the ingredients.

Thick Nigerian Hair
Guest
Thick Nigerian Hair

I don’t know if this has ever happened to anyone or if this was an isolated experience just for me (how lucky). I ordered the Amla and Olive Heavy Cream by Qhemet Biologics last year and boy was I DISAPPOINTED. The “cream” was a very watery liquid. It had a strange odor. I thought maybe it was just the natural ingredients but even then, the product did not perform the way it did the first time I bought it. If it were something I bought at Sally’s or Target or Meijer’s, I wouldn’t care, however, you can’t return some of… Read more »

Jenny
Guest
Jenny

Maybe that is an old Qhemet biologics AOHC because the one a bought last yr looks the same as my other before. You should have contacted the owner, she would’ve helped with your product.

merry
Guest
merry

U must have gotten a bad batch. I did last year I think. It was like a thick lotion, not cream. The owner sent me a new one. They knew it by the batch number and probably where I bought it. You should have contacted them as they were aware of the problem.

Lulu
Guest
Lulu

it had definitely gone bad. It’s very thick and the bad odor was a giveaway. Hopefully you can try it again.

silkynaps
Guest
silkynaps

Ugh…SheaMoisture did that with their Raw Shea Butter Extra-Moisture Detangler. The first time I used it, it was great. It was one of the few products from SM that I use on my hair. Most of their stuff has too much glycerin. The detangler actually performed much like my beloved KCKT and contained wonderful ingredients…and none of the questionable honeysuckle extract (presumed to be a paraben). At one point, I thought it would replace KCKT because SM is known for the frequent BOGO’s whereas KC never seems to go on sale. Now, glycerin is in the top spot and my… Read more »

cbuck
Guest
cbuck

I just posted on their fb page how disappointed I was that they changed this product! Not only have they added glycerin, it’s the first ingredient listed!! They responded an apology for my unhappiness and suggested using one of the style milks. Not happy!!!

silkynaps
Guest
silkynaps

Try KCKT. I use that for my wash and go with my castor/coconut blend and that’s all my hair needs. No glycerin and my hair stays moisturized for days.

I’m in the process in finishing all of my SheaMoisture/Nubian Heritage products. My supreme conditioner was NH, but after learning that it contains a “natural” paraben, I’m kinda over it. There are very good alternatives out there…Kinky-Curly, Oyin, Giovanni, and Darcy’s Botanicals to name a few. Stock up when they sales 😉

Stephanie
Guest
Stephanie

Yes, I used to love Carol’s Daughter. I ran out of my usuals and went to order more online. On wash day I performed my normal routine and noticed my hair wasn’t “quite right” … I looked at the ingredients and everything had changed. I was highly disappointed and I have not used them since.

lovely
Guest
lovely

I am beyond mad at Trader Joes for changing the formula in the nourishing spa conditioner That was my staple co-wash and only $2.99 they have now added Cones and I am so upset that I didn’t stock up

Mary in Md
Guest
Mary in Md

The Trader Joe’s Nourish Spa Conditioner broke my heart. I would love to know why they added Dimethicone. Maybe they could do the old formula under a different name. I’m sooooo disappointed.

Tisha
Guest
Tisha

Wellll I used to be a VEGAN(the power of bacon was to much to resist:)!! And from that I learned that REAL Natural Products are EXPENSIVE. And from watching You Tube I learned Naturals are CHEAP!!! And we’re wondering why the formula changed! Look at the products 80% of the Naturals RAVE about. Carol’s Daughter wow she sold out long ago, Trader Joe’s Tee Tree stuff Really, 78 ounces for $4 bucks & you believe there is more than ONE drop of essential oil in it?? Herbal Essence whatever ( but it smells really good),Aussie Moist Monster, Eco-NOT Gel (&… Read more »

Wow
Guest
Wow

I agree somewhat but shea butter, coconut oil, flax seeds, olive oil etc are fairly cheap what’s naturally made shouldn’t be more expensive it’s just that these ingredients go bad therefore lessening the shelf life

0101
Guest
0101

I somewhat agree, Wow. Though even some of the fundamental ingredients can be tampered with. “Olive oil”, in particular, can be a somewhat dubious product- its big business to sell, and many companies like to fill their brands with lesser or derivative oils that are not made from olives. lol Thats part of why they are so cheap. Its quite a legal problem overseas, and can incur criminal fines for fraud. Dont even get me started on “Argan Oil”. Other brands dont pay the workers much, and sell the products, like unrefined shea butter at a trumped up price and… Read more »

umm
Guest
umm

Pretty sure by “Natural hair products” people just mean “stuff that is marketed towards/works well on my natural hair”. And sometimes that doesn’t mean 100% natural ingredients. Hell, sometimes 100% natural ingredients don’t work on some people’s hair while things like cones do. And 100% natural ingredients? Not always expensive. $$$$ does not equal quality. There are some expensive crap products out there and some cheap holy grails. People have every right to set a limit on how much money they’re willing to spend on their hair. If you actually go to whole foods and mix up your own 100%… Read more »

Andria
Guest
Andria

I had a similar experience with Aubrey (used to be Organics) Honeysuckle Rose. My hair LOVED that conditioner, especially in the winter. The last time I used it, my hair was a dry, crispy mess. HATED IT and will never buy another bottle!

Yep
Guest
Yep

Aubrey changed the formula for many of its products and took “organics” off the label. SMH. I wish companies would learn to leave well enough alone.

Andria
Guest
Andria

IKR!!!

Jumoké
Guest

Omg mine was Tresemme Naturals. The original one is sooo much better, has organic ingredients, cruelty free, and has better slip than the new formula. Luckily, they still sell the original product but you really have to search and they’re usually pushed to the back ‑___-

Miss Mo
Guest
Miss Mo

Where did you find the original one? No one seems to be able to find them.

Jumoké
Guest

I find some randomly at this Publix in Miami. And Publix is only down south I believe because I think up north has Stop N shop

IB
Guest
IB

I was worried when I heard they’d changed the Tresemme Naturals formula since that’s always been a staple of mine and I co-wash everyday so I need something cheap but luckily I can’t tell the difference and my hair still loves it despite the ingredients change

Jumoké
Guest

I didn’t notice at first when it came to conditioning but since I leave it in my hair (I practice the CG Method), I noticed it wasn’t as moisturizing and my hair felt a little drier than usual. Now I have to mix it with another conditioner just so I get the same moisturizing feel

Denise
Guest
Denise

I loved the original creme of nature and they changed the formula. I complained to them and they sent me a free bottle of their new shampoo and it wasn’t the same. They claimed it was the same but I did some research on it and there was a new company that took over. The original creme of nature was wonderful! It was like a shampoo and conditioner in one. I use it for the first 2 years of being natural. My hair was so soft and easy to detangle after using it. It was also affordable. After they mysteriously… Read more »

Darlyn
Guest
Darlyn

Seems like Creme of Nature is trying too hard to get monies from us natural hair ladies with the new formula. I highly recommend Shea Moisture’ Coconut and hibiscus shampoo, it’s very similar to the old school Creme of Nature.

thelady
Guest
thelady

yes I used to love Cream of Nature shampoo when I first went natural in 2008. The new formula is too drying.

Donna
Guest
Donna

Same thing happened with Ojon products. Wonderful shampoos and excellent leave in spray, etc. Estee Lauder takes over and everthing changed. People complained. They brought back some of the same products but the damage qas done. QVC dropped them and they used to have the greatest prices and packages. It’s sad.

Tanyfaye
Guest
Tanyfaye

Tresemme naturals. The original.…. The slip!!!! R.I.P :’(

Lauren Beasley
Guest

I’ve never even thought of the fact that my product could have changed their ingredients. When I first went natural, I was Shea Moisture all the way. But after a few months my hair wasn’t responding the way that it used to. After reading the comments above I’m wondering if my hair was a victim of their ingredient change. Do companies warn you or let you know when their ingredients will change? How can I find out that kind of information?

Leslie the Geek
Guest

I want to know the messy situation she was in.

Tonya Goff, Founder of Hello Curly
Guest

I went through a divorce and my company was caught in the middle as community property. I live in Texas, which is a community property state. Our court “custody” decision was that the company be sold, and the proceeds split between both parties. The company was sold recently to new owners, yet I am unaware who they are nor their level of experience in this industry. I am no longer involved with that company in any way, however, as you may imagine, it was a very painful decision to have to give up the company that I started and loved.… Read more »

Natalia
Guest
Natalia

We own the lemon orchard AND the lemonade factory”– now that’s resilience! I’m was so happy to see the Hello Curly fb page two weeks ago! Hopefully shipping prices are more friendly to my pockets. I can’t wait for the 31st, I’m counting down the days!!!!

0101
Guest
0101

That sounds awful! I am so sorry about the loss of your business. I live in Texas too, but I hadnt heard of that particular law. I was able to learn from your experience, though — I’ll certainly be starting my own ventures in another state, if this is the way they handle things.
I hope you can build something wonderful with your new company. I’ll be rooting for you.

Andria
Guest
Andria

So do I

Bea
Guest
Bea

I had never heard of Uncle Funky’s Daughter so I went to their site and saw this image http://unclefunkysdaughter.com/skin/frontend/base/default/images/cta-main-easy-natural.jpg I was basically floored at this old hackneyed sales pitch that insinuated that the women above look terrible with their big hair and no makeup and their product can make you “glam” “just see the results!”. It’s like some awful new version of the same crap they feed us about relaxing our hair. Um, so natural hair is only easy and beautiful when it’s in tight curls? pfft, side-eye. It reminds me of this skit on how businesses advertise to women… Read more »

Becky
Guest
Becky

Thanks for sharing those links. I can’t believe that Uncle Funky’s Daughter ad!! So many things wrong with it..

krokan
Guest

Well I know a sista like me would appreciate yall showin me some love and visit my store. I only make one thing head to toe whipped butter. It’s all organic and unrefined. I know a lot of folks make their own at home but for those that don’t. I did the work for you. Kinks and All
visit us on Facebook
http://www.shop.kinksandall.com
http://www.kinksandall.com

Tonya Goff, Founder of Hello Curly
Guest

This was a very informative article BGLH. I am so thankful that you’ve highlighted Hello Curly within this article. I am overjoyed to be back producing the products that so many of us love under this new brand name. I am so grateful for the love and support I have received from the curly hair community. Thanks again.

Tonya Goff

#ilovehellocurly

Evande
Guest

great, I have the same problem with many products, but the companies don’t care!

Mrs. DeCuire
Guest
Mrs. DeCuire

This article is on point and on time! My favorite product was tresemme, it was like butter to my hair a couple years ago. I tried it again and first thought it was because my hair had gotten longer, but then I got online and found out they changed companies and ingredients. I’m good child…on to the next one.
I’m also tired of products with ingredients that sound AMAZING but then you put it on your hair and not only is it bad but nearly damages your hair (water down with dirty water type bad).

Mika
Guest
Mika

Shea moisture took sugar beats out their shampoos which is a shame. Now I’m going to have to concoct something else to exfoliate my scalp. Was nice have it all in one bottle.

merry
Guest
merry

Sugar beet sugar is usually GMO. Maybe that’s y they removed it.

Gillian
Guest

I was also disappointed that they changed the formulation for Kiss My Face Upper Management Gel. It was my holy grail gel and tied with Kinky Curly Curling Custard for styling my wash and gos. I purchased the reformulated product and can confirm that it does not work as well as the previous version. The newer product has less hold and the previous formulation. I had to use TONS more product to define my curls. Also the smell in the new product is off. I’m very sensitive to fragrances and this one had a weird smell that I just could… Read more »

ngozi
Guest
ngozi

Trader’s Joes conditioner too

Rashonda
Guest
Rashonda

One hair care company that I can say has been good to me for years is Nutress Hair. They have changed the bottles of their products but still keep the original formula which works wonders on my hair ! 🙂

AJ
Guest
AJ

Even though it is not a “natural” hair product, the Dr. Miracle’s 2 in 1 shampoo and conditioner used to work wonders on my hair! Even though it was a small 8 ounce bottle that they sold, the shampoo was very rich and lathered easily without much product, so the small bottle wouldd usually last a long time for me. I guess over time, people complained about the strong menthol odor that their products had and the price (it wasn’t super expensive, but it wasn’t exactly cheap either), so Dr. Miracles relaunch their product line with a slightly fruity scent… Read more »

monniej
Guest
monniej

I’m almost in tears as I write this because of a change in ingredients for a product that truly was my holy grail leave-in conditioner! i wrote so many letters and made so many calls that I think the company thought I became a stalker and gave me my money back without requiring that I return to product with the new ingredients. I was so bummed. I’m still looking for something to replace it. *smh* 🙁

Rashonda
Guest
Rashonda

One company that I can rely on is Nutress Hair. Their formulas are always the same! Many people have not heard of this company but I can say that these people are missing out. My hair has grown tremendously while using this product and I have less breakage than before. I used their products while I was transitioning and I still use them till this day. ! You ladies should try their products. My hair is healthier than ever. I love Nutress!

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