Saturday, September 7, 2013

Why You May Not Want to Buy CURLS Products if You Are a Wavy (or another hair texture for that matter) and Why You Certainly Don't Want to E-mail CURLS

On 9/5/13, CURLS put up this Facebook post: 
"Received an email today from someone in need of products for her "extremely kinky hair." Excited at the prospect, i replied, "send me pix, i'd love to help!" OMG...she had STRAIGHT hair, a tiny limp...just lots of frizz. Not really CURLY HAIR..."

Several wavies got offended by this.  Straight, frizzy hair is wavy hair with few exceptions. (Damaged straight hair can be frizzy.  Straightened curly hair can be frizzy.)  I would expect the person who answers e-mails and gives product advice would know this basic fact about wavy hair.  I guess not.  The woman who wrote in most likely has wavy hair that might actually benefit from their products.  Kinky hair can mean type 4 hair.  It can also mean hair that narrows and widens at the hair shaft or has torsion twists.  This can occur on any hair type.  40% of my wavy hair is kinky.  Are their products not for tiny limp hair?  Are they only for thick hair?  I can't imagine how the woman who wrote in must feel having the gist of her e-mail made public, having the company publicly insult her hair, having the company make her look foolish, and then having the company make a joke at her expense. In my humble opinion that is exceptionally unprofessional behavior.

Several wavies were offended and commented on this post on the CURLS Facebook page.  (link to the post above)  Instead of recognizing that what they did was offensive and taking the post down, they chose to defend it.  Not only did they defend the post, the defended the disparaging comments about the customer who wrote to them.  Then, they deleted the critical comments made by posters and blocked them from the site.  Here are some examples of the comments that were deleted.  I'm sure you will agree that they are not rude.

The first comments from A are not an exact quote.  They are reconstructed from her memory.  The other comments are taken either from screen captures or the commenter made a copy of their comment.  "A" was one of the first people to have her comments deleted.  She did not know she would need to make a record of her comments.  There were more similar comments from other posters that were also deleted.
A's comments were deleted and she was blocked. 
I have and use curls products, does this mean since i am a wavy and not a "true" curly, that i should discontinue use of your products? Shall i stop recommending them to other WAVIES? Lots of wavies use ethnic hair care products because they DO work for us. I really liked the products, but i guess i won't be re-purchasing.

A posted in response to comments about the above post:

For the record, I do "get" the post. I just think it's inappropriate. Many wavies spend their lives believing they have "frizzy" "wonky" straight hair. But with the right products and techniques, they can into beautiful ringlets. Maybe we don't have the same problems as "true" curlies, but we have our own set of unique problems that are not the issues of straight hair. I think it's bad business to not educate yourself on these issues and the potential benefit of your products for this hair type.

J's comments were deleted and and she was blocked.  
 "The word "kinky" has different meanings in different countries/cultures/ethnic groups.  To Caucasians in the UK it means hair that appears neither straight or properly wavy, just unruly or wonky or cowlicks.  Most of the time that is wavy hair that is treated badly, especially if there is a lot of frizz.  I can EASILY get my 2c ringlets to look straight but poofy/fluffy/frizzy with shampoo and brushing.  I've even seen 3a Caucasians be able to achieve the same.  Shame on you for being publicly RUDE about a potential customer and so lacking in knowledge of the behavior of hair with weaker curl patterns."
J also commented:
"CURLS says frizzy and straight, anyone in the wavy community will tell you that doesn't exist in nature- it is either totally fried hair or the vast majority of the time, hidden wave.  Of course we know our own hair type, just as you know yours."

H's comments were deleted and she was blocked:
"Why does it matter so much that she had straight hair or that she described it as extremely kinky?  She clearly wanted to try something to help with the frizz.  Moisture often helps tame frizz, and your products aim to hydrate hair and minimize frizz.  Your company is called CURLS, but under the label it is still a conditioner or a cleanser or a styling product.

My friends daughter "loves" your products, and her hair is straighter then mine.  She swims a lot and she sometimes dyes her hair, so it gets frizzy and dry from that, and your products help her hair regain moisture and strength.  They are a treat for her when her hair needs help. Should she stop buying them because her hair is straight?  Are you so curl snobby Clique-y as to want to cut off potential customers by saying your products don't work on their hair (which is a stupid thing to say)?  Why not let them buy and decide for themselves?

The bigger issue with this post is the attitude toward the customer and the fact that the thoughts were aired publicly like this.  It's highly unprofessional and gives your company a bad image that you talk bad about customers/potential customers.  It is also bad form to ban A- and delete her comments.  I saw nothing overly rude.  It shows how petty you really are.  It's your page and you can do what you like, but this outward persona doesn't look good from a customer service stand point.  Why you choose to stand and defend this post to the point of losing customers is beyond me.  It clearly hit a nerve with some people, so the gracious and courteous thing to do would be to say "I'm sorry if this post was in poor taste or offended people." and then remove it and be done with it." 

H also wrote:
"I, for one, would like to see the picture of said straight hair. Wavy texture is pretty much everything between straight and curly hair. It can have very loose and light waves to deeper waves and some spirals. But again, the name CURLS on the bottle is just marketing. All the little sub groups like the ones for kids have identical ingredients listings, just different bottles. And cost less, and they work the same too. So underneath the label, it's just shampoo and conditioner and some stylers marketed to ethnic hair. If you go into a LUSH store, they'll still sell you Curly Wurly even if your hair isn't curly, but because they think the ingredients might be beneficial. They've never said, I can't sell you this because you don't have curly hair. Banning multiple people and deleting posts is just bad business, in addition to talking bad about a potential customer. I'm done with this brand, and will help spread the word that the CURLS brand is an elitist company so prejudice against anything but true curly hair (whatever that means) even if your website is more inclusive. Curl patterns can very, but hair properties are the biggest indicators on how to take care of it."

And H wrote:
"Kinky hair and curly hair are not the same.  Hair can be both kinky and curly, but one does not always include the other. 
The Natural Haven:  Curly vs. Kinky:  What's the Difference?
I have fine wavy hair that has some individually kinky strands, if you look at straight texture on the strand, but my hair is definitely not curly.  It is wavy, which is neither straight nor is in between."

K's comments were deleted:
"Your open banter certainly felt like making fun of. I haven't liked your page, nor will I. But know that your posts have been copied and pasted into online forums and you are not presenting yourself in your best light."
"Oh dear, and you are banning people that took offense? I don't think that will make them lighten up the way an apology would. You still have time to act to make amends, I would do it! Represent yourself well!"

S's comments were deleted: 
"Congratulations, you have just lost one wavy customer. Well done" 

C wrote two comments that were deleted: 

"Wow. I've been silently following this mess and I'm honestly shocked and appalled at the way the whole situation was handled. I'm sure at some point all of us have been guilty of saying or posting something that unintentionally upset and offended someone (or in this case, a large group of people). Had you simply apologized and removed the original post, we wouldn't still be having this discussion. But instead, you chose to hide/delete the comments pointing out that the post was (unintentionally) offensive to some people and then create an additional post essentially implying that these people are unable to handle "open banter." In the end, it wasn't about the post itself; it was about the perceived self-righteous response that followed. Please keep this in mind when the dust settles. I spent 10 years in customer service related fields, and I never would have dreamed of letting my ego cause this much bad publicity (and please know that this has definitely resulted in bad publicity for your company, as many of the deleted posts and responses have already made their way to other forums, which is how I found out about it in the first place)."
C posted this in response to the post below that refers to open banter.  This comment was also deleted:
The deleted posts and banning people from further comments was happening on the post that started this whole mess. And having silently followed this since it flared up, I can say that out of the 70 comments that were made, conveniently only one glowing review of CURLS products is still visible to the public. I don't consider that "open banter," I consider that spin doctoring. So please don't accuse people of a lack of ability to comprehend what they read if you don't know the whole story. But not to worry, I've already seen screen shots of many of the deleted posts in other forums, and the feedback from outsiders hasn't been very favorable towards CURLS. So we'll see how long my post actually lasts on this site and move on."

I (me, not someone who's name starts with I) commented.  My comments were deleted.  IDK if I was blocked, since I decided not to post on CURLS anymore.
"I have hair that is fine and thin. Someone else might describe it as tiny and limp. Before I knew how to treat my wavy hair, it was straight and frizzy. My hair is 40% kinky. I know because I've had it analyzed. Does that give me enough qualifications to be offended by your e-mail and this post?"

In response to a separate post by CURLS the following day that read:
In light of the GRAVE misunderstanding of our post about straight hair being defined as "kinky" hair, what do you wish non textured women understood about textured hair?"
I (me) responded:

"Possibly I am misunderstanding yesterday's post.  The way I understand it, I customer wrote in to you for help.  You then publicly shamed her for not using kinky in the way you think it is defined.  You further insulted her hair by calling it strait, frizzy, limp, and tiny. Then you posted the curly hair problem "people calling their frizzy hair curly".  Many wavy haired people took offense to this, because wavy hair looks strait and frizzy when not properly cared for.  Mine looked straight and frizzy before I knew how to care for it.  When people posted that the were in fact offended, you deleted their comments and banned them.  Rather then just saying "our bad" and taking the post down, you continued to defend this post.  You even defended your 6th grade mean girl comments about the hair of the customer who wrote in for help.  Is there any part so far that I have wrong?  I don't think so.  I don't understand why you think it is O.K. to poke fun at this customer in a public forum.  Can you explain that to me?  Also, I don't understand why it is O.K. to poke fun at wavy hair (A.K.A frizzy, straight hair.  Nearly all "frizzy, straight hair" is actually wavy).  When people online or in life poke fun at other hair textures I set them straight and tell them it is not O.K. to say such things.  I would not tell the people who had to hear the offensive comments to just calm down.  I would stand up for them.  If you could explain why it is O.K. for your company to poke fun at wavy hair, I'd be interested in hearing that too.  I await your response."

CURLS responded to this.
" absolutely did misunderstand and jumped to horrific conclusions. read the recent post on this page for clarity."
I responded:
"I have read the most recent post.  I don't believe it clarifies anything.  Could you address the two specific concerns in the post above please?"

"Also I have copies of many of the deleted comments. They do not meet the criteria for deleting comments you out lied in your post today. I can share the comments with you if you wish."

After I wrote the comment where I said I had copies of the deleted comments, all of my comments were deleted.  

CURLS wrote: 
"with all due one was publicly humiliated, NO names were given, COME ON...was just sharing with fellow curlies."

CURLS also wrote:
"Thank you (5 people named) for understand the internet was not meant to insult."

Hmmmm... I bet the customer who wrote in for help wishes you would have realized this before you uploaded this post where you insulted her hair.   

CURLS wrote in a separate post the following day:
"ATTENTION: For those that took offense to the post about people posing as curly, and calling their "frizzy hair curly" PLEASE lighten up! The person that emailed was NOT publicly OR privately embarrassed, she was graciously assisted, and was happy with our HONEST feedback and product assistance. If this kind of open banter is NOT up your alley, this is what we do on this page, feel free to dislike the page now."

In response, I (me) wrote this comment. 
"'I'm not sure I understand your argument. Is your argument that Facebook is not public? Is your argument that she was not embarrassed? If the second, how do you know? Have you been in touch with her since you posted "Received an email today from someone in need of products for her "extremely kinky hair." Excited at the prospect, i replied, "send me pix, i'd love to help!" OMG...she had STRAIGHT hair, a tiny limp...just lots of frizz. Not really CURLY HAIR..." about her hair? I don't believe these comments would make her feel more beautiful, more confident, or like a valued customer. 
Also, you say you have open banter, yet you have deleted many comments that are critical of your treatment of this customer or your lack of understanding of frizzy straight (A.K.A wavy) hair. None of the comments I saw that were deleted were rude, just critical"

On 9/7/13 Curls posted this in a separate post.


Good morning and happy Saturday CURListas! I am going to address the post that got out of hand, once and for all. This will be the last post about it in hopes of dropping this matter and moving on in our normal fashion. There are just too many textured hair topics to discuss for us to keep coming back to this!

The post that some viewers took offense to is below...

"Received an email today from someone in need of products for her "extremely kinky hair." Excited at the prospect, i replied, "send me pix, i'd love to help!" OMG...she had STRAIGHT hair, a tiny limp...just lots of frizz. Not really CURLY HAIR..."


1. No where did we reference race (African American, Caucasian, Latina, or Asian). We speak in the terms of texture, not race.
2. The person's hair is straight (no waves, curls, or kinks) with frizz and damage to her cuticle from bleaching and heat styling.
3. The person is NOT on Facebook. The person's name and picture was not and will NOT be posted/shared.
4. The person referenced asked for product advise, for her hair, and received a few product recommendations, that would truly benefit her. She was appreciative that she received honest help vs. selling her on a line that wasn't created for her.
5. CURLS caters to all textured hair....from the loosest wave to the kinkiest kink and everything in between. While some products (e.g. our cleansers and conditioners) can be used by anyone...we don't cater to this market.
6. CURLS does not discriminate based on color of one's skin or texture of hair.
7. Our Facebook page is here to help those with (or caring for) wavy, curly, and kinky hair. CURLS is a resource in time of need. Our Facebook page is a place to congregate, engage, and chat about all things hair and lifestyle.
8. We aren't a resource for straight hair, it isn't our speciality. Our straight hair counterparts have the entire hair care section, while us textured tresses have a fraction of it. We cater to an overlooked audience.
9. We will remove anyone that is rude, uses harsh language, or insults my staff, my brand, or myself. NO questions asked.
10. This page is owned by CURLS....our opinions are ours. While we will never intentionally insult anyone, if the page doesn't fancy you...unlike the page, and please move on so the rest of us can enjoy.
11. At no time did we insult anyone (or any texture)...not even the rude posters. We expect the same in return.
12. There wasn't an apology because there wasn't an insult. Had I or my staff insulted someone, there would have been an apology, STAT! We are human, so mistakes can be made....and we own up to ours.
13. Lastly....the person that emailed was a Personal Trainer i was referred to. During our conversation she found out what i do, and said she, too, had kinky, curly hair. She emailed the picture before our first meeting. I let her know that her hair was simply damaged from bleaching and wasn't kinky in texture. It was frizzy and damaged and needed a lil TLC and no more bleaching. I showed her a picture of truly kinky hair, we shared a laugh and I advised her on how she could get her silky straight tresses back. We moved on to getting me in the best shape as possible!

Now...may we move on to the next topic? We have too much to chat about!"

I will not respond on the CURLS page again.  I am willing to let this die.  However, I'd like to respond to the post by the owner here.  

3.  If she is not on Facebook then that makes it O.K. to say unflattering things about her hair publicly?  Is it O.K. because it is "behind her back"?

9.  I'd like  the reader to consider whether the deleted comments posted above fit this criteria.  Many of the deleted comments actually praise the products.

10.  So you don't view "tiny, limp...just lots of frizz" as an insult?  Is it a complement? They also call critical posts unintelligent.  (see below)  Is that a complement?

11.  I refer you to my response to 10^^^ and ask you to read the deleted posts and see if you think they qualify as rude.

12.  Again, so "tiny, limp...just a lot of frizz" is not an insult?  People who call their frizzy hair curly is not an insult?  It is strange then that so many people actually felt insulted.

13.  So, you are publicly making fun of the hair of a person you employ (your personal trainer) and that somehow makes it O.K.?  Again, I wonder if she is actually aware of this Facebook post. 

Curls wrote in one of their threads:
 "PLEASE explain to us how we hurt your feelings? We are baffled... if others are talking, unintelligently about a gravely misconstrued banner, i cannot control that...nor will we worry about it. we cannot please everyone, certainly not those with an axe to grind. i will continue to service those that can and will 1. communicate respectfully with us 2. present their ideas clearly, as you did, and 3. have a clear and open mind. "

In one post they say they don't insult people.  In the next post they call people who don't agree with them unintelligent.  The reader should judge for themselves if the deleted comments above seem respectful, clear, and open minded.

Here is a link to a post about the CURLS Facebook posts.   


  1. Thanks for the objective reporting you've provided on this matter. It's sad that they refused to be reasoned with.

    JB - a "frizzy straight hair" turned wavy with proper care and styling.

    1. I can't say that I'm truly objective. I did try to hold back some of my opinions though. I also had "frizzy straight hair" without proper care and styling. Maybe a bit more fuzzy then frizzy. :)

  2. Exactly. The very fact that they don't see anything wrong with being nice to a person's face and then turning around and making fun of/laughing at them behind their back is mind-boggling. I've never bought their products before but I'm sure as hell not going to in the future.

  3. will be sure to avoid their products when they display such ignorance and lack of manners

  4. If those posts are "rude" I'm a runway model. They simply made too much sense and the respondents were in too deep. Denial. It ain't just a river......

  5. It's like they're beating a dead horse. Everyone around them is telling them the horse is dead, but they continue to insist it's alive and no one else "understands the horse like they do".

    But seriously, even if they were right about the hair type, despite the fact they didn't name names, they still shouldn't have made those comments public. If I was talking loudly about a customer at work around a bunch of other customers, I could be fired for it. No matter what one thinks, one maintains an air of professionalism. Save the jokes for the break room or after work.

  6. Ho. Ly. Cow. I am so mad that I ordered product from them and it will be delivered tomorrow. I posted a comment and hope I can figure out how to do a screen shot of it. Anyway, the nuts and bolts are that I am returning the box unopened.

  7. Here's what I posted:
    "Wow. I am in the process of undoing many years of damage from heat tools and shampoos and treatments with sulfates and silicones. I had convinced myself that it was straight but frizzy. As I discovered my wavy hair (and it is wavy in terms of extremely loose spirals, not just a two-dimensional wave). I was excited to try your products and ordered online. But since I am wavy and your post and others have made it clear that your products are not meant for anything other than curly, I guess when it is delivered tomorrow, I will be sending it back, unopened. My daughter has beautiful 3b curls, however, I also will not be purchasing your product for her. There are plenty of other lines specific to curly hair who don't make comments about their customers like this. FYI, I work on the "front lines" in customer service. We have very specific directives that giving our customers the utmost respect is required. If one of our customers said something that I thought was incorrect and I made a joke about it on FB, you can bet your booty that I would be canned. Period. The level of respect and service that I have given to our customers for the past ten years has become engrained in my psyche, and so I won't support other companies who have other opinions about that and won't consider looking at it from another perspective. Yes. I once had straight frizzy hair (which was wavy in disguise) and I am offended. And, per your request, I will not like your page. I will also take a screen shot of this post to see if it is deleted as others have."

  8. Wow, how incredibly rude and unprofessional of CURLS!

    Like many others here, I have spent years in customer service and would never mock or insult anyone like that, nor will I support a company that does so.

    Thanks for letting me know what a terribly unprofessional business you are, so I can avoid your products! Hope you've enjoyed all the customers you've lost in the past year!