Friday, April 24, 2009


You can learn about diversion in a kindergarten school paper.

Hats need to go off to GG & Company of Omaha, Nebraska. Christina Larson, CPA, one of our great staff people, was for some reason looking at her kindergarten daughter’s school news paper. There in the middle of the school newspaper was an article entitled “CAUTION: This shampoo may be hazardous to your health.” The content was provided by GG & Co., a full service salon.

I like to have these blog entries fairly small and easy to read so I would rather link you to the article, but unfortunately the kindergarten newspaper is not online so I have to reprint the whole thing.

The next time you buy a professional hair product in a drugstore or grocery store, you may want to think twice. It’s either diverted or counterfeit, and using these products could put your health at risk.

The professional hair care industry identifies product as “diverted” when a professional-use-only product or a product that requires a professional recommendation shows up on grocery, drug or Internet store shelves. In most cases, manufacturers will guarantee professional hair care products only when purchased from a hair salon. John Paul Mitchell Systems, manufacturer of Paul Mitchell, is one such company.

“The professional salon industry is our only business,” said John Paul DeJoria, Chairman and CEO of John Paul Mitchell Systems. “If you buy Paul Mitchell at a grocery store, drug store or from the internet, it’s not authentic and it’s not guaranteed.”

It’s a Health Hazard
How diverted products reach mass retail shelves is a dark story. Generally acquired through the gray or black market, diverted products are tampered with, so what’s on the label is not necessarily what’s in the bottle.

Counterfeit products are even more dangerous independent tests run by FOX News found toxic levels of bacteria in the counterfeit products it analyzed. More importantly, these types of diverted products can make their users sick enough to require medical care. (Source: FOX News, June 2003 and Independent laboratory analysis.)

It’s a Steal – Not a Deal
Buying diverted products can actually cost more than if you purchase authentic products at a hair salon. The product passes through so many hands before reaching a mass retailer’s shelves that a single bottle can cost as much as $3 more than if it was purchased in a hair salon.

It’s Professional for a Reason
Manufacturers invest millions of dollars to train hairdressers on the proper use of professional salon products. In turn, hairdressers share their expertise when recommending products clients can use for their hair type and condition.