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SheaMoisture is fighting claims it’s selling out Black consumers, but not all customers are convinced the company is on their side.
Raquel Savage, a Miami-based sex therapist, shared an experience with the brand at a Thursday, March 30, hair expo featuring CVS representatives. Savage explained that when she approached SheaMoisture’s booth, she asked two women why they weren’t nonwhite.
She said "we get labeled a 'black' company but we're actually not. The recipes were passed down from black families but were very diverse."
— Sex Therapist (@Raquel_Savage) March 31, 2017
“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,” SheaMoisture wrote in a statement issued on Facebook Thursday, April 6. “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.”
Savage’s experience was the center of a Racked.com article highlighting her claim that SheaMoisture and Carol’s Daughter were rebranding their products’ ingredients to benefit white consumers. It also took aim at SheaMoisuture’s viral ad campaign, Break The Walls, which wanted to end segregation of hair care products in the beauty aisle, and pointed to social media posts featuring white women to indicate the brand was moving away from serving Black women.
Carol’s Daughter did not respond to a request for comment, but SheaMoisture, which showcases a collage of people from different backgrounds — including a white woman — on its Facebook page, dismissed the negative arguments.
“We don’t have to change our award-winning formulations to appeal to someone they weren’t made for,” the company’s statement said. “We simply innovate new products to solve the needs our community identifies. … It’s allowing us to raise the bar for how other companies are recognizing and serving all women — not a chosen few — with more.
“As for the ‘rebranding’ claim, there’s not much to say there other than it’s inaccurate. We’re proud of who we are, how we got here — and most importantly, who got us here. … Separate but equal has never worked in any arena, including beauty. So, we were proud with ‘Break the Walls’ to tell the stories of so many women who ever experienced being underserved by the beauty industry.”
SheaMoisture’s response was enough to keep some fans in support of the brand.
Others remained wary.