Clicks Hair Advert: 'We Need To Focus On Buying From Black-Owned Companies'

"It's time that we spend our money someplace else", says hair blogger Kavuli Nyali.

Beauty and health retailer Clicks has come under fire for an advert which is seen as prejudiced against black natural hair.


An advert for TRESemmé products that appeared on its website showed an image of black natural hair labelled as 'dry and damaged' while an image of white hair appears with the phrase 'normal hair'.

Clicks issued several apologies after it was slammed on social media for perpetuating racist undertones and negative sentiments towards black natural hair.

CapeTalk host Sara-Jayne King hosted a panel discussion about the offensive advert and the broader concept of hair politics in South Africa.
Clicks Hair Advert: 'We Need To Focus On Buying From Black-Owned Companies'

She spoke with hair blogger and consultant Kavuli Nyali, PR expert Nelisa Ngqulana, and content creator Robyn Ruth Thomas.

Nyali says she's not surprised at the incident because Clicks has never prioritised or valued black women beyond their wallets. She says the retailer's apology is not enough.

She has encouraged black men and women to use their black buying power to support black-owned haircare businesses in South Africa.

I really do believe that the [Clicks] brand has been rating us in terms of our money but not in terms of our opinions. For years now, Clicks has done the bare minimum when it comes to black women. Kavuli Nyali, Market researcher, hair blogger, natural hair consultant, and healthy hair advocate

I do think that it's time that we focus our attention on black-owned businesses and leave their conglomerate to do whatever it is they think they need to do with their 'normal hair' folks. Kavuli Nyali, Market researcher, hair blogger, natural hair consultant, and healthy hair advocate


Ngqulana says Clicks has failed to take full responsibility for the incident. She says the debacle is a direct consequence of "not having a diverse team" shaping the organisation's strategy and output.

The PR consultant says Clicks has not been transparent about the lack of transformation in the internal structures of the business, as well as with their service providers.

In the statement, Clicks does not take responsibility in the sense that... they talk about the third party that supplied them with the images and how it was an 'oversight'... They try to downplay the organisation's responsibility in terms of making sure they're gatekeeping. Nelisa Ngqulana, Director - PR Trends ZA

They are talking about diversity workshops, we've heard this all before... South African consumers are not that easily fooled any more when it comes to this kind of issue. Nelisa Ngqulana, Director - PR Trends ZA

Thomas says society needs to let go of the notion of "good hair" and "bad hair" which is often perpetuated through advertising.

She says people shouldn't downplay the psychological impact of images that portray black natural hair in a negative light.

There's simply no such thing as good hair. I believe good hair is healthy hair, regardless of your hair type and texture. Robyn Ruth Thomas, Natural hair blogger and content creator

Afro-textured hair, partially type 4 hair, has not received as much [media] coverage and education as other hair types. Robyn Ruth Thomas, Natural hair blogger and content creator


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