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Mielle Organics

Source: Mielle Organics / Mielle Organics

Buzzing Black-owned hair care brand Mielle Organics has landed a significant partnership deal with Proctor & Gamble Beauty. According to NBC News, the massive conglomerate, which owns personal care brands like Always and Olay, will help Mielle distribute their hair care products to more Black communities and consumers across the nation.

“I am thrilled that we will make an even greater impact in how we give back to the community,” Mielle co-founder Michele Rodriguez said in a statement.

Under the new deal, both companies will donate a whopping $10 million to the Mielle Cares non-profit, which will fund advancement initiatives for communities of color. The donations will also be used for research and innovation projects to help create healthier hair care products for underserved communities.

Monica Turner, President, of P&G North America, gushed about the initiative to ESSENCE.

“What makes this partnership with P&G and Mielle Organics special is our shared commitment to serving consumers and making an impact in our community,” Turner told the outlet. “Mielle Cares program, which is focused on education, mentoring, and entrepreneurship in Black and Brown communities, is something we look forward to supporting.”

Mielle products have been flying off shelves due to demand

Since the brand’s launch in 2014, Mielle Organics’ hair care products have been flying off shelves. Fans have been thoroughly impressed by their luscious hair care products, known to strengthen hair follicles and support scalp health thanks to their magic Advanced Hair Formula. Mielle products contain a unique proprietary blend of herbs, amino acids, and minerals.

Over the last two years, Black and Brown women have been raving about the brand’s Rosemary Mint Scalp and Hair Straightening Oil, which helps to promote insane hair growth. However, earlier this month, some consumers of color complained that the hot product was hard to find on shelves due to the brand’s growing popularity among non-Black communities. One Twitter user named @msMymy91 blamed TikTok for the rise in popularity.

“Everybody now talking about Mielle organics rosemary mint oil, TikTok blew it up,” she tweeted. “I’ve been using that oil for about three years now. Now I can’t find it in stores.”

Another Black Twitter user complained that she couldn’t find the Rosemary Mint Oil in major retail stores like Target and Walmart. “I’m honestly glad that I have a good supply of the Mielle organics rosemary mint oil ’cause baby they are sold out at a lot of places… it’s sad that people who actually need it can’t even buy it now,” the user added.

After news of the P&G deal made headlines, Michelle Rodriguez opened up about the product shortage to ESSENCE. “I can completely understand why people are frustrated because of the lack of access to our products,” she said. “I can also appreciate that new consumers are now discovering Mielle, and discovering this amazing oil. And honestly, that is why this partnership with P&G is so important.”

Black consumers fear Mielle is becoming gentrified

Mielle’s major partnership announcement comes weeks after criticism sparked about white female influencers promoting the brand’s products online. Some Black consumers said they feared Mielle would become gentrified due to the boom.

The controversy sparked in late December after a white TikTok star named Alix Earle reviewed the Rosemary Mint Oil for her three million followers. Earle said she experienced “tremendous hair growth” after using the oil for a little over a month. Shortly after the video went viral, a few more white influencers took to the internet to share their reviews about the oil.

Online, millions of Black social media users accused Earle and other white influencers of appropriating black hair care products. Those concerns were compounded after news of the P&G deal hit the media.

“We just bragged about @MielleOrganics being black-owned & a product that works. Then! Overnight we watched white women appropriate our products, routines, & terms while gaslighting us & being rude when low & behold Mielle done sold to a yt corporation,” tweeted one frustrated Twitter user.

While another person chimed in, “So thanks to a white woman with more than 3 mil followers on TikTok, Mielle Organics sold their company to P&G. White women have a whole hair care isle DEDICATED to their hair type, that just wasn’t enough I see. I’m over black sellouts and black capitalists marketing to black ppl.”

A few fans worried that Mielle’s product would change after the partnership took effect, but Rodriguez reassured fans there were no plans to change the brand’s existing formula.

“The community is the foundation of Mielle,” she added to ESSENCE. “I can assure you that at Mielle we have no plans to change any of our formulas and joining P&G means all of our loyal customers can truly expect the same high-quality products tomorrow that is on shelves today.”

Here are a few more reactions to the Mielle and P&G partnership.

1. One Twitter user worries the brand’s integrity will be lost

2. A fan pleads with Mielle not to change the formula

3. One Twitter user accused Mielle of “selling out” like Shea Moisture & Carol’s Daughter

4. Kamie Crawford defends Mielle’s decision

Model Kamie Crawford defended Mielle’s decision to team up with P&G for distribution. She criticized Black twitter users for sharing rude comments about the partnership instead of support.

“When small white brands get acquired, people rejoice and congratulate. When small Black-owned brands get acquired, they get dragged,” Crawford tweeted. ” I get the fear about product quality, but I think it’s really unfair to expect smaller Black-owned brands to struggle without support for forever.” 

In a follow-up post, she tweeted:

“IMO, it’s not “selling out. Unless you want to bootstrap or self-fund a business strictly as a passion project, the goal for most business people is to grow and eventually sell their business. You don’t sell a business when it’s dead. You sell when it’s up & eyes are on it.”

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