Do you wonder if you can really trust hair reviewers with the products they're pushing?
Especially if the reviewers suddenly appear out of nowhere on a Social Media Channel and appear to have no real hair expertise or training?
Recently my Inbox has been flooded with a dizzying array of offers for 100% free hair related products if I would be willing to review them and blog about them. Of course the hidden message in all of the offers was that I would blog positively about the products.
Afterall, why would a company send out free products in order to receive negative reviews?
Saying No To Free Hair Products
I can honestly share that I politely refused all the free product reviews inquiries. Unfortunately the overwhelming offers of free hair products for my review made me more suspicious than ever before of whether I could really trust hair reviewers.
Since Hairboutique.com's e-store no longer sells directly to consumers, when I do recommend hair related products in my various articles and blogs, I only recommend products I believe are truly appropriate for the situation.
Yes, I might link to that product on Amazon, but usually it's an afterthought to help people find the products I suggest. Although we are a long time Amazon affiliate, we make almost no revenue from that connection and we do disclose our Amazon connection on the HairBoutique.com site.
Recommending Hair Products From My Own History
I often recommend hair products I have a history with on my own hair including Phyto, Rene Furterer, L'Oreal (ARTec) and Matrix. We haven't sold any of these listed products for close to a year. As a result, neither I nor Hairboutique.com receive any type of financial benefit from the companies listed.
The truth? I have been using products from these brands for over 20 years and they have never let me down. I also have received some great results from grocery store/mass market brands which I also recommend when it's appropriate to the blog.
When I recommend any of these products, it's because they have worked for me without fail for year.
Of course I always apply the disclaimer that not all products works for all types of hair or people. They work for me and my naturally textured, hip length hair.
The Hair Reviewer Bad Feedback Trap
One of the reasons I question whether I can trust hair reviewers is because of the trap they fall into. What happens if a hair reviewer receives products they absolutely hate, don't work for their hair or seem overpriced for the results?
Does the hair reviewer accept free hair care or styling products and then write a negative review about them? Wouldn't that be like receiving a free mani and pedi from a new spa and then telling all your friends not to go there?
I guess it would be acceptable to say negative things about a product which was sent to you for no cost, but how many people would be willing to actually do that?
My mom taught me if you can't say anything nice about someone or something, don't say anything at all. That policy has always worked for me.
Of course sometimes you have to be totally honest with loved ones, employees and people in your life.
I have found anyone can provide honesty with integrity, kindness and consideration. In fact, integrity, kindness, consideration and honesty are some of my favorite qualities in today's world.
Long History Of Print Magazine Product Review Questions
Print magazines such as Vogue, Glamour, Bazaar and Allure, to name a few, have been providing hair product reviews forever. In some cases the editors will do reader surveys to determine the popularity of the products they recommend.
In other cases, they will recommend products as a result of free samples, because of subtle pressure because the manufacturer spends a lot of money on advertising in the magazine or because the editors have a long relationship with a brand.
Of course there are other reasons, but those are some of the key factors in what hair products are promoted.
Who Can You Really Trust For Fair Hair Product Reviews?
The administrators of the HairTalk™ are very hands off. As a result, the reviews provided are usually very trustworthy.
The Long Hair Community is also a place I have long trusted for hair product reviews. Since I have hip length long hair, I've been visiting the board off and off for more than 10 years to read about hair products I might like to try.
The Long Hair Community regulars know the importance of providing honest feedback on products.
Of course ultimately if you decide a hair product might be right for you and your hair's needs, buy it and try it. Keep notes and be willing to fairly share them with others.
This creates good hair product review karma.
Summary - Should You Ever Trust Hair Reviewers?
If a blogger or review provides a disclaimer about their review process and it's clear they are not being paid in any way for the review, you can probably feel more comfortable about their feedback.
When a reviewer discloses, as they are required to by law, they are receiving free products or other compensation for their reviews, you may want to read other independent reviews about the product in question.At the end of the day, form your own opinions about whether you should trust hair reviewers with recommending the products you buy for your hair.