…by Bee of 83toinfinity
There are times when I’m insanely jealous of our American brothers and sisters. Sure, we Canadians have the best maple syrup, Caribana, and universal health care – but Americans have something that makes me green with envy. Easy access to amazing hair care products.
How many times have you visited a blog or watched a YouTuber’s video, extolling the virtues of some amazing product – only to realize that it isn’t available where you live? Curses! This happened to me all the time during my early days of wearing my hair naturally, and it frustrated my inner product junky to no end. So many seemingly amazing products were out there, however I had no access to them.
Ok – that’s not completely true. I found out that some lines did ship to Canada, but that required a wait and extra costs for shipping & handling. I also found out that some specialty stores carried the lines I wanted to try, however the price mark up made it almost impossible to part with my money. Trips to the USA became missions for hair products – the Duty Free stop for Ciroc and Nuvo used to be my biggest thrill, but now it was all about smuggling shampoos, conditioners, and styling products across the border.
An interesting thing happened when I was in Philly for the Blogging While Brown conference. With the number of natural hair blogs out there, hair care lines took advantage and sent their reps to, well, represent. I met some awesome people, but most of them were surprised when I said I was from Toronto. They asked about diversity and the natural hair population of the city, and seemed shocked when I broke it down for them. I let them all know that there was an entire untapped market in Canada, and that there were people who would happily purchase their products. I became an unofficial spokesperson for Canadian Naturals Who Desperately Want To Try New Products, and did my best to spread the word to the brands in attendance.
Will it work? Well, with more hair care lines becoming available in Walmart, Target, and Whole Foods in the USA, I can only hope that they will send some cases up across the border to fill our stores as well. The rumour is that many brands don’t feel that there are any money-making opportunities in Canada, and thus, they avoid the region. Here’s hoping that someone decides to take a chance on their neighbours to the north – without trying to charge us an arm and a leg!