Beware of FAKE Hair Products!
We’ve all seen faux Gucci handbags, fake Louis Vuitton belts, and even dupe MAC makeup. However, my jaw dropped to the floor when I saw Deva Certified Curl Specialist Christin Brown’s (@curlfactor) SnapChat story about fake DevaCurl products. The gag is, she was talking about fake products being sold at huge retailers like CVS, Bed Bath and Beyond, and Target. Not my Tarjay?! Black women alone spend over 7.5 billion dollars annually on beauty products and everyone wants a piece of the pie, including counterfeiters.
Have you ever been at your local grocery store and saw Redken or CHI in stock? I definitely have, in several grocery stores actually. 🙁 Salon products are usually the type of products that are either duplicated or sold illegally. The practice of illegally selling products is called Diversion and is referred to as the Gray Market. Many retailers who are not authorized to sell certain hair products will store them away for a few years until the product code has expired. Oftentimes, hair products go rancid after a year, so when the unauthorized dealer decide to sell them, the product is more than likely expired. So how can a fake hair product or an unauthorized dealer’s merchandise be spotted?
A few things to look for are:
1. The retailer puts a new barcode over the original one.
Hair care products come with their own barcode stamped on the product’s label. These companies have authorized dealers whom utilize the original stamped barcode to scan for purchases. If a product has a new barcode which is usually a sticker placed over the original code, it means that the retailer isn’t authorized to seller and the product is likely expired. Many hair care brands have a list of the authorized dealers that sell their products on their website. Check there or call the company to ensure that you aren’t getting duped.
2. Inconsistent packaging and formulation.
Brands put a lot of time and effort into quality control. Though there are fake products that look and feel like the original, counterfeits can have inconsistencies in weight, labeling information, and formula. If a product doesn’t seem to perform like it did in the past, check to see if you purchased the product from an authorized retailer.
3. Lower Price
Getting a product that normally cost $25 for $12 may seem like a frugal find. However, if it’s too good to be true, it probably is. For authorized dealers, the reduced price tag may be for a sale, to make room for more stock, or because the product is about to expire.
Besides the aforementioned retailers, there are many other brick and mortar retailers and online stores that sell illegal and fake products. As consumers, it’s important for us to educate ourselves on the products we purchase. We entrust businesses to provide us with quality merchandise, but we have to realize that many businesses are out to make money by any means. Discovering this practice has been extremely enlightening for me and will make me think twice about feeding my inner product junkie.
What brands do you use for your beauty needs and where do your purchase them from?