While I am not a POC, I have 5 kids who are. Thus, in order to be an informed parent and to help them learn to take care of their hair, I am pretty versed in hair products. I loved the Shea Moisture products though they were not our only products of choice. Shout out to Talijah Wajaad hair oil, plain old Suave coconut conditionar, AsIAm products, Proclaim products and the Cantu natural hair moisturizer. So clearly, in our "bathroom salon" Shea Moisturizer was not the only game in town. But the reason there are a variety of things is because all my kids have different hair textures. Their hair needs different care in the winter than in the summer. When KC dyes his frohawk the colored parts need a different kind of love.
I also confess that I rarely watch ads. The SuperBowl might be the exception to that. But in general, I am pretty legendary for not seeing "the" ad everyone is talking about. My wife and I do piece work at night. Ads are either muted so we can chat, or I am running to the kitchen to put the tea pot on or change a load of wash. So I never saw the ad that Shea Moisture produced until I was on social media and a few family (some of whom are stylists) posted it.
I watched it dumbfounded. First of all, to me, knowing what I know about my hair (straight thin white people hair) and my kids hair we have totally different hair needs. In that list of products I mentioned earlier? There is 1, exactly 1 product we can all use and it is NOT Shea Moisture products. Nope, it is the old Suave coconut conditioner. I can use about a dime sized amount of it on my hair twice a week. Where they might use a ton to detangle or co-wash, I use literally a dime sized amount. If I used any of the oil rich products that their hair loves and needs, I would look like a slimey headed person. My hair is not as oily as in my youth but it is not dry by any stretch of the imagination. I can't go more than a day without washing it or you can totally tell.
So with that information in mind, you would assume that people who actually MAKE hair products would understand that different hair needs different products. The blonde and the redhead in their ad? They don't need the same product as a POC. There is a single token POC in that ad. If their products have expanded to include white folks, then in my opinion there should have been 3 POC and one white person, going "wow! they even have products for my hair!!"
See, even though I don't watch ads, I know my kids do. I want my kids to be proud of how they look, the hair and skin and beautiful long eyelashes that they have been gifted with in this life. I found out not all that long ago that the reason KC used to draw himself in cartoon form with spikey hair was because he hated his curls. Hated them? The curls I loved to detangle and scritch with my fingers when we did hair?
Lissa for years wanted straight hair and we had so many talks about loving the hair she has and why straightening it would damage her hair. She too had times of "hating" her hair, though eventually most of her dislike centered around the time involved in hair care rather than her hair itself. She investigated locks and decided to grow those.
I want my children to see people like them using products designed for them. There should be handsome young black men like my sons or smart pretty black girls like my daughters in those Shea Moisture ads. It wasn't just a marketing mistake. It was a slap in the face to black people.