Buyer Beware: Old Product Inventory

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During the first couple months of my natural hair journey, I struggled with dry, hard hair.  Products made it hard.  Air-drying with no products made it hard.  Leave-in’s made it hard and it eternally looked ashy and dry.  An early front runner was Kinky Curly’s Knot Today leave in and detangler.  It’s definitely great for detangling, due to it’s great slip, but it was a not quite when it came to helping to moisturize my hair.  My hair didn’t look ashy when it dried, but it just didn’t feel moisturized.

I was checking out a natural food store that my cousin had discovered and stumbled upon a bunch of products raved about by other curlies for really good prices.  I decided to pick up a bottle of Giovanni’s Direct Leave In Conditioner.  It was only $5, so why not?  When I used it the first time, it wasn’t exactly a success, but I could see the potential.  It was a little too much for my hair so I decided to dilute it.  I mixed it in a spray bottle with some water and a little oil so that I could moisturize and seal in one step.  Great results!  My only gripe was that it left my hair slightly crispy.

A couple of weeks ago I decided that it was time to restock and thanks to a post by NaturalHairMojo, I found out it was on sale at Whole Foods for $4 and some change.  Score!  After purchasing and thanking Mojo on twitter, she mentioned that she loved it too especially since they changed the formula.  Changed the formula?  Turns out a couple years back, they changed the formula to one that is not quite as heavy and apparently doesn’t make your hair hard.  Hard hair and heaviness were the chief complaints prior to the change.  So I checked my old bottle against the new.  The old bottle from the natural food’s store, was literally old.  The formula was different, there were slight changes in the packaging and the copyright was ’09.  My new bottle is ’10.

It never occurred to me that the low price was because it was old inventory.  For some reason it kind of reminded me of how you can buy cheap t-shirts at the flea market for the team that lost a national championship.  In somebody’s flea market somewhere or even in a foreign country, someone is making money off of all of the “Congratulations Miami!” shirts that were printed.  They have to print them in advance so that they can put them on when they win and so that they can be on sale the next day.  Yeah, that’s how I feel.  From now on, if I spot a product in an off the beaten path store for the low, I’m checking the dates!

By the way, I’m happy to report that I like the new formula better.  No crispiness at all.

Freelance Graphic Designer, Lifestyle Blogger, Natural Hair Enthusiast and Fitness Convert...yeah, I wear a lot of hats. :)