Tuesday, September 9, 2008
The ol' switcheroo
When I first went CG (that's Curly Girl for you newbies), one of the first products I tried was Miss Jessie's Curly Meringue. Yes, that is an interesting choice for a white girl like me! The salon I go to had just started carrying Miss Jessie's products and my stylist felt my hair could easily benefit from Curly Meringue's magic powers. I read the label and was delighted to see that Curly Meringue contained nothing that contradicted my Curly Girl regimen.
My stylist was right. For the first time, my hair was smooth and curly. And the curls were bouncy (which I love). I noticed that the results weren't always great, but they often were, so I was happy.
And then a weird thing happened.
At the end of 2007, Miss Jessie's changed their labeling and came out with smaller sized jars of all their styling products. Well, new labels often signal ingredient changes, and sure enough, the smaller sizes listed the dreaded ingredient "parafinium liquidum" -- otherwise known as mineral oil. And it's the second ingredient, which means it figures very prominently in the product's formula.
The big jars, though, didn't appear to be changing. Several of us at naturallycurly.com wrote to Miss Jessie's to find out what gives. We all got vague, obtuse responses, none of which enlightened us at all.
Well, about a month ago, I discovered that even the big jars had been reformulated. And this annoys me for a number of reasons.
First, Miss Jessie, at the prices you charge for your products, cheap crap like mineral oil shouldn't be in the product at all. Second, how dare you just quietly change a product's formulation without any notice or disclosure to consumers? Had I plunked down another $40 for a tub of this stuff after the ingredients had been surreptitiously changed, I surely would have noticed a difference in the product's performance (mineral oil is impossible to remove without a sulfate shampoo) and I would have been out a lot of money for a product that pretended to be what I'd previously liked. I don't know about you, but I think everything about this formulation change is downright slimy. The price, the ingredient itself, the secret switch.
If you're a Miss Jessie's user and you are CG, I urge you to check the label of the product you're using. It's not likely to contain ingredients you can appreciate. Also, the company recently launched a new product called Quick Curls. You'd do best to run the other way if you are CG -- the product not only contains mineral oil but two very powerful silicones.
I don't like to badmouth a company but when they treat customers with this level of disrespect (changing ingredients without notice and incorporating lower quality ingredients to boot), I think people should be alerted.