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Del Sandeen

Del Sandeen

Del Sandeen is a writer, blogger, editor and social media coordinator. From 2009-2017, she was the Black Hair Expert at About.com. After wearing relaxed hair for 19 years, she big-chopped in 2000 and hasn't looked back. She lives in Northeast Florida with her family, where the humidity tries to mess with her hair, but she loves it anyway. Connect with her at toni & alice.
Del Sandeen

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The Shea Moisture Ad Fail Amid Social Media Backlash

Courtesy of Shea Moisture via Instagram

In a time where some black-owned hair care companies turn over ownership to bigger, white-owned brands, natural women are understandably leery whenever this happens. In some cases, formulas change in order to meet the needs of a wider hair demographic, with often disappointing results for the kinky-haired women who supported the company in the first place. While Shea Moisture remains black-owned, a recent ad of theirs left a sour taste in many naturals’ mouths.

The Inclusive Shea Moisture Ad That Set Social Media Off

The short commercial starts off innocuously enough, featuring a black/possibly biracial woman with very curly hair. It quickly moves on to two white women with nary a curl in sight as they discuss how hard it was growing up a redhead or not knowing what to do with their hair. Really? About a minute into the ad, we finally see a brown-skinned woman, but she’s hardly the focus of the ad.

Backlash was swift.

Naturals took to social media with harsh words for the ad, so much so that the company pulled it and issued an apology. But why did Shea Moisture feel the need to go #AllHairMatters to begin with?

Natural black women of all textures turned this company into the big brand it is today. Shea Moisture has branched out beyond hair products into bath and body care as well. It’s a beloved brand for many with its natural ingredients and formulations that work so well for highly textured hair. Women who love the hair products naturally don’t want the company to “water down” its formulas to meet the needs of hair textures that have long had plenty of options in this market. In short, many naturals once again felt like “Why can’t we just have something for ourselves?”

Whether this is or was a favorite brand of yours, it’s important for companies to appreciate their core audience, or the fans who promoted and helped them grow to begin with. With this ad fail, perhaps Shea Moisture has learned a valuable lesson when it comes to targeted demographics and not allowing a desire for inclusiveness to destroy the base that supported them so heavily.

Author: Del Sandeen

Comment on this articleChanging attitudes about natural hair” is what we do at Natural Haircare News. Through informative articles, podcasts and videos, we go beyond just sharing the latest advice and tips on kinky, curly, wavy haircare – We shake things up and focus on the realities of wearing our hair natural. Not sure of which products are right for your hair type? Visit our solution oriented natural hair products store.

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One Response to The Shea Moisture Ad Fail Amid Social Media Backlash

  1. Quinn says:

    I remember being so angry when I saw that commercial. Until Shea Moisture gets it together, they will never see another dime from me again.

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