Alikay Naturals is a brand dedicated to creating some of the best all-natural, chemical free products to meet the various hair and skincare needs of their customers. The company was formed in 2009 after the founder, Rochelle Graham-Campbell, went natural a few years prior and couldn’t find any products to suit her needs.
Fast forward to nearly seven years later, Alikay Naturals has progressed significantly and has become a staple in many natural and relaxed women’s hair regimens. The brand offers great products for all hair and skin types, but in recent news it has become the center of budding controversy due to a warning put out by the FDA.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has warned consumers against using Alikay Naturals Bentonite Me Baby due to a potential risk of lead poisoning after finding elevated levels of lead in the product.
Not only are they asking consumers to refrain from purchasing or using the product, but they are also advising people who have ever used the product for themselves—or their children—to seek medical attention immediately.
The product label states that Bentonite Me Baby can either be applied topically or ingested to reap the claimed benefits of the purifying and detoxifying agent.
However, according to a statement given to PR Newswire, Rochelle Graham-Campbell of Alikay Naturals claims that they do not promote internal consumption nor do they advise the products be used by children.
“Although, our previous label stated the benefits of hair, skin and internal use of bentonite, we never provided the recommendations or recipes for internal consumption. The label did provide recommendations for the use on hair and skin. In addition, our label advised that the consumer consulted a physician if they chose to do it internally. Our Bentonite Me Baby is not marketed as a food or consumption product. We do not support the use of this product on children. I have a genuinely transparent relationship with all of my consumers, many who have been around before the release of Bentonite Me Baby. There are thousands who have used our product on a consistent basis without any problems. I will be releasing a video statement to give specific details surrounding the FDA’s investigations and findings”
To date, there has been absolutely zero confirmed cases of lead poisoning or any other serious health problems associated with this product. And because the product is usually used topically, has low absorption, and is not ingested most of the time, the fear of lead poisoning isn’t a great one.
However, the FDA and consumers are still taking this warning seriously because exposure to lead can have adverse effects on health such as damage of the nervous system and kidneys, as well as impaired cognitive functions.
I have not tried this product or any other bentonite clay, but I have interest in it. I believe this comes down to money and power. The FDA does nothing to the many companies who are putting harmful chemicals in products that are specified for eating purposes. Although we should all be careful and do our own research, we should also be aware of the many attacks that may infiltrate the black hair care community.