Why I Stopped Collaborating With SugarBear Hair Vitamins

A few months ago I reached out to Sugarbear Hair to ask if I could collaborate with them. I had seen numerous posts from hair gurus about how amazing their gummy bear hair vitamins were, and since I was being more active on Instagram and YouTube, I thought it would be a good idea to test them out for my followers. Before reaching out to the company, I was already taking Biotin, and saw amazing results from it. So with that in mind, I had high hopes for these gummy bears, despite being very sceptical in the past about their continuous use of youtubers to advertise their product. How did I get on?

A week or two after getting in contact with the company, the vitamins landed in my post. To say I was excited was an understatement. I’m on a natural journey to try and grow my hair as healthy and long as possible, and after seeing amazing results with Biotin, I was excited to document my journey with these gummy bears and to tell all my followers that it’s not a scam! Now the first thing I had to do before starting my journey was take a photo and upload it onto Instagram. This is the deal I made with the company you see – to post 3 photos on Instagram; one photo for each month of use. The sun was shining, it was hot outside, I had a day off work and I thought why not take a photo while I relax in my garden? I put on my makeup, got my canon 600d out and headed to the grass with my blanket for my first official branded photo. It was harder than I thought!! I had to look through Instagram for some inspiration and as I got an idea of the types of photos they liked, I got to work. I laid down, twisted, turned, flung my hair to one side, rolled onto another side, emptied the bottle and so forth. 20 minutes later I felt like I had a decent enough photo to show the team. I went ahead and forward this photo to the team….

…but they didn’t like it. Though the photo was nice, they fed-back that they wanted my hair to be curly in the photo and the gummy bear to be in focus (bottle wasn’t as important!). I was really disappointed by this because I put so much effort into trying to get a really nice photo for the team, one that would be Instagram worthy. I guess it was just my first taste of what it was really like to collaborate with a brand. Just because you think it’s good, doesn’t mean the brand will. Well, I did get the right photo but it took some time. That wasn’t because they were being difficult, but moreso because my hair was straight for the first time in 6 months and I wasn’t about to wash it out just to get a photo for the brand. I was travelling to Hong Kong the next day so I enjoyed my straight hair, holiday and then came back to deal with the brand. I must say, by this stage I had started taking the hair vitamins. I was taking 2 a day and really wanted to get the first photo out before I had finished the bottle. When I returned home, I got some direction from Sugarbear about the type of photo they wanted. They showed me a closeup photo on Instagram that they liked of me, so I basically recreated that but in a way where I would show the gummy bear aswell. This is what I came up with…

…they approved! Thank god because I really didn’t enjoy having to put on a full face of makeup just to take a photo.

Where Did It All Go Wrong?

You can probably tell from the photo that I used facetune to smooth the hell out of my face, but there’s a reason for that – spots! I never really edit my IG photos with facetune as a filter normally does the job, but for some reason I just couldn’t shake the pimples I was getting. Yes pimples! I started to break out on my cheeks and chin but I didn’t know why. On top of this, my hair began getting really dry and no matter what I did, I could fix it. I thought it was a change in climate, and I was going out buying all these conditioners and products to help fix the problem. I even posted my situation up on Instagram so my followers could offer their advice.

People on Instagram were telling me it’s most likely product buildup so I washed my hair using my clarifying shampoo, but nothing had changed. I couldn’t think what it was but after I finished the first bottle of vitamins it dawned on me that the only thing that has changed in my routine was the vitamins. I stopped taking them immediately and focused on getting my skin and hair back to normal. A few weeks passed and I received an email from Sugarbear Hair stating that the second photo should have gone up on Instagram already. Darn, I totally forgot about them. They were the least of my worries to be honest, but I felt terrible that I had reached out to them and let them down. I informed them of the reason why I hadn’t been posting but agreed to continue with my journey anyway. I did also tell them that should I start to get breakouts from the vitamins again, I will have to be very honest with my readers about my experience using their product. They responded very nicely asking me to take a break for 2 weeks, which really wouldn’t have made any difference because at this time, I hadn’t been taking their vitamins for a few weeks anyway. Moving on, as promised I wanted to get a photo for them as I had started the second bottle. I didn’t want another selfie of me and the product, and to be quite honest I just didn’t have the time to take a photo like that. At this point I had got a full time job (previously worked as a Freelancer so was super flexible) and as we were entering the winter months, it was starting to get dark very early. On top of this, I didn’t exactly have a photographer friend who could help me take a photo of me rolling around in grass or by the beach…as these IG models do. So I did the best I could do. I thought it would be nice to have the Sugarbear Hair Vitamins bottle in an outdoors setting, with a nice blurry background. So here is what I came up with and sent over to the team.

I thought to myself, this isn’t a bad photo and actually I wish I put more effort into my everyday Instagram photos like I do into this branded content. I was feeling good about this one and I couldn’t wait to post in on my timeline. Errrm well that was never going to happen because I got a response from Sugarbear saying they cannot approve photos of the product alone, and the ambassador needs to be present in the photo. It was at this point that I could have cried. No seriously! I knew deep down that I didn’t have the time or “skills” to post these amazing photos that I see all over Instagram. I just about learned how to operate my self-timer to take the selfie approved in my first posting. What was I going to do? I still kept a positive mind and thought I could do it, just not in the timeframe that they want me to. I felt a bit crap like I had let the brand down, but it also taught me valuable lessons about how much control the brand has. I started thinking that actually, this isn’t worth it at all. I would have rather spent my money on the product and had the flexibility to post whatever photo I wanted, with whatever caption I wanted, without both of them having to be approved by the team first. Honestly, if I was posting this product myself, I would be able to mention in the caption about my experience with my skin breaking out and of my hair getting dryer and more bristly as a result of the product, not product buildup.

Did I mention breakouts? Yes, within a week or even days of this photo being rejected, I started to get small pimples again. I knew at that moment in time it was the vitamins. I wasn’t wearing any makeup, my skincare routine using tea tree oil hadn’t changed and my hair routine hadn’t changed. There was only one thing I could put the blame on – Sugarbear Hair Vitamins.

Instead of scrambling my efforts to get another decent photo, I decided that it was time to give up my collaboration with the brand. Life had simply taken over and I didn’t have the time or resources to produce the quality photo they needed, without it being ridiculously off-schedule. I sent the PR team an email asking for details where I could make full payment of the 3 bottles that were sent to me – I’m still waiting to hear back. Even though I only used one and a half bottles, I just think for the sheer fact that I reached out to them and for their kindness towards me, it’s the least I can do. I don’t want to just stop and not honour my word with them because let’s be real, they didn’t reach out to me, I reached out to them. What I will say again is that this has been a great learning curve for me, one that I will think twice about before reaching out or agreeing to work with a brand again.

Did My Hair Grow?

In short, the answer is no but to be fair I only used one and a half bottles so maybe I’m not the best example. With that being said, I saw amazing results with Biotin in a month, which continued for the 3 months I was taking it.

So that was my story with Sugarbear Hair and why I decided to stop collaborating with them. If you have a story with a brand that you’d like to share, I’d love to hear it.



3 Comments on Why I Stopped Collaborating With SugarBear Hair Vitamins

  1. Wow this was actually a really interesting read! I see this company on Instagram all the time but you obviously don’t get to see what it’s like to work with them from a simple Instagram photo! Glad you were so honest with your readers!



    • Thanks hun. It’s so important for me to be honest with my readers because I was someone who believed the hype before learning about the process. Now I can see why it may be hard for people to be honest. The brand literally approves everything you put out and if it’s bad, they’re obviously not going to approve it.


  2. OMG hat story is so crazy!! I’m so sorry that happened to you! I had similar experience with companies and I literally just stop collaborating all together with companies for a while because it was just getting ridiculous and not fun anymore. I’m glad you stayed true to yourself and parted ways this them. 🙂


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