A few weeks ago, I was honored to be noted and quoted by none other than Kristen from Beauty Addict. After my rave reviews about Carol’s Daughter Black Vanilla Leave-In Conditioner,she yearned to try it. Apparently, the last time she wrote about Carol’s Daughter, some i’gnant reader decided to tell her that Carol’s Daughter products weren’t made for “people like her.” Exsqueeze me? I know Lisa Price would strongly disagree with that!

I loved Kristen’s sassy response, “…just because my hair doesn’t look the same as Jada Pinkett Smith’s (one of CD’s poster girls) doesn’t mean I can’t use, and love, Carol’s Daughter. So there.”

Her post got me thinking about products that are “made for” a specific ethnicity. It’s a topic I’d touched on before, how clever companies will name their product “African” or “Gro” to better reach a black (and gullible) customer base.

I will admit, I am more likely to be interested in writing about a product – especially a hair product – that’s specifically targeted to me. Natural black hair care needs were overlooked for so long, I’m ecstatic that so many products are on the market today.  When I find a product made for my crazy 4a curls that works, I’ll sing it to the mountaintops. It’s not necessarily a race-specific thing, I love supporting small businesses of any kind.
But I start catching feelings about these FUBU products and I have to vent about it – like why would Miko and Titi Branch charge so much for Miss Jessie’s? Or, why can’t they sell a smaller container for less money? I would never question that of Frederic Fekkai.

I might not have felt as much disappointment as I did after reading some of the crappy customer service issues you bellas experienced with Kinky Curly, if the company wasn’t run by someone like me. (I still stand by their products, I love the Knot Today so much!)

On the other side of the coin, I’ve had people tell me that certain products are not for me. I’ve had friends ask me “why are you using that white people ish?” when they saw me using Pantene, or giving Paul Mitchell a try. That’s when I mentally recite the Desiderata,

Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.”

I’m perfectly willing to try any kind of beauty product, regardless of who it’s marketed to. Many of the products that are supposedly “made for me” are chemically overloaded crapola. Take for example my chosen brand of creamy crack, Just For Me!

Back in the day, the Just for Me relaxer came with an audio tape with a high-larious Eighties-era rap. (bellas, if ANY of you remember this, write and let me know!) It went something like, “I want hair that’s soft and free, I want hair that’s Just for Me! (just for me…)” oh, so ashamed that I remember that much of that.

That stuff burned the H-E-Double hockey sticks out of my scalp.

Recently some of my friends surprised me with confessions that they use products from the ethnic aisle. My friend Forrest (who is actually from Alabama) admitted his love of Blue Magic,

and my BFF Lauren tried my beloved Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk, and it quenched her Jewfro and made her waves look glossy and gorgeous.

So I say forget labels and names. Step across the ethnic product color line and treat yourself to something new. You might be pleasantly surprised!

In other news, I leave for Trinidad in about an hour. I’ll be out of the country and using sucky dial-up until January 1, but I will post my Afrobella’s Best of 2006 list on the 29th, and hopefully surprise you a few times before I get back to Miami.

Happy Holidays to all my bellas and fellas. I love you guys!

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COMMENTS

princessdominique says:
December 23, 2006, 12:33 pm
Great post. I'm with you. I use what's good for me and my hair, my skin. I haven't tried the leave in conditioner but next time I'm there in the NYC I'll snag some.
Delma says:
December 23, 2006, 12:38 pm
Have A Safe And Happy Trip !!!!!!
LaDonna says:
December 23, 2006, 12:44 pm
Great review. I hope you have a safe trip.
Jamie says:
December 23, 2006, 2:39 pm
Have a great time!!
LBellatrix says:
December 23, 2006, 4:54 pm
If it hadn't been for a little old white lady literally pulling me and my apparently-dusty-looking 'fro over to the JF Lazartigue section of Neiman-Marcus, I might have never crossed over to the so-called White Side of hair products. :) Have a great holiday!
Traci says:
December 23, 2006, 6:08 pm
It really doesn't matter to me. I use whatever works best for my hair, and that may be any products from Cornrows & Company to Kiehl's. Great post!
Sharla says:
December 23, 2006, 7:15 pm
I totally agree! Everything ain't for everybody but Paul Mitchell's Tea Tree products make my scalp tingle and my hair healthy and strong. Another great post!
The TriniGourmet says:
December 23, 2006, 11:09 pm
awww you gonna be here? drop me a line lolz :D I have heard such great things about Carol's Daughter and the fact that she's Trini only makes me wish I could patronize her more :D Once something works in my hair I could care less who the target market was but I make most of my beauty products myself now anyway. :)
jerseybred says:
December 24, 2006, 1:07 am
I use whatever my hair likes. Have fun Bella!!!!!!!!!!
ayodela says:
December 24, 2006, 1:46 am
Been reading your blog since I heard about it on NP. you need to give Karen's Body Beautiful a try. She's much mo' betta than CD! www.karensbodybeautiful.com
'rah says:
December 24, 2006, 2:48 am
I've realised that regardless of the brand, or target market what one person swears by could be absolute poison to another. I guess it's all about body chemistry...or something. Welcome home, have a fantastic Christmas and a blessed new year (and tell your brother -PG- to stop with the cigars already!)
Pea says:
December 24, 2006, 1:44 pm
ITA! I've learned to use whatever works for my locks- regardless of what everyone says. I don't believe that everything marked 'ethnic' should be put in my hair and use Pantene products to keep my dreadlocks soft and healthy. Still, I HATE their R&N line. It did nothing for me.
coiltastic says:
December 24, 2006, 3:31 pm
i can't wait to see what is on that best of '06 list!
soleil.sula says:
December 24, 2006, 5:38 pm
I can't agree more with you about this post.. most 'black' products are pure 'ish' and make my hair feel caked and dry .. basically crusty! I cant explain how much slack i get from friends for using so called 'white products' however i go wherever my hair takes me! btw love this blog.. and merry xmas enjoy your time in the sunshine!
julia_claudine_deveraux says:
December 24, 2006, 6:39 pm
I have to co-sign with you Afrobella about so-called "ethnic" products. A friend and I were discussing DIY color and we both agreed that Loreal or Clairol lines were much better for our hair than the dreaded Dark and Lovely or Cream of Nature DIY color. I also love V-05 Moisture Milk shampoos and conditioners, they leave my hair soooo soft. PS: I know the Just For Me jingle really well! I used that stuff on my daughter for years!
Megan says:
December 24, 2006, 6:42 pm
For the record, the rap goes... *AHEM* I want style, body and shine A look that's to-ta-lly all mine. Hair so soft, silky and free! I want something just for me. Juuust for meeeee! *do do do dooo Just for meeee!
flygyrl72 says:
December 24, 2006, 8:04 pm
I LOVE LOVE LOVE Carol's Daughter Black Vanilla Leave-In. Can't do w/o it. It really makes a big difference on my fro! Bella, you're always on point. Happy Holidays!
kia says:
December 24, 2006, 10:52 pm
lol! @ ^ Megan! ... great post bella!
afrobella says:
December 25, 2006, 9:21 am
Greetings from sunny and beautiful Trinidad! Man, I forgot how slow dial-up is! I'll definitely post the Best Of list, but that might be about it... Yay, Megan! You gave me the entire Just for Me rap as a wonderful Christmas present. Now I want one of those little pink and white tapes, just to remember the bad times. LOL. Love you guys. Merry Christmas to all!!
Delma says:
December 26, 2006, 4:27 am
Merry Christmas to you, I hope you had a wonderful day with your family =)
Your Girl says:
December 26, 2006, 3:53 pm
Though I use products all over the board, I love to support a brand that is run by people like me and was created with my hair in mind. But at the end of the day, if it makes my tresses or my skin look fabulous, then I'm using it regardless! Happy Holidays!
lauren says:
December 26, 2006, 10:22 pm
yes i loved the hair milk and plan on getting some after the holidays, its the only thing that kept my curls going all day! gracias bella!
miss shai says:
December 27, 2006, 7:45 am
J-U-S-T-F-O-R-M-E! thats the part I remember. *confession* I still use it (lol im way past legal). But it works for me. I was embarrassed at this but I suppose that admission goes with the theme of using whatever works regardless of clever advertisement targeting.
1969 says:
December 27, 2006, 12:19 pm
I am jealous that you are going home. Enjoy the parang and eat some pastelles for me!!!! Happy Holidays to you and the family. Safe travels.
Niki says:
December 27, 2006, 5:53 pm
Yes! I don't think myhaircare and beauty options should be limited to just 2 or 3 shelves out of an entire aisle of products. If it works, I use it, regardless if it was "made for me" or not; although I do like to support and appreciate black-owned companies with products that address my particular needs. My favorite "outside the ethnic box" product is the Garnier Fructis hair masque--loveliness indeed!
Davina says:
December 28, 2006, 1:59 pm
Great post Bella! I use whatever works the best (and smells the best too). All the best for 2007 & continue to keep up the fab work! We love afrobella! :)
Gaia, the non-blonde says:
December 29, 2006, 11:59 am
Great post. I don't care about target audience. I use (and write about) what works for me. I'm curious to see what made it to your list of Best of 2006. Happy New Year!
I am mad I remember this! lol says:
January 1, 2007, 10:59 pm
The only part I remember is the break down where they go "Just for ME, a NO Lye, conditioning, relaxer cream. JUST FOR ME" lol, WOW!!
Kerri Cammarata says:
January 17, 2011, 5:08 pm
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Vintage Watches Phoenix says:
August 15, 2011, 7:04 am
Wow that was odd. I just wrote an really long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn't show up. Grrrr... well I'm not writing all that over again. Anyway, just wanted to say fantastic blog!

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