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Curly Nikki

Food For Thought…Why so $$$$

By January 27th, 202153 Comments

Food For Thought...Why so $$$$
Kat writes:

I believe in supporting minority businesses, especially some of the natural hair care product
manufacturers/vendors, but why are these hair products so expensive? Furthermore, most of the ingredients used, are not even expensive to purchase or difficult to find. And I know the packaging is cheap, so why charge so much? I mean $17 + for 2 oz of product, are you serious?! I don’t mind supporting y’all, but please don’t try to rob me blind, a girl still has to eat.

What’s your take?

53 Comments

  • Anonymous says:

    This ia all too true. I am so NOT a product junkie and just because I hear a buzz about a new product doesn't mean I have to go spending money to try it. I have learned my lesson. I have over the last year tried about 5 products that was the new "buzz" or hearing other naturals rave about. Turns out I didn't like….or I should say my hair didn't like them! I don't have goo-gobs of money to waste like that. Outside of my henna, I get most if not all my products from the vitamin shoppe or my neighborhood health food store. They have everything I need. I wish all these start-up companies luck with their ventures though, but I think I'll keep my money in my pocket, lol.

  • shadelle says:

    Ohh I loved reading these comments. I have found new natural hair product lines that arent too expensive. thanks Anonymous August 24, 2009 10:17 PM

  • Anonymous says:

    I think this raised a very good opportunity. I propose that CurlyNikki (sorry girl putting you to work again…LOL) do a comparison list just like the one she did on naturallycurly.com where she compared the Aussie conditioner to the Herbal Essences only this time taking a high price point item and comparing it with a comperable drug store/ low cost or homemade counterpart. This way every curly girl can shop within the price point she is comfortable with and feel comfortable that she's not compromising product performance when making a final choice. Just a suggestion to a problem it looks like we are all having.

  • Elle B. says:

    I've noticed it usually cost a lot bc much of the time they make the stuff by hand and to not compromise quality by having multiple people making the products they may make it all by themself (i've noticed a lot of time CD will be out of certain things and I think that is why). But most of those products even if they cost an arm and a leg they do tell you that a little goes a long way…I know I only by about 3 hair milks/moisturizers a year. For the most part I've renounced my product junkie habits, and I just Keeps It Simple, Sweeties..lol

  • Anonymous says:

    I ordered Shescentit for the first time and I am waiting on my products. I paid $26 total w/s&h for 3 samples and 1 full size leave in. I took advantage of her labor day 20% off sale. I haven't tried anything new in a long time, besides the Alba botanica leave in which is great. I agree with what many of you said but I just can't do KBB, Jane Carter, Asha's, Miss Jessie's and the like. I have products that work for me but it doesn't hurt to try something new every so often. I love supporting minority businesses but I just can't pay what some of them are asking. I appreciate the samples as well…a decent size sample that is. Why don't more of them give the option of a pretty good size sample like Shescentit, Hairveda, Komaza, etc.? Some of the samples, seriously, are like 1/4 of an ounce, are they serious?

  • Anonymous says:

    This is funny because I used to pay money to get my hair permed and get braids. I now only go to the salon 3-4 times a year for a trim. I feel like even though my products cost more, I am still saving money on my hair care…and i have to buy two of everything because i travel alot. Its interesting. I feel for the entreprenuers and I do rue the day that mainstream comes into my little natural world. Many who are in the business for the money and the care will go out of business

  • Anonymous says:

    LoveLaughLiveLife ,

    You brought a great point. It's just a matter of time before larger companies see the market for good natural hair products and under sell many of the black owned products. Shipping cost will be the death of many black owned products particuarly those that have their product over price for the ingredients already. To date Darcy's, Afroveda, and Treasure Locks have been the more reasonably price products (shipping included. My biggest problem is the cost of shipping-either make the cost more reasonable of have products at regional retailers.

  • msjaim says:

    yep, ive said the same thing which is why I refuse to try KBB or by qhemets (<–@ full price;still using mine I bought off of a swap board about a yr ago)) I think its less about them factoring in labor & costs of product production, but more about them realizing that basically theres a niche market they they are taking advantage of…. look @ afro veda, even though it took her forever & a day to get my product shipped to me ( i ordered during a sale which I will never do again) she uses natural quality ingredient & I didnt have to sell an ovary to pay for it.

  • modest-goddess says:

    Carol's Daughter does not work on my hair, just leaves it greasy, waste of money.
    Miss Jessie works but their shipping is ridiculously expensive. Shipping cost more than the product, will not be ordering again. Maybe if I could find it locally it might be worth buying.

    I'm interested in trying Oyin Handmade but worry about paying for a product plus shipping and not liking it.

    Mostly I stick to things I can buy from the locally owned health food store and things from chain stores.

    These small business need to find a better shipping model, that would cut down on a lot of the cost.

  • Anonymous says:

    I agree. There are several companies that charge an arm and a leg for their products, and then when you use them you wonder what you paid for. Are you kidding me?! In my opinion, out of all the hair products that I have used, the only company, in my opinion that can justify their costs is Anita Grant. She uses ingredients that actually warrant her charging as much as she does. AND her products acutally work!

  • Journey says:

    its simple…because they know people will pay for it.

  • Anonymous says:

    I can see the points of many of the posters here.
    I think there is definitely some price gouging with certain brands and sometimes it's just the fact that these are small businesses dealing with a niche market. Hearing the perspective of someone who was on the business side definitely made me see this differently.
    I'm new to natural hair and I'm trying to find what products work for me. I'm working the aisles of Target and Sprawl Mart trying to figure out what works and what doesn't before resorting to some of the more expensive brands that you can only buy online.
    I think more people should try to do co-cops and possibly even bargain with some of these sites. If you have been a loyal customer, bring it up. See if they can throw in some free shipping or something. It's certainly worth a shot.

  • Anonymous says:

    Being in the industry there is nothing more insulting than attending a trade show and having Koreans or "other" people under selling black owned companies. It reminds me of our people wanting the best product for a "hook up." You pay for what you get. Stop allowing "any" business to disrespect you as a consumer. Check out http://clutchmagonline.com/beauty/taking-back-the-black-hair-care-industry/ to inform yourselves of what is happening.

    I know there are a "lot" of young people who don't care and think everyone just loves them. Just ask your Mothers and grandmothers how the industry has ignored them throughout the years.
    Sorry I'll get off my soap box now.

  • Natural Hair says:

    It's true you can make your own products, but there's something about trying new ones that I just love. For example, I love Anita Grant and her peppermint bars, but as mentioned the shipping is a killer and the exchange rate will always get you in the end.

    If they didn't make the products so darn aromatic and addictive, I wouldn't be obsessed.

    I have to say this blog has even made me less jittery about using regular conditioners as leave-ins. I was always so rigid about that.

    So that's another added set of products I can experiment with and empty my wallet for.

  • Anonymous says:

    Co-Signing on pretty much everyone's comments, especially Tif.

    When I contemplate purchasing hair products I look at how much they cost, how many ounces are in the product, and how long that product will last me based on usage. If I do not find it to be acceptable, then I will not buy it. Plain and simple. When I look at how much I've spent on products I wish I could travel back in time and beat the hell out of myself.

    What baffles me is how much companies charge and they have the most mediocre ingredients (*cough* CD *cough*). I'm all for supporting a minority owned business, but I'm absolutely done with Indie Hair Companies. The cost totally outweighs any possible benefits. I'm mixing my own stuff from now on. At least I can buy in bulk for dirt cheap and still get a quality product.

  • Ms. Silky Coils says:

    She has a point. This is why I try my best to make my own similar concoctions to defeat this (what I call product junkism…lol).

  • Twitchy says:

    Okay, I can't compare a pair of shoes, clothes, or a purse to purchasing hair products. I run through hair products every couple of months. I just can't justify spending a large amount of money on a hair product that could be a tad bit lower on the price. For example, I bought two bottles of KBB hair milk. I went through one in a month and a half. If that was $25 plus shipping, I would be hot AND I would stop buying it. I can't afford to be spending that kind of money every 2 months. My shoes, purses, and clothes last me for years upon years especially if I treat them right. I think comparing clothes/shoes to hair products is apples and oranges. It's just not the same. And I don't care if it's a black owned company or a purple owned hair company. I would love to support certain company's, but with the economy the way it is and people bein laid off left and right, I'd rather skimp on the expensive hair products and spend money on something that has longevity like the shirt on my back.

  • Anonymous says:

    Anonymous @ 10:08
    ITA with what you said especially:"not to create an atmosphere that discourages us from supporting people who really are working hard to provide us with good products" Great point!!!!!
    I've purchased some of the more expensive products too, some of then I've liked and others I don't ( which I wont repurchase).
    The O.P said "I don't mind supporting y'all, but please don't try to rob me blind, a girl still has to eat. And we do eat and dine-out & many of us can create the same meals a lot cheaper and maybe even healthier. We must remember that we all have a choice, if you don't like the price then you can always choose to buy somewhere else or make your own product, no one is forcing us!
    There are those of us who are ok with the prices and feel we are getting a fair exchange for the product(s) that we are receiving. I have made a couple of good homemade products, but I love the convenience of being able to open my jar of xyz product at anytime and apply to my hair! I am thankful for the products that are available right now for natural hair & look forward to whats to come.
    Thats my take 🙂

  • Anonymous says:

    I don't mind paying a lot if the product is worth it. When I first went natural I automatically assumed Carol's Daughter was the right way to go. Wrong! I thought that with as much money as I was spending, and especially buying it at Sephora it would be decent. Everything I have tried just sits on my hair and just makes it soooo greasy. The shampoo for "dry" hair just made my hair dryer than it was to start. The leave in conditioner is pretty much hair perfume.I wanted to try other brands like Miss Jessie and DevaCurl, but for the cost, size, and ingredients, decided that was WAY too much for me. I discovered Hairveda, the products are much cheaper and for me work 100% better. They are amazing.Though you do have long waits…

  • Jas says:

    I feel the same way. I like Carol's Daughter but her products can be a little expensive. But then I think about the other products that aren't black owned and it's nothing to drop a few bucks on it whether it's expensive or not.

  • Anonymous says:

    i think it is economics 101. it's not easy to make products for consumers on a small scale, cover your costs, and make a profit. that is the reality of it. some people do this as a hobby but others are trying to build a business. the ingredients may seem cheap to you and me but it's not when you have to purchase a lot and still aren't getting as big a discount as larger cosmetics companies. especially for natural ingredients. you get what you pay for. it's a choice no one is forcing anyone to buy these products anyone can use cheaper things if they want or make their own. it's paying for conveniece and supporting the niche market. i'm all about that if it works. i also don't get it when people camplain about salon prices sometimes. granted a lot of salons aren't great but if you find a good one it's worth it to pay them what they deserve. so what, they are suppose to be poor because you don't like the prices. then it's not for you, but obviously someone appreciates it enough to pay.

  • Anonymous says:

    How many of us have spent a couple hundred dollars on a handbag, shoes or something else that we have coveted? I find it interesting that we don't rail against high prices when it comes to 'others' products, but when it comes to our own, we get upset about how much they cost. We all have a choice when it comes to spending our money. We can choose to buy or not to buy depending on our wants and needs. If you don't want to pay what is being asked, don't buy. If you don't need a particular type of product, then, don't buy. I have found a couple of product lines that I consider to be very pricey and I choose not to purchase them. However, there are a number of really great African American businesses supplying what I consider excellent hair and skin care products. I purchase from a couple of brands regularly and they are worth every penny. I feel good about supporting these businesses (which are mostly family-owned) and I feel good about the products that I purchase. Although I feel we all have a right to our opinion, we need to be careful not to create an atmosphere that discourages us from supporting people who really are working hard to provide us with good products. I'm sure if you were able to check the portfolios of many (not all) of these entrepreneurs, none of them are multi-millionaires. Can we say that about Revlon, L'oreal, etc.?

  • Naturi Beauty says:

    Thanks Curly Nikki for posting this. This topic is important for entrepreneurs and customers alike. @ Think and Grow Chic, thanks for giving the business perspective. I own a small hair care product line (Naturi Beauty Concepts) and I too have my challenges around pricing.
    The truth is, the demand is there and there are natural curlies who will pay that price. The other truth is that even though, these products can be made at home in your kitchen (@CertifiedDiva), alot of people will not, they would rather pay (@Hope). The other truth, is that even at that price, I am still not making a huge profit after I factor, ingredients, materials, packaging, time, labor, and shipping. I run this company solo and while I know the product will grow and I will be able to outsource to some degree for assistance, I have to start somewhere. Additionally, several commenters stated that the "ingredients are cheap". This is not true, using organic and natural resources cost more than the man-made science and chemicals that are primarily used in cheaper main stream products. Also note, that when you purchase ingredients in bulk, it is cheaper per unit. For small home based businesses it is not always practical to purchase in bulk thus the cost can be greater all around. I hope this sheds some perspective on the "high cost".
    A possible solution is supporting the small based companies. The more support a business has, the more they can afford to operate in bulk and possibly decrease their prices. I say possibly, bc once a company grows to a certain level, the cost is then driven by the demand and the will of the owner. We would hope that companies would be economically responsible to themselves and their customers and find a comfortable medium for all. I know I will.

  • LBell says:

    Glad some businesspeople chimed in to illustrate what's basically Economics 101: supply and demand, plus costs, labor and profits.

    If and when natural hair becomes the norm rather than the exception, that's when we'll start seeing lower prices on products. Right now we are a niche clientele and consequently y'all are paying niche market prices.

    Note I say "y'all" because I don't buy those products. 😉 I went through my product junkie and mixtress phases years ago. Most of what I use in my hair is a combination of raw ingredients and cheap commercial products I can get at Wal-Mart or Target.

  • food.wine.sunshine says:

    This same thought crossed my mind not too long ago. My friend bought a sample package of Miss Jessie for 50 bucks. But, as a previous poster said, if people are willing to spend that much money for it, it will be offered at that price.

    I think a good mix of products is what will work. I have a few expensive products mixed in with a bunch of inexpensive ones.

  • Anonymous says:

    I have been natural for 8 years and JUST last week took the plunge and purchased Anita Grant products ( I look advantage of her free shipping deal). I love her website because while her products are more pricey (damn that pounds to dollar conversion), she has a wealth of knowledge and gives advice and recipes for making your own products. I dont think I have EVER seen a peer-reviewed journal quoted on hair products (coconut oil) until I went to her site. The beauty of natural products is that you can do the research and create your own products through trial and error or buy products, again through trial and error because you never really know if your hair will benefit until you try it. I love to support Black-owned natural hair products. Also, I am lazy and a self proclaimed product junkie so I guess I set myself up for spending too much! I do have to say that the shipping can be overpriced and the turnaround time can be agony. This is why once I test things out I opt to get the largest size to make the most out of the shipping and sign up to newsletters to receive discounts.

  • danniebella says:

    If u think it's bad for you guys…try living in the Caribbean where shipping is almost ten times the cost of the product. Just for fun, I went to a site to see how much it would cost to ship a 2 oz jar of product to Barbados. It came to a whopping $67.69 plus the cost of the product which is only $7.00. smh.

  • Anonymous says:

    dangit Hope, I went on Darcy's botanicals and now have some lemmings. THIS is what takes away all my money – my PJism! oh well lol

    sorry to threadjack, but any reviews on their Natural Coils Curling Jelly and Coconut Capuacu Butter Natural Hair Pomade? thanks!

  • Anonymous says:

    I think for the most part it is due to these small businesses trying to make a profit, which is hard to do as a small enterprise as the other commenters have said. I don't mind so much considering I don't need too much and I have more products I have saved on (Trader Joe's Nourish Spa and Lottabody setting lotion) that what I splurged on (KBB).

    The prices for Miss Jessie's is ridic though – for that line I think you are paying for the brand.

  • Nichole says:

    I'm frugal but I've spent so much money on crappy cheaper commercial products that it's worth it to me when I find a good quality expensive product that gives me results that I like. Some of the stand alone oils and butters are nice for maintenance but they don't have the hold for me. You could probably spend the time figuring out how to replicate a similar natural hair product but by the time you bought all the ingredients and read up on how to mix them together, I don't know if it would be worth it. If you use to relax your hair, think of all the money you're saving not getting those regular touch ups. I say go for it and treat yourself if you find something you love (you always stretch it by either combining with supplemental products or not using all the time etc.)

  • NappySince10/01/08 says:

    i keep reading "black owned", "black owned"
    i think it's important to support small businesses in general… im black too but I cant help but to be a little offended. I understand why, for this post we'd say 'black owned' b/c of hair. But not only for hair products should we search for small businesses to support but for as many of our needs as possible.

  • NappySince10/01/08 says:

    not sure how to answer/respond to this one though I want to.

    Part of me agrees with this. But keeping in mind that Im crazy broke (lol) I am longing for the day when I can treat myself to supporting a particular business here in the D who sells Qhemet Biologics and other lines of quality products (really a gift shop but still). Im also always sure to check ingredients (so important to me if the product cost is suspect).

    Fellow Detroiters: have you ever heard of this place? If so, what was your experience? I plan to check it out when I have much to spend and that may not be for a while *sigh, lol*

    Tulani Rose
    4201 Cass Ave
    Detroit, MI 48201
    313-832-2477
    Hours: Tue-Sat 11am to 6pm
    www.myspace.com/tulanirose

  • Alysa says:

    I totally agree with everyone about "why is this stuff so expensive"….. I was always trying to look for hair and skin care products that didn't cost an arm and a leg to buy. In relation to some on here, my mom and I started our own line of organic/natural products about two years ago and we researched the hec out of some other companies that provided that service for much more than we wanted to. We are continuing to receive any type of helpful advice from men and women who really want to receive natural products are affordable prices. Here is our website: www.alysamari.net

    Thanks y'all!!

  • MissBrandiss says:

    I agree with most of the comments posted.
    Some of these prices have gotten outrageous, and the sad thing is that they continue to rise with popularity!!

    I think some people believe that they NEED these high priced products in order to make their hair look good. That is foolishness. I know people are trying to make a living, but com'on!!! I think if some of them lowered the prices just a little, they'd get more business from us… meaning more money for them…

    With that said, I appreciate Hairveda's prices. They have raised just a little since she started, but they are still reasonable and good quality products.

  • honeysmoke says:

    This is an excellent post.

    I've pretty much cut out all buying online because I refuse to pay outrageous prices *and* high shipping costs, with the exception of unrefined shea nut butter which can be found easily for less than $10 a pound and doesn't cost an arm and a leg to ship. Plus, a pound lasts forever.

    I think the cost is high because folks will pay it because they want to, or find it convenient, or don't know any better. The other thing is this: The process is involved, from the chemist, to manufacturing, to marketing, to packaging, and shipping. That's a lot of folks to pay.

    I don't think this trend will last long — or at least I hope not — because it only takes a few seconds to realize anyone can get their hands on most, if not all, of the ingredients commonly found on the back of shampoo and conditioner bottles. Sure, you may not get the same creamy consistency, but you know what you put in there, can mix only what you need, and spend way less.

    That said, I do purchase products at Ulta and Whole Foods. I'm also not above asking a friend or family member who may have more access to brands in their city to buy a bottle of xyz and ship it to me for my birthday or something, nor am I above stocking up on what I can find in a better-stocked city while traveling on business or on vacay and shipping the goods home. Businesses have to make a dollar, but I can be creative.

    The buyer should always beware, especially when someone is trying to sell you something. There are folks selling stuff online and saying they went to the ends of the Earth to get it and you are so special because you found the one place where you can get it for the very affordable price of X, plus the same cost of the product in shipping. Then you go shopping one day and find the very same thing for a couple of bucks, plus tax. Not something similar but the exact same thing. (Yes, this happened to me.) So, consider the source, especially when you're parting with your money.

  • CurvyCurlyTrini says:

    ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh……..Thank you for this post….

    Let me call name:
    Carol's Daughter
    Miss Jessie
    Kinky curly

    These products are so so damm expensive and yes as miss CertifedDiva said it best…The shipping is out outrageous…
    thank god for castor oil, shea butter and coconut oil

  • LoveLaughLiveLife says:

    @ Think and Grow Chick– I think your comments shed an valid perspective on this topic. However I think your last comment about 'learning to overcome such challenges' is the take home message. Business always boils down to supply and demand. As these prices continue to stay inflated, curlies will decrease their demand of these products and begin to look towards *more affordable* sources to fulfill their hair needs. Nickki B already mentioned how a little bit of research goes a long way. Further, once some once these big hair companies understand the huge market share they are missing out on, they will soon offer more natural curly-friendly hair products to satisfy the needs of the budget conscious shoppers. I personally think it is only a matter of time before such products begin appearing in less niche markets. At this point, black businesses will face 'overcom[ing] [their] challenges' or accepting profit losses due to loss of customers. While there is still a significant hold on the market, the challenge is for black businesses to restructure their business processes and practices to offer truly quality products at competitive prices rather than taking advantage of unknowledgeable consumers.

  • RecoveringFromThePast says:

    I totally agree with you…also there is always extra charge for shipping!!!

  • shani-o says:

    Eh, I thnk it's a lot like going out to eat. A meal may cost YOU $25, when it only the cost the restaurant $5 to put together. You're paying for the convenience and the recipe. Same thing with hair products.

    But, keep in mind, that leftover $20 goes into accountants, equipment, staffing, time, rent, broken glasses, taxes, etc, etc, etc. Restaurants don't make much profit, and I doubt most small businesses do either.

    With that said, I think paying more than $6 for 2 oz is ridiculous. But I don't mind paying $16-$20 for an quality 8oz leave-in.

  • Anonymous says:

    Thanks so much Think and Grow Chick for offering the perspective. I often try to convince friends and family to patronize black owned businesses (more specifically black owned beauty stores) and they always cite high prices as the reason they don't. But the main reason they have those high prices is because they don't get the business (and discounts) that other stores get.

  • Rinny Riot says:

    I agree. Alot of products geared towards natural hair are soooo expensive. I just can't justify spending $30 for one jar of Kinky Curly Curl Custard period. I like my shampoos under $20 per 16 oz bottle if possible. (that means you Deva Curl) Fortunately I was lucky to come across The Original Fragrance Shop in Houston! www.theoriginalfragranceshop.com Homemade and Handmade products that don't hurt my wallet! I even did a little review on them via youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XP2bZip2ok8

    *sigh* Love them!

  • Lea says:

    I totally agree with you! It's definitely a rip off. I spend my money wisely when it comes to beauty products. One does not have to go broke stay beautiful that's for sure!

  • Binti's Mom says:

    I guess the question is why do we believe we need all these expensive products to manage our hair? Are we buying into the hype that our hair is so complicated and different that it takes all these things (and $) just to control?

    I think we should stop a second and think about how the ladies (and gents) in the 70's obtained those soft, big, and fluffy afros. I think we can all admit that that the biggest and baddest 'fros came from this era. They surely didn't have the range of products we have to choose from, yet managed their hair (and were quite stylish). Sometimes things don't need to be as complicated as we make them. Let's take it back to the basics!

  • Anonymous says:

    Some natural hair care product lines are expensive, no doubt, but if it works for my hair, I'll pay. Also, I will definitely pay if it's supporting a small business.

    btw Nikki, I tried the Garnier Fructis S&S Conditioner & Oyin Handmade Shine & Define comb for a twist n curl and my hair came out so cute. Thank you! You're the best!

  • KayC, The Quiet Storm says:

    I'm chiming in from both standpoints. I also own a small business, a jewelry design company and I understand that small shops do not get the bulk discounts of larger operations BUT you have to smart about the business.

    For instance someone mentioned spending $5 for labels, well you can get those same labels in bulk for $5 from a wholesale club like Sam's and get 5xs the amount for the same price!

    Yes, it is pricey to do a start-up company especially something that is "specialized" but you also have to realize that very few customers will go out on a limb for expensive products (economy killed what little business is out there). I cringed at the thought of spending $30 for Curling Custard and passed on it.

    I still don't understand how you get a major distribution deal and your prices go UP?!?!

  • Anonymous says:

    I am so glad someone has finally brought this up, I know its a 20/20 situation, one for the vendor and two for the customer but, I really have to say $16 for a 4oz product that is too much, especially when the ingredients are not that expensive. I saw a product vendor is well know and the product only had 4 ingredients is 4oz and cost $16.50, I put that one item in my cart and can you believe the shipping came to $8 bucks, ($24.50 total for 4oz product) the PO offers $4.95 flat shipping rate w/n the USA so I felt part of the Shipping cost was for supplies and etc. so why did the product cost $16.50???, another thing I dont like how the vendor gets your money and you have to wait 5-10 days before they even ship your expensive product/shipping, than another 3-5 before PO delivers it and you get BAD CUSTOMER SERVICE…. let me stop here I can go on and on about this situation.

  • ChocolateMom says:

    I've been natural a little over a year. I've tried a lot of natural hair products in that time and even experimented with making my own. I agree that a lot of the products are way overpriced. But, I've discovered that with my schedule, I'm too lazy/short on time to consistently make my own products. So, I went in search of a good, reasonably priced natural line and I found that in Darcy's Botanicals. And to top it off, her customer service is great. I always get my products in 1 week or less which I never got using other suppliers.

  • Tiffany says:

    I'm just now trying to do some research on *why* some of this stuff is so expensive. I typically use big box store brands (and I guess it shows) and wanted to try something specialized for super-curly hair. I can't justify spending the money if I don't know it's going to work on my hair! Products tend to just sit on top of my hair shaft and not do anything. I guess it's not very porous.

  • Think and Grow Chick says:

    I agree that a lot of these natural products are way overpriced, but from a business standpoint, I understand why a lot of these individuals/small businesses HAVE to charge more just to make it worth while for them to do what they do. My freshman year of college I really got into entrepreneurship and decided to start a natural hair product line called, Material Gurl (you can look at my blog to see pictures of my old products). Because it was literally just me and a friend doing it, we would spend maybe $600 in supplies—everything from the shea butter to the little shrink bands that go around the top of the bottle—just to make 100 bottles of products. NOT including our time and labor (because with any product you buy, the price includes SOMEONE's time and effort), we were charging $12-$15 a bottle and only making $3-$4.50 per product after we split it two ways. Individuals/small businesses have a hard time competing with bigger brands because they (1) they can't afford bulk purchasing of supplies and (2) they don't the get discounts from wholesalers that big brands often do. For example, our labels? We literally spent $5 a pack for sticky paper at OfficeMax, and printed them out on our HOME printer, cut them out then slapped them on the bottles, lol. I mean, we were only 18 at the time doing it for fun, but it was ROUGH! I can only imagine how someone who's older with a family and bills feels when they really think they have a great product to offer, but the natural financial constraints of being a small business forces her to mark her bottles up. You and I go online, see her price before shipping and go "Oh uh-uh, I can get that cheaper at [insert store here] before shipping!" and then we don't buy. I'm not saying either party is right, because after all, to be a true business success you have to learn to overcome such challenges, but as someone who was on the other side of the game, I just thought I'd present the topic in a different light.

  • E_v says:

    I concur!! I make certain things and buy cheaper brands of other things, no matter who makes them. As long as the products work for my hair and I'm not getting gypped (please don't take offense) then I'm happy.

    Eboney

  • Anonymous says:

    You read my mind!!! Lol. Just a couple days ago,I was getting so sick of hair products that I find in stores. They are loaded with harsh chemicals and of course are cheap. Then I thought to myself, maybe I should go online and see if they got better products for a reasonable price. Here I discovered hair butters, curly cremes, wow just soo many wonderful products without silicones, mineral oil, and so forth. But the price was just ridiculous!! I am too broke to being spending so much money on 2oz-4oz bottles, so I decided to make my own homemade moisturizers. I will purchase some unrefined Shea butter I found, 12 dollars for 1 pound!! Also, I got some oils to mix and use a preservative. I found some great you tube videos on how to make your own moisturizers. That is my way of saving money and satisfying my hair 🙂

  • Nickki B. says:

    I feel the same way. I mean CertifiedDiva is right about the shipping costs(it is way too much). I can find cheaper items that work much better then their products. With me being a college student, working full time & transitioning to natural(5 months w/o a relaxer Yay!!), I had to find other cheaper alternatives. It is working out well but these expensive minority businesses are losing a lot of customers. 🙁

  • CertifiedDiva says:

    I agree especially since most of these products people can MAKE themselves… That price including shipping it is so ridiculous. There are a lot of new naturals who may not know that there are cheaper alternatives… and since being au naturalle is a rising trend there is a market for businesses to in a sense over charge or exploit those who know no better.
    I believe that is a natural wants to try products that are out of their price range they should hit the Discussion Boards and learn what their alternatives are, they will definitely learn that there are cheaper ways to attain the same product.

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