Mielle Organics joins beauty conglomerate P&G Beauty amid concerns over social media popularity

The popular Black-owned hair care brand Mielle Organics has announced it will join beauty conglomerate P&G Beauty.

The partnership between the textured hair care brand founded by husband and wife Monique and Melvin Rodriguez, and P&G Beauty, which owns brands including Always, Olay, and Gilette, was announced on Wednesday.

In a press release, Mielle said that it joined the beauty conglomerate in the hope of “further expanding access to healthy hair products and services for Black women around the world”.

“From the moment we stepped into P&G, we saw a diverse team of leaders who share our values and vision for innovation, education and community empowerment, including several Black leaders who play a key role in the hair care and beauty businesses,” Monique Rodriguez said. “This partnership gives Mielle an opportunity to serve more textured hair consumers with the great products and formulas that our community loves.

“Today is a remarkable moment for our brand and for the climb of Black entrepreneurs everywhere as we collectively continue to break barriers and accelerate the opportunities for growth. I am thrilled that we will make an even greater impact in how we give back to the community.”

Monique also said the deal will bring in additional resources, which will allow Mielle to “serve [its] customers with rapid innovation and greater reach in the community”.

According to the press release, which did not disclose the sum of the deal, the company will continue to be led by Monique and Melvin, who will retain the titles of CEO and COO, respectively, and will “operate as an independent subsidiary of P&G Beauty”.

However, on social media, the news of the deal has divided fans of the hair care brand, who have questioned what the partnership, which comes on the heels of recent social media spotlight on the brand, means for its customers.

Mielle Organics went viral on TikTok late last month after influencer Alix Earle reviewed the company’s rosemary mint scalp and strengthening oil in a video shared with her more than 3.7 million followers. In the video, Earle, who is white, said that she had been using the product for a “little over a month” and had “already seen tremendous hair growth”.

The praise from the influencer sparked a viral debate about Earle’s use and promotion of the hair oil, with many expressing concern that the video would result in the product selling out, changing formula, or increasing in price.

“The formula is about to change and so is the price,” one comment reads, while another user said: “Great, now Mielle is about to be gentrified.”

The news of Mielle’s partnership with P&G Beauty has renewed concern over the company’s future, with many of the brand’s customers critcising the hair care brand over the deal, which some have claimed will result in a change to the products produced by Mielle.

“I hate that Black folks, more specifically Black women, can’t keep anything for ourselves. Every single thing we’ve created, adopted or helped popularise for us has been taken and/or watered down,” one person tweeted.

Another customer expressed their fears that the company will change its formula now that it is no longer a Black-owned brand. “I know that from a business point of view it’s great that Mielle Organics is part of the P&G Family but from a consumer point of view, I just know that that the formula is going to change. Every time a Black business is acquired by a white company the formula changes,” they wrote.

“I’m not mad that Black women are upset about Mielle being sold, especially to P&G. We always have to worry about products that cater to our hair being changed to benefit white women who have whole aisles full of hair products,” someone else wrote, while another said that the company “not being Black-owned anymore breaks [their] heart”.

Despite the concerns, some customers defended the company’s decision to partner with the beauty conglomerate. “This Mielle convo is…unproductive lol. Two things can be true: Black entrepreneurs should be able to expand their companies for more profit and logistical benefits AND Black customers can be skeptical about the product quality after the acquisition,” one person tweeted.

Monique addressed concerns the formula would change after it went viral on social media earlier this month, when she assured customers that Mielle has no plans to alter its products.

“There have been a few recent comments posted on this topic, but I can personally guarantee you that we are not making any ingredient changes,” she wrote in a post shared to the brand’s Instagram on 2 January. “I also wanted to come here first to assure you directly that we have no plans to change the formula for rosemary mint oil or any of our products.”

Monique concluded the post assuring the brand’s customers that it would “always inform you in full transparency if any adjustments are made to the products you love and trust”.

In a post dedicated to the news of the partnership with P&G Beauty, Mielle celebrated its CEO for breaking glass ceilings, while noting that Monique’s goal has “always been global expansion” so that Mielle can “better serve our mavens and mavericks around the world”.

The Independent has contacted Mielle Organics for comment.

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