So, what natural/curly head doesn’t have a story about their first time using Carol’s Daughter’s products? If you haven’t already, bets are it’s on your list for a post-BC purchase or a summer investment…I’m just guessing here.
But my own experience with Carol’s Daughter came after my second BC. I’d just cut off my locs and was looking forward to sampling her line of goodies…a friend of mine who was natural at the time recommended and I gravitated towards their store in Fort Greene like a moth to a flame. I was a bit timid at the time…and also a bit in awe at the scope of natural products and the sheer fact that they were all catered to women with natural hair. What a beautiful concept!
After sampling & sniffing just about everything in the store from their cologne sprays, to the shampoos…body bars…hair balms…hair butters…Whew! I left the store with a bag full of goodies, including the infamous Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk. This was a product I was most excited to try because let’s face it…what natural head doesn’t go gaga over the thought of your tresses being nourished by milk! It’s a bit of clever marketing, calling the product Hair Milk…but it works not just for Carol’s Daughter, but for a whole host of other lines that have come after. I’m into the whole milky way thing….milk baths…hair milks…milk & honey soap bars. I LUV! For the most part it feels like home.
My first purchase was well over four years ago, when Ms. Price was just beginning the whirlwind tour success story that’s turned into a Sephora gig..etc. Both stores, the one in Fort Greene along with the one in Harlem were gems in my book…but there is something about making it to the halls of Sephora that lets the world know…dang it, I’m Here! If you were a fan of her line before you were either beyond thrilled to see your goodies become a bit more accessible (screw shipping costs!) or a bit disheartened at the possible commercialization of a line…their message, ‘Beauty by Nature,’ would be a bit hard to swallow.
Here’s where I take it back…waaaaay back to when I first started using this line and could count on maybe one or two hands the amount of ingredients that came in a tube of Hair Milk or Hair Smoothie. Back then, it really did feel as if it were ‘beauty by nature,’ because most of the products required refrigeration or had to be used in a 1-4 week time frame. I remember having images of Ms. Price and her line of natural ladies mixing potions in her home kitchen…maybe jivin to some Nina Simone in the background. Crazy …yah. But this was the essence of Carol’s Daughter to me…a rare personalization that you experienced when walking into her store and seeing these beautiful women talk expertly about how to best nourish your hair, & how to best moisturize and cleanse your face.
I continued to use Carol’s Daughter several months after my BC, but for one reason or another…(probably the price) stopped. As my hair grew longer, I was drawn to more pocket-friendly products…gels and what nots that would not leave a growing hole in my wallet. My hair is thick and requires a heapin pile of product for styling! But I still loved the Hair Milk. For freshly BC’d hair, it made my little twirls and kinks spiral and stay moisturized for a good day or so. I had shine, softness and the feeling that I was on the right track as far as my hair went.
Fast forward to earlier this year…I’m much to lazy to go to Fort Greene, and Harlem seems like two worlds away, so I stop into my nearest Sephora and revisit my old friend Hair Milk. The price….yeah, that went up. But it wasn’t until I got home that I realized the other changes. The consistency was different…the ingredient list fit the entire side of my 8oz bottle…and some were a bit questionable. Regardless, I tried it and for the most part still liked it! I used it mainly in the mornings to smooth down frizz and re-moisturize my twists. With my hair longer this was the best use I found rather than using it as a simple wash-n-go styler.
And yeah…my hair is longer now, and for the most part is a bit more particular about what I put in it, and while the Hair Milk is okay for now…what it used to be was a bit more special. Here’s what I do understand though… with reformulations, especially with a business that’s growing, expanding and moving in great directions…is that change is inevitable. Ms. Price couldn’t have her products sit on the shelves of Sephora and deteriorate in front of customers. The loss would be both hers and her customers of the natural hair community.
Yet, what I was hoping for were better alternatives to what was inevitably included in the new reformulation. Personally I wouldn’t know how to spot an Amodimethicone in ‘nature,’ so I was surprised to see it in a lot of the now ‘new’ conditioners and moisturizers. It’s all just hair products right…nothing to worry over. But, I’m still sort of disappointed. I won’t be re-purchasing my first forray into Hair Milk’s…and most likely a lot of the other products I’d wanted to sample again. My commmitement these days is to find better alternatives and to really stick to a game plan.
Jeesh…this post is way too long so….et fin!