Why TRESemme Products should be CANCELED!

Amber Brown
5 min readSep 12, 2020


Forget removing the images from the marketing world, how about they remove the sickening apartheid from their hearts.

The Tresemme and Clicks AD that caused a uproar

We do not want your apologies anymore. WE WANT CHANGE!

Or how about equality, respect, and a break from racial discrimination. You can talk about my shoes, my last season dress, hell, you can even talk about my Walmart wearing makeup. But once you talk about my hair, YOU HAVE CROSSED THE LINE. I am sure other women feel the same exact way that I do.

The remarks that Click and Tresemme SA (South Africa) have made were idiotically insensitive. The AD absolutely stereotyped against people of color.

Forget removing the images from the marketing world, how about they remove the sicking apartheid from their hearts.

Let’s review what happened, shall we?

Within the beginning of this month, Tresemme SA advert was sent over to Click, an African Beauty retailer, to be promoted throughout the South African community. As you can see on the left, the advert demonstrates two Black women with the subtitles “dry and damage, frizzy dull hair,” while in comparisons down below is two White women who have the subtitles, “fine and flat normal hair.” As if to say that a White women's hair is more superior than a Black women's hair. When the community witness this, it caused an uproar. Protestors denounced the advert as dehumanizing. In which they have every right to feel that way!

The history of Hair Racism in South Africa

Hair Pencil Test
Hair Pencil Test

I know I was not the only black kid growing up who use to stuff pencils in my afro instead of behind my ear. It was a fun way for my pencil to stay in place without it getting knocked out. Yes, it would get lost or I would simply forget that it was there. I loved how naturally thick my hair was. It felt like a magic trick, I could hide anything in there. Unfortunately, that “magic trick” of mine was not a magic trick for others in South Africa who were under a 1950 Population Registration Act which required citizens of South Africa to be registered in accordance to their racial characteristics as part of the system of apartheid. The test would involve sliding a pencil in the hair of either White, Blacks, Biracials, Asian, and even Hispanics to determine if they passed to be either “white enough” or “black enough” to be placed in a racial group.


Here’s the problem, this is what happens when a company or a group of people have been racist for so long that they can’t differentiate between what’s right and what’s wrong or they feel as if they can get away with something like this. This is also why I will not accept an apology in this form. In what part of their shallow minds was this ok? It almost seems like it was planned for some type of promotional attention. For Click to be a African Beauty retailer…. it’s mind boggling for them to accept an ad that actively discredits the beauty of natural hair. Honestly, what did they expect when they released this advert to the public? Did they think Black people were going to say, “Oo yeah, Tresemme is totally right. Having African hair sucks! I need to dye my hair blonde and burn the crap out of it to make it straight.”

Come over here and let me drop some BLACK knowledge about our hair

This picture to the left demonstrates a black woman's hair before and after it is moisturized. Our hair is high maintenance and it takes quite a lot to maintain the beauty of it. We all know we are not Beyonce’, we did not “wake up like this.” If you really want to know what happen, our bonnets came off in the middle of our sleep or if you are like me, we were to lazy to put one on.

Now, this picture demonstrates a white woman’s hair before and after when it is dry, frizzy, and dull, before it becomes smooth and straight. Does she look like Beyonce’ to you? No. She did not wake up like this.

My point is, whether you’re white, black, hispanic, asian, or whatever race you are; hair is hair! No hair is better than the next person. It’s the way you care for your hair that counts! No one should feel singled out because of the texture hair they were giving by God. Think about the young black girls who feel less beautiful because of companies like Tresemme. That is why the suicidal rate is up higher now in kids than ever before. Society should not have a place in the hearts of people but people should have their hearts in society to be confidently and comfortable different.

Why cancel Tresemme?

Companies like Tresemme should realize the enormous voice and influence that they have. Therefore, they should be pouring out RESPECT and POSITIVITY to everyone who is different. When a company has a platform like that, it should be a no brainer that they can either make people feel beautiful or make people feel like Shrek's wife Fiona. Of course people are still going to support them but that just shows you how misguided someones standards are. What do I mean by that is, if I have a friend who is racist and I still hangout with them, how does that make me look? I don’t care how much value I received from that relationship, I have standards that will not be crossed.

Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash

On that note, if you made it this far I want to tell you that you are beautiful. No matter the color of your skin or the texture of your hair. God made no mistakes when he made you. It’s not about the beauty on the outside. Trust me, I had a sister who was drop dead gorgeous but she was completely ugly on the inside and that made her… well she was ugly. Be like a beautiful healthy Rose, start with your roots and the whole world will admire the blessings of who and what you are. Take care!



Amber Brown

For starters, writing is the golden ratio. For the ending, I write about all my secrets, feelings, and poetry.