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Curly Nikki

Youtube Mixtresses and Product Regulation

By January 27th, 202135 Comments
Youtube Mixtresses and Product Regulation
Tamara writes;

Maybe I’m being ridiculous, maybe this is a dumb question. I haven’t seen it addressed, but hope someone else is thinking the same thing.

I cannot help but wonder who is regulating the natural hair product business? Many Youtubers and Bloggers are bottling their hair care regimens and selling them, but from what I can tell, no one is regulating anything. I can clearly read the natural ingredients on the label, but what if natural ingredient A + natural ingredient B = inactive result or a traumatic result? Or what if these ingredients all lose their potency after a certain amount of time. For example, I have a bottle of aloe vera juice that requires refrigeration, but I could buy a million different products with aloe in it that does not require refrigeration.

I mean everybody has a product line! I could throw some shea and oil together and start selling it too. There seems to be little regulation and I just think people should be careful. Right now I am only really interested in buying products from big companies or making my own.

Have you thought about this?

CurlyNikki Says;

I’m no mixtress… mainly because I’m lazy and commercial products just seem to work better for me anyway. I also don’t purchase or use the mixes Tamara is referring to. Not knocking their hustle… just saying. If the ingredients consist of shea, aloe vera juice, and oil, why wouldn’t I just whip it up myself?

Homemade spritzes and butters are very popular on the hair boards, and can be incredibly beneficial. If you’re a mixtress, please heed this warning, and make sure you’re adding preservatives to your concoctions, and/or keeping them refrigerated. Tonya McKay of Naturallycurly.com suggests the following:

  • Make up a small amount of solution daily or every other day.
  • Make up enough solution to last for one week and store it in the refrigerator when not in use.
  • Make up enough solution to use for 1-2 weeks and add either natural or synthetic preservative drops to it in an amount specified in the literature.

When whipping up your mix, she directs us to use boiling water, clean hands, and a sterilized container. You can purchase grapefruit seed extract (a popular natural preservative) from many health food stores. Even your properly preserved mixtures should be placed in the fridge for safe storage. To read more from this article, click HERE.

35 Comments

  • Anonymous says:

    I think this speaks to the general public's presumption that large companies create products that are better for you, but why – simply because they are large? Wrong! The cosmetics industry is not heavily regulated especially with regard to products that are washed off of your body – they (the government) doesn't see a need (just yet) to regulate cosmetics that are washed off. The only difference in a commercial product is that they use the same ingredients that mixtresses use, but add chemical preservatives. No matter what you use, you (the buyer) have to educate yourself. Don't rely on the government to keep you safe. Also, regulation = higher prices and does not necessarily = higher quality.

  • Anonymous says:

    Personally, I think that anyone who wants to start selling homemade products needs to do their homework and research first. There are wonderful resources available for people who are truly interested in making their homemade products into a business, but you have to be dedicated in finding chemical engineers, talking with business advisors about a business plan, and getting the right type of insurance. Making your dream of owning a hair care line into a reality requires time, effort, and money to do so.
    I originally was surprised about the reaction from people about the ingredients in homemade products v.s. the ingredients in name brand, but either way you better do your research and while you are doing it, you might want to check the following:
    – The food you eat.
    – The dyes in your clothes.
    – The dyes in you headbands or bands for your hair.
    – The ingredients in anything you put on your body.
    If you are really going to open pandora's box about homemade products, you might want to check what is in your own house. Just food for thought.

  • Jarmelia says:

    I sell natural hair care products. The only product I make by hand in the hair and body butter for a lot of the reasons listed above.

    A lot of companies don't know their stuff when it comes to making and selling products.

    I look at some youtube videos and the sanitation alone in the bathroom is enough to make me go "yuck!"

    I would and do purchase natural homemade products, I just check for preservatives, feedback and price.

    I'm not $20 for something just b/c it's homemade! Not when most of them bought the base their selling for much less…*cough*

  • Nique1076 says:

    Now I disagree completely with the notion that FDA regulated products are safe for the general public..According to statistics, only 9 of the harmful carcinogenic chemicals out of the more than 10,000 have been banned by the FDA. I have personal experience and have had family members who have suffered the negative effects of FDA regulated products. the general public every year suffers adverse effects from FDA regulated products, food and medicine..ei, the Similac with the insect larvae..now, what type of 'regulated' facility, or shall I say 'sterile' facility were they operating in to allow this to happen? And the list goes on. If I listened to healthcare professionals in regards to my children, my son would be sick to this day. It was my research of natural herbs that helped to heal my son and he hasn't had any negative side effects and barely a cold since he was 2 (he's 5 now). There are many products that are harmful to women who are pregnant. I'm the mother of 3 children and not once have I had any adverse effects in regards to natural products, including using Lavender Oil while pregnant..but I did have an effect when a 'health care provider' perscribed oxycodone to ease symptoms of pain..while I was pregnant..now, come on, oxycodone?? But it's FDA approved, so why should I complain? Why shouldn't I have trust in that? After all, it's the government.

  • Anonymous says:

    I completely agree with this article and I'm very happy that someone brought this up. I am in the healthcare profession and started having the same concerns, myself. First, yes commercial products may have some ingredients that we can't pronounce, but there are FDA regulations to make sure that these products are "tolerated" and do not cause great harm to the general public. It may not work for your hair type but still overall safety is more ensured that something you're mixing in the home. For example, many people add Rosemary oil to their products and "growth serums". However, rosemary essential oil is contraindicated in pregnancy which is not mentioned in a lot of these products. This is where the FDA comes in. If there are ingredients that are known to be harmful in pregnancy, then they will not be allowed to be marketed to the general public. I could go on, but I'm just happy this topic has been posted.

  • Anonymous says:

    Do all natural products require refrigeration? Shea butter and coconut oil for example? I "whipped" my shea butter with grape seed oil and a dash of coconut oil to make it easier to apply.

  • Nique1076 says:

    Part 3
    # 6-8 months: Always test your product for at least 6-8 months to see what affects you receive or the breakdown or separation of the product. Before advertising my Natty Butter, I left myself a sample that I used and allowed to sit for at least 6 months to see how the product would or would not hold up. If there was or was no separation. To see if the natural fragrance would wear or remain strong. Using the ingredients that I have added, the product held firm and remained usable. My Natty Butter expires 6 months from the date that the client receives the product, because this is how long I personally tested the product.
    # Keep Out of the Bathroom: Because bathrooms harbor many unknown germs and bacteria, it is best not to store your homemade products in your bathroom. Always store the product in a cool place, and be sure to include this on your label to inform your client, it should read 'store in a cool place'. I keep my personal jar of Natty Butter in my bedroom, in a plastic bin.
    # Keep water out!: Water is a culprit that feeds bacteria. If your homemade product contain water, please keep the item refrigerated. My Natty Butter contains no water. Water based products prevent natural preservatives from working at their best.
    # Disclaimer: Be sure to always add a disclaimer to your product..and be sure to look for the disclaimer on your product. Include an educational note in your product, since space can be limited on your product label. Be sure to let your clients know that your product is not guaranteed to heal or cure any pre existing medical conditions.

    as one natural mentioned earlier, we can't always trust everything that is supposedly FDA, just as we can't that is all natural..and all natural products have it's mama's kitchen beginning..Carols D, AfroVeda, Shea Moisture

  • Nique1076 says:

    Part 2
    # Preserve: Extremely important to add natural preservatives to your homemade products. Essential oils such as Rosemary is a natural preservative (.5% ratio should be used, I actually exceeded this amount for extra precaution). High antioxidants such as Jojoba and Vitamin E are also natural preservatives. Grapefruit Seed Oil is also a natural antimicrobial, which makes it an excellent addition to any homemade product. Be sure to look for any or all of these ingredients when buying homemade products. My Natty Butter has Grapefruit Seed Oil, Jojoba and Rosemary. If you are making or purchasing a product that contains Almond Oil, Avacado Oil, Evening Primrose or Hemp Oil, you want to preserve using an anti oxidant preservative, such as Vitamin E and/or Rosemary.Anti oxidants reduce the rate of oils that oxidize to prolong shelf life. Oils that carry microbial properties are: Tea Tree, Caraway, Cinnamon, Clove, Cumin, Eucalyptus, Lavender, Lemon, Rose, Rosemary, Sage, Sandalwood, Thyme..this is why if your product contains any of these oils, it is important to look for the addition of grapefruit seed oil (natural anti microbial). Sweet Orange Oil is also excellent, not only does it smell heavenly, but it contains Vitamin C, which is another natural preservative. And the use of dark containers help to preserve natural products. I use Amber Heavy Duty PET containers for my Natty Butter.
    # Refrigerate: Be sure to refrigerate your homemade product if natural preservatives are not added, and sometimes if they are, to the product. Refrigeration is a natural preservative and expands the life cycle. of the product. Be sure to list if your product, which you intend to sell, needs to be refrigerated.

  • Nique1076 says:

    Part 1
    # Sterilize: Always sterilize your containers, though you may think that they are pre sterilized when coming from the company, sterilize them anyway. For my Natty Butter, I wash the containers using an eco friendly soap, then proceed to boil the containers, then allow them to completely dry before adding any product to them.
    # Clean Hands: Be sure to always clean your hands when preparing and especially if you touch anything that is not pertaining to your mixture. So as to be sure that I do not allow any synthetic chemicals to come in contact with my Natty Butter, I use the same eco friendly soap to constantly wash my hands.
    # Knowledge: Know your ingredients..study them thoroughly to find out what benefits what, what causes what reaction and so forth. If your product contains Shea Butter, which comes from the Shea Nut tree, be sure to provide information of that just in case a client has 'nut allergies', be sure to LIST that your ingredients contain Shea Butter. My very first and highest quantity of ingredients is Shea Butter.

  • Nique1076 says:

    Excellent post and I have to break this post up into sections due to the length. I truly understand the concern of those who are hesitant with natural products. As a person who has a close family member who works in the Food & Drug Administration, the requirements and regulations are not always followed as the public are led to believe. And statistics show that more people have had adverse effects from federally regulated products, food and medicine. I mean, relaxers are approved by the FDA and we know the harmful effects of those. I begin my journey to natural when my 5 year old (2 at the time) suffered an adverse effect from medicine that was federally approved and regulated. So I trust my products more more than any commercial product on the market. But with anything, it takes knowledge and research to understand what we put on and in our bodies.
    Here is some info from my blog at www.allthingsonatural.blogspot.com that educates customers on natural products..see post below

  • Anonymous says:

    allthingsonatural@yahoo.com

  • Melinda says:

    I agree, I have often wondered about that myself. While I have been so tempted to order some of the products I see that it is an unregulated industry for the most part and I need someone else standing behind the products that I am gonna use that close to my brain!

  • Anonymous says:

    @CurlyInTheA you make some valid points, they all started small and grew. I just think that sometime people may look at someone's hair and conclude that because their hair looks good and well preserved they must know what they're talking about.

    BTW KBB still mixes in-store. I like when I go to her store that she is onhand. It gives you that country store feeling.

  • Natural-E says:

    I do not buy youtuber products because they all seem like things that I could make at home. But that is the only reason that I do not purchase them. As far as the health risks of those products, I think that they are just as safe as anything you would buy in the store or online. Actually they are probably safer since most are made with natural ingredients. I also disagree that store bought products are always made in sterile and uncontaminated environments. That is certainly not the case. If it were there would not be so many callbacks of foods and products (for example Similac's recent callback of a brand of their infant formula due to insect larva being present in it). I don't think that these ladies should be criticized or scrutinized anymore than any other product seller in stores or online. I do think that the issue of spoiling with the handmade products is a valid one. In summary I'll say that I have a lot of respect for the youtubers who are selling products. I admire their creativity and their entrepreneurship.

  • Anonymous says:

    Grapefruit seed extract is NOT a preservative. It is an anti-oxidant.

    Reference: http://swiftcraftymonkey.blogspot.com/2010/10/preservatives-grapefruit-seed-extract.html

  • Anonymous says:

    I must admit I'm paranoid when it comes to anyone whipping something up in their kitchen at home. I don't do small home-based hair/ beauty products. And when I go to a potluck dinner I don't eat anything homemade from someone I do not know well enough to be familiar with their home and hygiene habits. I'm just weird like that. How do I know the cat didn't hop up on the counter and lick the casserole dish when its owner wasn't looking?

  • Unknown says:

    I make and sell soap. I also make butters for personal use. I am insured to protect myself and my consumers. Though no one has come to see where/how I make my products, protecting my reputation ensures cleanliness, testing, proper ingredient listing, etc. I strongly suggest you educate yourselves before you make a purchase.

  • Anonymous says:

    agree with anon 7:25

  • Anonymous says:

    This is really good advice. Back when Carol's Daughter was just one store in Brooklyn, almost everything purchased there required refrigeration. I miss the old formulas. Anywho, there's not much regulation for big beauty companies or the small start-ups. It's up to us to be smart consumers and learn about what we're putting on and in our bodies.

  • CurlyInTheA says:

    These are some really good comments. These comments have given me a lot to think about, as I'm seriously considering coming out with a line of my own affordable products (moisturizers, deep conditioners, etc.)

    All of the brands that some naturals love — Jane Carter, Carol's Daughter, Karen's Body Beautiful, Shea Moisture nand even Miss Jessies, had to start somewhere.

    And most likely, I'm sure they were mixing things up in their kitchens (KBB still mixes things for you in store, I heard).

    My point is, they started in their kitchens, and then outgrew it and now follow standard manufacturing practices because they're available at the store level.

    But what would have happened had they listened to some of these comments? There might not be a Carol's Daughter today. And we've seen the fallout from Afroveda and the complaints she's had about her products/prices, etc.

    So, I'm not hating on my sisters/brothers hustling the natural hair care products; shoot, I hope to join them one day. Only one person, that I know of, JessiCurly, has a chemistry background.

    Most, if not all, of the products we buy can be made at home and the products for them can be purchased online, at Whole Foods, and most can be made. The thing, is, though, that very few consumers want to make their own thing; they'd rather buy it. And if they can't be made at home, most naturals would probably not want them on their hair, anyway.

    With that said, this has given me a lot of things to think about, especially when it comes to making sure preservatives are included in my line.

  • Tabitha says:

    I am glad someone has said something about this,I also buy commercial products because they work just fine and i'm not into any DIY, apart from shea butter and coconut oil.LOL

    Everyone seems to be making this butter or the other and promising things that haven't actually been tested by anyone

    If anyone is going to mix and sell , please think about the people who will use those products, take classes that help and do some research.

  • Anonymous says:

    To the mixtresses, you should also know that once you are selling products to the public, you are responsible for their effects, both positive and adverse. Should something go wrong, you have EXPOSED yourself to LITIGATION. Even if there is no one inspecting your facilities, make it a point to research your ingredients. Label everything carefully and include allergy information as well.

  • Anonymous says:

    Anonymous 12:48 no need to go so hard against people and their beliefs. Ignorant? Wive's tales? Nothing anyone has said here has been based off of either and to presume that they are makes you, in fact, ignorant. It's as ignorant of you to assume that just because something is given a grade or label based on the FDA that it is any better for you– and that's coming from a laboratory scientist. You truly have no idea, ever, what you are putting on or into your body and I highly doubt that you, after calling people ignorant, can even pronounce half of what goes into a product you buy from Target and I doubt even moreso, your ability to understand the impacts of those things on your body. I agree with the others– yes, these mixtress' items could do with a little regulation but as with ANYTHING– commercial or otherwise– caveat emptor. When you are buying,be an informed enough customer to understand that yes, these things are unregulated, a reaction might occur [which, does also happen wtih popular commercial items every day], and that those are risks you are willing to take once signing up. No one is holding a gun to your head to purchase. If you are so weary, make your own or continue to support "regulated" products. – Also be very aware that a grade of A [given to a factory by the FDA, for example] doesn't mean the same thing as an A would mean to "outsiders"– it doesn't indicate spotlessness and perfection.

  • Unknown says:

    There already are regulations on handcrafted goods. If something goes wrong with a product you have sold to someone then you can be held liable. This is why it's important to know what you're getting into when making products and selling them. Some people are simply using YouTube as a way to drive traffic to a site or online store (i.e. ETSY). Buyers need to use discretion the same way they would at a craft fair or on eBay. The Etsy forums has tons of info on the regulations and how to set up your business so it's up to the YouTuber to do the research. If your questioning someones' goods then send them a message to find out more.

  • Unknown says:

    This was a GREAT article. I do not purchase handmade concoctions from other naturals online. If the idea that the product is "all natural" gets some of you to purchase and you think that is cool, then that is fine with me. However, I am allergic to mold and mildew. Natural ingredients that are past their date of acceptable use or that are not stored and/or preserved correctly will develop mold. I feel that many mixtresses are purchasing their ingredients in bulk, and in a home environment I cannot say that I trust that these items are stored correctly; let alone being used in the appropriate amount of time. Just my two cents.

  • AusetAbena says:

    I am very happy to see so many naturals start their own businesses, but we have to be smart consumers. I know of a YouTuber who sells natural products (her claim), but practically refuses to tell people what is actually in her products. Which is crazy to me, because her stuff does not run cheap. She seems to be keeping it a secret, but that is hazardous. She could be using essentials oils that people are allergic to, or she could be using eo's that interfere with a healthy pregnancy. Also, she might not be properly perserving her products. To the commentor above, not preserving products properly, especially water-based products, makes them a breeding ground for germs and bacteria growth. That is a bigger problem than just how bad something may smell. Mixing stuff in your own house is a great way to be creative and use natural products, but when selling those products, more regulations need to be taken into consideration. My two cents. For the most part, I buy commercial products and mix my own things, preserve with essential oils, and am ingredient conscious of everything I buy, even if it is not marketed as "all natural".

  • Anonymous says:

    I would rather experiment with creating my own homemade mixtures than purchase them on-line. So many benefits to doing it this way: it's fun, creative, I know exactly what I'm putting on my hair/scalp, and I can monitor quality control. I don't have to wait for the product to be shipped, and last but not least, it's cheaper…no shipping & handling charges!

  • april says:

    There is something to this post. I definitely agree.I don't buy from anyone who is making things that I can easily acquire and mix up myself. I like to know that there is some scientific knowledge behind what is being produced before I buy. I'd rather and do buy products that have to list all ingredients which are made in a sterile environment that can be checked out any time by a higher authority such as the FDA and other organizations that have such inspecting policies. I prefer to buy commercial products and it works for me.

  • Anonymous says:

    I know that just because a product is commercial doesn't mean that they are following the regulations, but I do believe it is more likely that they are. I mean at least they know what the regulations are, and most likely someone mixing concoctions at home doesn't even have a list of regulations. I am not saying that all unregulated products are bad by any means. I just agree we have to be careful. I agree with Diana who wrote she only buys products that are from someone who is licensed.

  • Tina says:

    I agree with thorough websites, I won't purchase from any janky a$$ website.

  • Anonymous says:

    This article is spo to and i guess we have to be careful what product we buy as it is our money that is being investd so doing your research before buying is key. I like Anita Grant products and her site is very helpful as it pinpints what people could be allergic to and what not to use when pregnant or breast-feeding.I like it when people are thorough so that is my guise i make sure th site has as much info as needed and my my judgement on that.

  • Anonymous says:

    You can knock commercial products and the FDA as much as you'd like, but at least the environments in which they are made are sterile and regulated(the level of sterility must match certain criteria based on the use of the product), and the products that are made must list all ingredients and follow other rules based on what they are called.
    So yeah, I'm not buying anything from someone on You tube either b/c you don't know where they are making it, how they are making it, and I doubt any of them have separate environments that are kept properly contained to make their products.
    I think that the basic ignorance of science, chemistry, and biology is what makes people poo-poo commercial products but assume that someone who knows nothing about manufacturing is making a safe product. You'd be surprised how little it takes to catch a disease. At some point, someone will catch a fungal infection or worse from something they buy from these unregulated products.
    It's interesting how black women so often deride conventional wisdom and traditional education in favor of rumors, myths, and old wives tales.
    If a commercial space is inspected and fails, it is shut down, regardless of the financial impact that it has on the building. What the chick on You Tube does isn't monitored by anyone?
    It is very easy to contaminate things and it is really easy to catch infections from things that are applied to your head and scalp and that come in close proximity to your eyes.
    I guess that for the masses though ignorance is bliss. So much of what is "natural" isn't good for you either, and you should really learn to discern what makes things safe vs. unsafe from people who actually understand what they are talking about.

  • Anonymous says:

    I think you make a valid point.
    As much as i hate preservatives, i will not buy a product that does not contain any and as much as i would like to support my sisters on you tube, i will not buy anything from them unless they are licensed trichologists (spelling?)…
    I even started refrigerating my natural products.

    I think we should be careful…
    good post…

    Diana

  • Anonymous says:

    This is a good point but we have to keep in mind that even the things that are "regulated" are things that are in general not necessarily in our best interests health- wise. Sure, you'll never purchase a Pantene product and have your scalp catch on fire or your hair fall out [hopefully] but we wear lipstick that is "regulated" but contains ingredients that are tantamount to carcinogens in the long run. Even our food is "regulated," which, as we all know doesn't really mean much in the scheme of things. I think mixtresses trust that because these products are natural they will work. If a product does contain aloe, an ingredient that may require refrigeration, how bad can things get? It's not carcinogenic, it's typically [by nature] hypo- allergenic, the only issue is "is this a bit spoiled?" in which case, you can probably still go on using it w/o any issue aside from maybe a change in smell. It likely won't hurt your hair. I have also realized that many people are building their own products based on store- bought products they have purchased [which, are "regulated".] It's not a leap to see how someone would buy a container of shea butter, olive oil, coconut milk mix and think to themselves, "I can/should make this at home." I don't think the issue of "regulation" is something to be so crotchety about. Just like with everything else, caveat emptor, particularly with your belief that if something is sold in a store it's 100% beneficial to the buyer.

  • Brandee P. says:

    I completely agree with you. While there are a few vids floating around about the proper way to preserve your mixes and to prevent them from spoiling its not clear if people are doing that. I don't think that there is any regulation on what is being sold on youtube, and I feel that there should be. While I am not knocking anybody's hustle, its to protect them and the consumer. If somebody has a really bad reaction to one of their products or if they buy it and it doesn't work they are leaving them selves open to a lawsuit. If you read the labels of even store brands of mixes there are certain mandatory legal notifications that you need to put on them. For example if somebody has a nut allergy and your shea butter has traces of other nuts in it that got incorporated into it during the processing you have to disclose that. But these ladies do not have that information. Who has the money to fly to Africa to see where their shea is coming from and that it is being made under sanitary conditions. If they did they would be able to start their product lines in the proper way. There should be a regulation of what is being distributed, but I think that this won't happen unfortunately until somebody gets severely injured. If you want to start an online business, start with selling other companies products like Kimmaytube's (Kim Love) LUV Naturals. Then educate your self on mixing products and all that jazz. By doing that it would set people apart and bring in more money since people are more comfortable with buying from the store or something that they know is being produced safely. That is just my two cents.

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