Attempting to smoothe over controversy generated on TikTok by a white influencer recommending a product, Mielle has published a statement on Instagram. Responding to fears the recomendation would lead to a formula change, the company promised in a series of slides that there were no plans to change the formula for Rosemary Mint Scalp & Hair Strengthening Oil or any other products.
In the caption, founder and CEO Monique Rodriguez wrote, “We’ve been together on this ride for awhile, so you know that my journey with Mielle started from a place of creating the product I wasn’t finding in the marketplace. We remain forever committed to developing quality, efficacious products that address the need states for our customers’ hair types! Sincerely, The Queen of Hair,” a reference to her moniker.
The controversy began when TikTok user Alix Earle recommended Mielle Organics’ Rosemary Mint Scalp & Hair Strengthening Oil as one of her top 2022 Amazon purchases. Boasting a following of three million, Earle, who is 22-years-old and white and has long straight hair, said the oil aided hair growth.
Earle’s recommendation spurred multiple reaction videos on TikTok where some Black users expressed concern that the a sudden uptick in popularity of the oil might spur the company to change the formula to accommodate straight hair. Some pointed at videos of white users who had watered down the product to reduce the oil concentration as evidence Mielle might want to change the formula. There was also a response video noting the product was sold out at multiple locations following Earle’s recommendation.
Founded in 2014 by Monique Rodriguez and Melvin Rodriguez, who’s the company COO, Mielle markets itself as a hair and beauty brand that makes use of healthy ingredients to “encourage healtheir hair and skin.” According to the company’s bio, the company was launched with the Advanced Hair Formula, a vitamin described as a “blend of herbs, amino acids and minerals to support healthy hair, skin, nails, and immune system.”
Last year the fast-growing company landed $100 million in series A funding from Berkshire Partners. The brand is now distributed in more than 87 countries and, according to press, can be found in more than 100,000 U.S. stores including Sally Beauty, Target, CVS, Walgreens, Kroger, JC Penny, and Walmart.
While the Mint Scalp Mint Scalp & Hair Strengthening Oil is described as “formulated for all hair types and textures,” many of the brand’s products are designed for “thick, curly hair.” Additionally, the brand targets Black and brown women in its advertising and is stocked in the Black beauty sections of stores. Last year it tapped Megan thee Stallion as an ambassador and featured entertainers LeToya Luckett and Toya Johnson for a campaign titled “Unmasked: I Know My Roots” and exclusively features Black and brown women on social media.
Check out Earle’s video below along with a response video.
@alixearle this & more linked in bio 🤍🏼 #amazonfinds #2022products #rspartner ♬ original sound – alix earle
@kita.io #stitch with @ronelle__ ♬ original sound – Kita iO