Boots in row over security tags on afro hair products

A customer's video has captured the stark difference products aimed at black consumers and those aimed at white ones were treated in one Wembley store

HAIRCARE ROW: Boots has been slammed over using security tags on black hair products

A MAKEUP artist has slammed Boots for placing security tags on afro hair products and not those aimed at European people.

Natasha Wright filmed the shelves of a Wembley store, recording her outrage at the stark difference in the way that haircare items aimed at white people and those aimed black people had been treated by staff.

Wright said that while it was “really nice” the brand had embraced black haircare, she was really disappointed in the company.

In her video, Wright filmed several shelves in Boots’ Wembley High Road store, capturing a number of the major brands including L’Oreal, Aussie and Garnier – none of which were tagged. When she reached the black haircare section, where brands such as Cantu and Shea Moisture were stocked, security tags were clearly visible on the products.

Outraged at what she was witnessing, Wright said: “Bold as anything, black haircare, why has everything got a bug on it? What are you trying to say Boots?”

One item, which appeared to be Cantu edge stay gel which retails for £6.99 in Boots, was placed inside a secure plastic case that could only be opened by a member of staff. 

Absolutely Disappointed in Boots, like Seriously YOU REALLY BUGGING OUT BOOTS!!!….Pardon the Pun. But let’s get back to the Seriousness of the matter, as a person of colour it’s a wonderful thing when we can do a beauty shop all in one place, it makes you feel included. Now to all of you out there that don’t know the UK black hair industry is worth an estimated £88 million, with black women on average spending three times more than white women on hair care, so to be made to feel like second class citizens is an absolute travesty🤬🤬🤬🤬, I looked around in that hair section hoping to find European hair care bugged but no, I was even willing it to happen so that I would be wrong but no…… an age of so called, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion SHAME ON YOU BOOTS🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬

Posted by Natasha Janine Wright on Wednesday, 11 September 2019

Wright said: “Now at the end of the day, we’ve had our black hair care on our normal streets of London in our black hair shops none of their products have been bugged. So why the hell Boots are you bugging black haircare? If you think we’re going to be coming into your stores stealing, don’t bother to stock it, stick to what you know best, don’t come and insult us Boots.”

In a caption posted alongside the video on Facebook, Wright wrote: “As a person of colour, it’s a wonderful thing when we can do a beauty shop all in one place, it makes you feel included. Now to all of you out there that don’t know, the UK black hair industry is worth an estimated £88 million, with black women on average spending three times more than white women on hair care, so to be made to feel like second class citizens is an absolute travesty.”

The Sun reported Boots said: “To prevent theft our colleagues add security tags to the products they believe are being stolen. They do this regardless of what the product is, the cost of it, or which aisle they are on.”

Comments Form


  1. | Jenny

    If offended by Boots behavior buy your hair products elsewhere. Now they are exposed they will either stop selling it or take the bugs off. It looks bad but there might be a legitimate reason what if those products walk more frequently than others. Just sitting on the fence


    • | Kim

      Wow tge bigot came out for this one. I think it is time for Boots to go into administration so casual racism on England’s high street finally takes it’s last breath aswe all shop on line.


  2. | Ann

    Just goes to show how as people of colour we are treated differently all be it very suttee and discretely so that it is not easily recognised. Predecessor is very very prevelent in many disguise,most of us just go about blindly


  3. | Claudette Owens

    Boots your so late in years yet the bias in how we are marketed again seems to be difficult for such a established company. If you really are intersed in being . Inclusive. Check you competition. Better still consult with your customers appropriately.


  4. | Jackie

    The racism is coming out from every corner.


  5. | Kelly Beaumont

    Everything this days is being construed as being racist, where is this world heading to! Boots you are not the first and not even the last, other brands will follow. I believe every shop has its legitimate reasons for what they do, could be this products are not being accounted due to theft or other reasons hence the tags.


  6. | Precious Evans

    It’s not just boots who are doing this. I noticed this in same practice with blackhair products in Superdrug.

    Thanks for highlighting a problem in this area, as it’s wrong and needs to be stopped.


  7. | Janie

    I see y u feel offended! But the reality is this boots has been around for many many years do have we people of colour who need these products! What u have to ask ur self is y only now are they providing this product for us people of colour!? For there gain! They do care about our feelings or Evan that we need the products there providing with insult! So best suggestion is shop else where they don’t deserve our money or our custom! We need to stop building up they company s that don’t even respect our culture our people our needs! They didn’t provide the products for our benefit! They providing them for there financial gains and they made sure they made it clear what they think of the people there providing too with there sly disrespect! Because we people of colour definitely need out products taged because we can’t afford such luxuries! Kmt fuck boots ! Buy elsewhere! They don’t deserve our money! Same goes for supadrug! This really annoys me! Thanks for the highlight! Although it will be brushed under the carpet like all the other Blanton race disrespecting! …Janie. Bristol .uk


  8. | Desrine Beckford

    Boycott the products. For years I’ve despaired that their make up range was limited in darker shade products. Hello, black, brown comes many hues! We’ve been supporting our local shops, many of whom trade direct with African and Caribbean countries and should continue to do so.


  9. | Jill watson

    Clearly these products are prone too theft so what are they supposed to do. The old racist card comes out ridiculous. Boots just stop selling it!! No doubt that will be classed as racist


  10. | Anna

    Another side to this is that these products have become increasingly popular with the Curly Girl Method, a now massive global movement with a huge following of predominantly white women. Depressingly it may be this, as much as anything, that has driven the increasing prominence of the products in the shops.


  11. | Dorothy Broughton

    It’s so disgraceful basically you are calling all black people thief. Yet still we are the one spending money in your shop to be honest I got loyalty card which I will put in De bin and as from today I will not buying anything from dem they have to to an out and out apology on the media


  12. | Chris

    What I do know is that I can walk into a shop on any high street and black products without any security Tags on Boots have to justify themselves


  13. | Patrick

    Don’t really see a problem with this, I’m sure they have statistics to back up that these products are being stolen much more than the others. If you don’t like it go to Superdrug, pretty simple.


  14. | Grace

    Just one more reason why black people need to support black businesses. Why give your money to companies that don’t care for us and OPENLY don’t respect us. Hit them where it hurts and that’s in their pockets.


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