As of January 11, natural hair-care brand Mielle Organics, beloved for its Pomegranate & Honey Leave-In Conditioner and other bestsellers, will be joining P&G Beauty, the company behind Always, Crest, Pantene, and many other brands you’ve certainly heard of. According to a release about the news, Mielle Organics will still be led by founders Monique and Melvin Rodriguez, who serve as the brand’s CEO and COO, respectively, and operate as an independent subsidiary within the P&G Beauty family. This news comes after a whirlwind of controversy at the beginning of the year surrounding Mielle’s best-selling Rosemary Mint Scalp & Hair Strengthening Oil.
In case you haven’t been following along, on December 29, TikToker Alix Earle included the scalp oil in a video roundup of her favorite products of 2022. The video in question now has over five million views, 500,000 likes, and thousands of comments. Many longtime fans of Mielle Organics weren’t too excited about the video’s virality due to fear that the brand’s increased visibility to the audience of a white influencer could lead to a product shortage for the Black customer base it was originally created to serve.
Many Black women flocked to Earle’s comment section and other social media platforms to discuss the future availability of the brand and its products. Some claimed the Rosemary Mint Scalp & Hair Strengthening Oil was already sold out at key retailers like Amazon and Target (though it appeared to be in stock on both retailers’ and the brand’s websites at the time this story was published). Although Earle’s video was not an ad created by Mielle, the incident reminded many of SheaMoisture’s 2017 “Hair Hate” commercial, which many felt attempted to equate the hair discrimination that Black folks with kinky and coily textures face with simply not liking one’s own hair texture or color. Critics of the commercial pointed out that it seemed to publicly illustrate the brand’s pivot to market outside of the Black community while pushing its primary fanbase, Black women, and their unique hair concerns to the side.
In Mielle’s case, some commenters also worried that the brand would reformulate the beloved product to better suit the needs of customers with straighter hair textures, especially if the brand was acquired by a larger company. In response, Mielle posted a statement to its Instagram page assuring fans there were no plans to change the Rosemary Mint Oil formula. That was on January 2; the news that Mielle would become a part of P&G Beauty broke nine days later.