I’ve got a couple of posts from 2006 that I get new comments on regularly. There’s the Titi Branch interview, and the first Miss Jessie’s post — it’s become its own little message board, seriously. Another is titled AKA Snake Oil, and it’s a slam on those magical grow potions we black women continue to spend our hard earned dollars on. Every time I go to Sally’s, I swear I see some new special treatment that promises to reduce breakage and encourage length.
Anyhoo, in that post, I admitted that I hadn’t tried any of these items, but they stunk of BS to me. Lots of them are chock-a-block with unhealthy hair ingredients, and they’ll throw in some kind of tingle-inducing additive to make you think “it’s working.” One of the product lines I dissed outright was Dr. Miracle’s, even though I hadn’t tried it yet. I personally can’t stand their ads — see it here in case you haven’t before.
I. Hate. It. I find the implication that natural or kinky textured hair is ugly or unruly and needs some kind of chemical intervention to be tamed and therefore “saved,” deeply offensive. I was so not considering giving Dr. Miracles a try, just on principle. Then their public relations manager Joelle wrote me the sweetest, most sincere e mail I’ve ever gotten from a company before. I let her know exactly how I felt about their advertising, and she admitted that for every one person who felt like I did, there were 15 who loved and responded to the ads. But she did see my point, and we were able to talk about it. I appreciated her candor.
Dr. Miracle, you owe Joelle a nice raise. She got an obstinate hater like me to consider giving your products a try.
Now allow me to break down my Dr. Miracles experience, so that you can make an informed decision the next time you’re wandering the ethnic hair care aisle, unsure of what to purchase.
I received a package of items that Joelle considered to be ideal for natural hair. Every product except Dr. Miracle’s relaxer is meant for use on every hair texture, just so you know. But not all of the products I was sent suited my particular hair care needs. The ones that didn’t suit my purposes, I passed along to my homegirl Katrina, who had been having trouble with growth issues and thinning edges recently. You might remember her from the Own Your Fro post. That’s my GIRL! Take it away, ‘Tree!
“Before I started using Dr. Miracle products, my hair was shedding and looking really harsh even after cutting it. After 3 months of using the shampoo, Hot Gro Conditioner and Damaged Hair Medicated Treatment I started to notice a difference. My hair started looking a lot healthier and stopped shedding. I didn’t want to give in too easy and say, “it’s working,” but I did start to see a huge difference. A lady that I would see at the toll plaza on my way to work would ask me everyday what I used on my hair because it was looking very pretty. Friends also started asking me what I using and that my hair was looking a lot healthier and it was growing. So anyone having the same bad hair issues that I was having I do recommend those particular products.
I also tried the Temple & Nape Gro Balm. My temples are very thin from braids and pulling my hair back tight with headbands. I never really tried anything for my temples until trying the Dr. Miracle Temple & Nape Gro Balm. The temple is a very sensitve area. When and if it grows back it’s a slow process. I have been using the Temple & Nape Gro for about 2-3 months and I do see a little difference. Not much but there is some progress. I do believe after using this product a little more and trying not to put stress on my temples with a little more time they will fully grow in.
The only thing I don’t like about the products is the smell. It’s a “Big Red” (chewing gum) kind of smell. Guess that could be over looked if it’s doing it’s job.”
So that’s been her experience. Entirely positive! And as proof, check out a recent photo of her up above. Isn’t she frickin’ adorable? Thanks for helping me out with this review, Tree! Mwah! ‘Preciate it.
I also found some hair luck with some of Dr. Miracle products. As I mentioned in my Tomiko’s Twist photo post, I’ve been using the healing leave in conditioner. It does have a strong scent… the kind that tingles a little bit in your eyes if your hair’s too close to your face, if you know what I mean. Dr. Miracle doesn’t let you know what’s in his products — the back of his labels are a little eyebrow raising to bellas who are wary of mineral oil and petrolatum and any of the other scary cosmetics ingredients. Blame that on scary misuse of quotation marks — which I’ll admit the English teacher buried inside me finds very amusing.
Allow me to explain with a quote from the back of the Dr. Miracle Healing Oil Sheen Spray can.
My Dr. Miracle’s Healing Oil Sheen gives you fabulous shine and is actually “good” for your hair and scalp. “Feel It” Formulas’ tingling sensation supports strong growing hair & healthy scalp.
Indeed. That “good” kinda freaked me out. And also the fact that I have no frickin’ idea what the “feel it formula” is, or the “thermalceutical complex,” a term Dr. Miracle has done gone and trademarked. I tried to deduce by scent. I wouldn’t call it “Big Red,” but there are notes of cinnamon. It took me a while to place it, but I think I got it. Dr. Miracle’s products smell like Carol’s Daughter Khoret Amen to me. And you already know how I feel about that. What is that, bay leaves plus cinnamon plus vetiver plus patchouli, or something? I also noticed that Max the cat was a little too interested in the scent of my fingers and hair after using this product. Take from that what you will.
But unlike Khoret Amen, the scent fades soon, and doesn’t leave your hair smelling like funky cinnamon mothballs (no offense intended to the fans of khoret amen. Like I said, it isn’t for me).
The one thing I really didn’t like about this product is the packaging — somebody tell me WHY so many companies that sell liquid leave-in conditioners don’t just sell them in spray-bottles? It’s clearly the best way to apply the product. My problem is, I have tiny hands just like the dude in the Burger King commercial, so invariably I wind up dripping leave-in conditioner down my back when I try to just squeeze it out from the bottle, which leads to waste and backne. I’ve bought plenty of spray bottles from Sally’s and the drugstore, and I have a REALLY hard time finding a consistently working spray bottle. Someone help me out here — any recommendations?
Packaging aside, I have no complaints about the quality of Dr. Miracle’s healing leave in. For the bellas who have e mailed me asking for thickening or volumizing products for their limp curls, this might be what helps you. My curls definitely became fuller and my hair felt big and poofy, but not out of control and frizzy. It had body, but also shape. I’m not sure if I’m explaining myself properly at all, so here’s a picture to add some perspective.
This is right after I used the leave in conditioner and Anti-Breakage Strengthening Cream. And in case you were wondering where the iridescent forest is, that’s my downstairs bathroom. It’s got crazy foil wallpaper. So Seventies! LOVE it.
The anti-breakage cream is light and white, and takes some rubbing in to completely disappear into my hair. But it lasts and leaves my hair feeling well-moisturized all day, and it’s pretty affordable at $7.99. I haven’t been using the products for a long enough time to attribute my lack of breakage to Dr. Miracle, but it certainly has helped to keep my hair looking bouncy and healthy and happy. If you’re looking for a new creamy hair dress, this could be a good addition to your product arsenal.
The one Dr. Miracle product I reviewed that I absolutely couldn’t abide was the aforementioned Healing Oil Sheen Spray, which really is the kind of product that I think satisfies the needs of relaxed, more than natural bellas. It’ll make your hair look super shiny, but here’s the rub. For better or for worse, I tend to touch my hair more than I should. And I cannot STAND to feel a layer of grease on my hair. That’s what this product did for me, left a surface layer of unpleasant slickness that made the palms of my hand shiny after I touched my hair. No likey. But if you’re a fan of ye olde Olive Oil sheen spray, you’ll probably like this.
If I had to give Dr. Miracle a letter grade based on the products I personally tried, I’d give them a B plus. (I am guessing Katrina would give them an A – or an A). I did come away with a generally positive experience and impression. Dr. Miracle definitely features products targeted to niche black hair issues, but I’d personally like to see more products specifically for natural hair. I’d like to see them be a bit more transparent with their ingredients, I’d like to see the product line expand to feature some organic or at the very least healthy ingredient products for proudly natural afrobellas. No more need for misused quotes.
I’d also like to see the advertising be altered to reflect the reality of our natural hair. The way my hair grows out of my head is kinky, coily, curly, thick, and honestly, kinda coarse. That doesn’t make it terrible or “bad” or something to be tamed with chemicals. It is the hair I was made to have. Why would I spend time and money to chemically force it to do something it doesn’t naturally want to do? That’s how I feel about my hair, and because of my feelings, Dr. Miracle’s current ads alienate me as a customer. Those ads don’t indicate that their products can be used to bring out the equally attractive aspects of my natural hair texture. Just the opposite, in fact; which is a real shame because generally speaking, the products ain’t that bad for bellas like me.
So those are my two cents about Dr. Miracle. I hope that helps, and I’d love to hear from you if you’ve had a Dr. Miracle experience of your own! What are your feelings about this product line, bellas?