[Elle:] In current MLM news, we understand that the multi-level marketing (MLM) company known as ‘MONAT’ will be launching in the UK in the next few days. Currently, it operates in the USA and Canada.
Can you believe it? MONAT is headed to the UK!! Europe: Join the #HealthyHairRevolution (enrollment starts on Monday)! Learn more at https://t.co/40llKDeQ02 #MONATUK pic.twitter.com/IobfulGmcP
— MONAT (@MONATOfficial) February 9, 2018
Monat Premium Hair Care is Launching in the UK in one week!! Looking for Driven Entrepreneurs to help launch our… https://t.co/5fdXlJgpGI
— SMcCracky (@SMcCracky) February 9, 2018
You may be curious – what is MONAT?
This information piece is written in collaboration with fellow coalition member, Emma the Naked Typist.
Please note: We at the Coalition would never use MLM products (ever again!), so we cannot personally say what MONAT is like – all we can do is highlight and relay what is currently being reported on social media.
We suggest that if you have experienced any of the issues mentioned, you should report it to the FDA in the USA, Health Canada in Canada, or Public Health England (PHE) and Trading Standards in the UK.
Here’s an overview of what we know so far.
MONAT stands for ‘Modern Nature’, and officially opened for business in October 2014 by the Urdaneta family; Luis Urdaneta (Chairman & Founder), his son Rayner Urdaneta (CEO), and later adding Stuart MacMillan as President. MONAT Global is one of the many holdings, and a wholly-owned subsidiary of, Alcora Corp.
Based in Florida and currently operating in USA and Canada, MONAT recruits independent distributors (typically referred to by the firm as “market partners”) to sell haircare products via the direct sales/social media marketing/MLM business model.
MONAT says they “offer one of the most competitive compensation plans in the industry” – up to 40% on personal sales commissions – “as well as amazing promotions and benefits“. So basically, they sell a range of shampoo, conditioners, mousses etc.
[Emma:] I tried to find an Income Disclosure for them but could only find this below “Statement of Typical Participant Earnings” image on Reddit (Canadian Plan, from 2015).
So it’s not just hair loss, it’s cash loss too.
[Elle:] I was also particularly interested in what the Redditor had to say in the comments: “…I called Monat and said I was interested in signing up as a representative, but I wanted to know more about how much money I could make. I asked for an updated Statement of Typical Earnings. The phone representative had no idea what this was, so I had to explain it to her repeatedly.
“She verbally told me there was “lots of money to be made” in the company and offered to email me the commission structure. I explained that I already understood that, but wanted to know more about the amount of money I was likely to make. She then put me on hold, and I hung up after ten minutes of waiting…”
Well, it looks like we’re not going to be seeing an updated Statement any time soon then. Back to the products – being the product of an MLM scheme, they naturally have to be “the next best thing” for the reps to sing from the rooftops…
What makes the products of this particular MLM so ‘special’ then?
“MONAT holds its own signature formula, Rejuveniqe™ Oil Intensive,” states this Yahoo Finance article. “This revolutionary product is a clinically proven blend of rare, significantly potent botanical oils from different countries around the world that serve to enhance the effectiveness of its key ingredient, Abyssinian Oil.”
“This carefully crafted collaboration of science and nature allows MONAT to offer an unparalleled and unique age prevention hair and skincare experience,” it continues. “Providing vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, beta-carotene, omega 3 fatty acids, nutrients, and amino acids…” In layman’s terms, according to the “market partners” on this Quora thread, “MONAT is a natural hair care system. It helps to detox and restore your hair to its natural state and heal it without all the yuck chemicals […] but most excitingly it helps with growth!“
Detox your hair? Interesting.
Like with any MLM, the “marketing partners” are typically cooing over how AMAZING the products are. Similar to how an individual who has discovered the Fountain of Youth may sound. Like this lady, also on the Quora thread.
There seems to be a lot of love for it on Twitter too. After all, MONAT states on their website that “our safe and non-toxic products are clinically researched and scientifically backed, so you can feel confident about what you’re offering.”
#MONAT #UK 🇬🇧 Be one of the first to represent #Monat !!! Everyone is getting great hair!
If… https://t.co/UYvLvQZhT5 — April Schmelzel (@AprilSchmelzel) February 10, 2018
Back on Twitter after 9+ years! How do I use this thing again? 🙈 I’m here to spread the good hair mojo with @MONATOfficial #MONAT #hairmojo
— Monica Jones (@MonicaJMonat) January 30, 2018
There’s also plenty of Before and After photos as evidenced across social media.
I had severe post-partum hair loss. You can see all the breakage I was experiencing! In just 9 weeks on Monat,I have 3 inches of hair growth & so much more texture, thickness, volume and shine. I will be forever grateful for this magic Shampoo! 💜#postpartumhairloss pic.twitter.com/mZhJlu0XO4
— Linda Turcotte (@LindaTurcotte13) February 2, 2018
It’s official! I’m OBSESSED with @MONATOfficial products @monatdreamer ! Check out my before & after…and I just started using the product. #healthyhair2018 #monat #monattitude #countrymusic #haircare #usa pic.twitter.com/H0fJhRyRVK
— Stephanie Quayle (@StephanieQuayle) January 6, 2018
However, there’s also been plenty of negative news surrounding MONAT too.
Many people in the USA and Canada who have used MONAT have experienced “hair loss, scalp sores, irritation, burning, etc.“
Such instances were reported to Vickie Harrington (54), founder of Facebook support group “MONAT – My Modern Nightmare”. The group was created to be a place of solace for all those who had experienced painful reactions from using these products.
Turns out, MONAT bigwigs are outraged by the very existence of My Modern Nightmare. MONAT president, Stuart MacMillan, told BuzzFeed reporter Stephanie McNeal that the group is “sick and disgusting” and that he believes Harrington is connected to their “enemies in the hair care industry“.
In fact, MONAT is now suing Harrington for more than $225,000 in damages, claiming she “defamed MONAT by actively spreading harmful information regarding MONAT’s products that she knew to be false.”
Harrington says she did no such thing, but MONAT is suing her for defamation and libel.
“Harrington’s Facebook posts explicitly or impliedly represent that MONAT’s products cause scalp sores and abrasions, hair loss, balding, and are dangerous for pregnant women, or individuals receiving cancer therapy,” the lawsuit said, saying she has no “scientific or factual basis.”
For the full saga and accounts from other victims, I strongly recommend you read McNeal’s complete article on BuzzFeed: Monat Is Suing A Woman Who Said Their Products Are A “Nightmare”
In the article, McNeal says, “In a statement signed by all eight admins of the group, some of who are choosing to remain anonymous due to fear of retribution, they said they are not after any financial gain.”
“Our ‘gain’ comes from hearing these heart-wrenching testimonies and then hearing them say, ‘if it wasn’t for this group, I wouldn’t have emotionally recovered from this. I felt so alone before I found this group. I was told to push through, it’s detox, and it ultimately cost me much much more than just my hair,'” they said.
In an overwhelming show of support for Harrington, a GoFundMe for #TeamVickie Legal Fees has been set up, with a goal of $25,000. At the time of going to press, $975 has been raised by 19 people in 5 days.
“This is the flip side of the mob mentality that makes MLMs thrive,” says Reddit user u/Jnbntthrwy in popular sub r/antimlm. “Live by the sword, die by the sword.”
The Coalition send their warmest regards to Harrington for her bravery in speaking out. Let’s hope common sense prevails.
Naturally, MONAT are fighting back against these “unfounded accusations“, claiming to have “more than 500,000 satisfied VIP Customers” and that its “Market Partners, VIP customers & employees have been the subject of varying degrees of #CyberBullying.”
This is relayed in a series of Tweets from Direct Selling Report (@Direct_Selling):
1/ #MONAT fights back. Launches “Truth About Monat” website to combat growing negative attacks.
“As we continue to grow, we have unfortunately had unfounded accusations. Learn the truth about MONAT here: https://t.co/TID2eFacBR “
— DirectSelling Report (@Direct_Selling) February 10, 2018
2/ “Social media is a popular medium that allows users to publish damaging materials about people, companies, and organizations of all kinds. It’s critical to create a website such as this one to set the record straight.” —#Monat pic.twitter.com/w4TDJQbIpo
— DirectSelling Report (@Direct_Selling) February 10, 2018
3/ Due to the expanding popularity of #MONAT’s haircare products, Market Partners, VIP customers & employees have been the subject of varying degrees of #CyberBullying.
MONAT is addressing all attacks directly, and will explore LEGAL avenues when necessary to defend its brand. pic.twitter.com/NPTziSJFJL
— DirectSelling Report (@Direct_Selling) February 10, 2018
4/ #MONAT claims to have more than 500,000 satisfied VIP Customers.
Does this 500,000 figure include distributors, or is it 100% real customers who do not participate in the compensation plan? pic.twitter.com/zbfLQDtuBV
— DirectSelling Report (@Direct_Selling) February 10, 2018
“MONAT is addressing all attacks directly, and will explore LEGAL avenues when necessary to defend its brand” is particularly interesting. Lawsuit-happy, perhaps?
Whilst on your social media travels, look out for our own Emma The Naked Typist‘s #hairtodaygonetomorrow hashtag. Please feel free to help us get it trending.
In addition, whoever is behind MONAT’s Twitter account seems very professional, I must say.
Thanks for thinking of us though. 😁
— MONAT (@MONATOfficial) February 9, 2018
Well, those of us in the UK have this launch to look forward to – the “marketing partners” have already been going mad on Twitter, looking for British downlines.
According to their postings, they are officially in London on Monday. We should
have a welcoming party… 😈 pic.twitter.com/spuZEvfEJs
— Primerica Info (@WhatsPrimerica) February 10, 2018
Monat is expanding! We launch in the UK next week! I’m so excited!!!🎉
Get in on this ground floor opportunity now! Ask me how!#Monat #wegrowmorethanhair #changeyourshampoo #longhairdontcare pic.twitter.com/wZFjHq5UMn
— Rebecca Gerlach (@Monat_by_Becky) February 9, 2018
Founder opportunity in the UK! Get in on the hottest #HairCare company in the world! Pre-launch starts Monday!! This is HUUUGE!! #UK #UKmonat #Europe #founder #launch #monatopensdoors #whodoyouknow #referrals #entrylevel pic.twitter.com/1BDtoS5WSK
— Monat by Carolyn (@MonatByCarolyn) February 10, 2018
Professional hair stylists from both sides of the pond are aghast at the rise of MONAT. Some have joined together to form “Keeping the Beauty Industry Professional” (KBIP), a group for “licensed hair professionals against diversion, misinformation, deregulation and MONAT and other MLM hair products. We do not and will not tolerate unjust behavior and lies. We do not condone hateful behavior or unprofessional behavior.”
[WARNING:] Graphic images of scalp damage in the next screenshot.
Others, professionals or otherwise, have taken to posting their disgust on their own profiles.
Thankfully, many will not be intimidated.
The above poster also included the following screenshots from a MONAT “marketing partner” training group. Now, unfortunately, they’ve been pre-edited with the same colour, so it may be a bit difficult to keep track of who is saying what, but I hope you can get the gist with our added stickers.
For reference, they are discussing that “to say ‘MONAT grows hair’ is a health claim” and how there is contradictory wording on the “Truth About MONAT” website that the company has launched.
In the end, they are told by the ‘upline’ to “email this to product and development and take it offline”
Bring on the MONAT onslaught. This UK-based professional hairdresser, and many of her fellow pro-colleagues are prepped and ready for whatever MONAT tries to throw at them (and their clients).
[Bot:] Hi guys, Bot Watch here. I just wanted to add a bit of information to this resource that I have been sent by one of my followers. My follower was concerned that the UK CEO is Ros Simmons. She has an interesting track record in the MLM world. Here is what the DSA in the UK say about her-
What happened to these previous companies she worked with? This is what Companies House in the UK says about Vi UK. It was made insolvent.
And Virgin Vie? Rosalind was listed as Managing Director for Vie Cosmetics (Purchasing) Ltd. This company was previously called Virgin Vie at Home (Purchasing). Her appointment was terminated in May 2011. An administrator was appointed in August 2011. The company went into liquidation in Feb 2012.
I wonder why the DSA website doesn’t mention Ros’s role in Maelle? Do you remember them? Here is a snippet from Rosalind’s LinkedIn profile.
Maelle stopped in their tracks in the UK before they even got properly started due to being sued by Younique, as reported on this MLM website. They will be relaunching in March 2018, watch this space.
Let’s hope Ros has the same continued success with MLMs that she has already experienced. Good luck Ros.
[Elle:] From what we’ve seen and heard, the UK arm of the #AntiMLMmovement have this message for the “MONAT Movement”.
Holding MONAT Accountable
Other websites of MONAT-related interest
Whilst looking up information on MONAT, we found these other information resources:
“A Hair Nightmare” – an exclusive news item on a local woman’s MONAT hair nightmare, by CityNews Edmonton (Canada) – Randi-Marie Adams reports.
Leah Jackson the ‘Junk Free Momma’ on YouTube – providing an honest review of her MONAT journey: “I am losing hair like crazy, I have bald spots and it faded out my color quick! This product is NOT all natural.“
“Say No to Monat” by Leah of Hartline Hair
BBB Business Profile for Monat Global Corp on Better Business Bureau (note: BBB initially gave them an F after over 300 complaints, but BBB’s information on this company is being updated, and no report is available at this time of going to press).
Benefits, Warnings, and Side Effect for Red Clover Leaf Oil from University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC).
Monat Revive Shampoo Review by Irena Webb of I Read Labels For You
History of Allergens of the Year from American Contact Dermatitis Society
Monat on Greenwashing Hall of Shame/Not Recommended by Eco-Friendly Mama USA
MONAT hair care and Princeton (Who did the “clinical” research for Monat?) by ‘Cassie Writes‘ of factscomefirst.blogspot.co.uk
Monat Treatment Systems – Clinical Studies (Simple Version) via haircanada.net
Monat Treatment Systems – Clinical Studies (Extended Version) via haircanada.net
Reblogged this on Elle Beau, the Anti-Blogger and commented:
I’ve had a fair number of messages via my Facebook page, asking what I knew about Monat, especially with its impending launch in my home country (UK). Together with my Anti-MLM Coalition friend, Emma, we’ve put together a piece on what we know about this “all-natural haircare MLM” thus far.
I love the Monat products. I have been using them for the last 6 months and my hair has never looked better! I have wasted a lot of money over the years on Salon products reccomended by stylists that did nothing and ended up just sitting under the cabinet. At 55 years old I finally love my hair 🙂
Good for you, Robin. I’m glad to know that MONAT products have worked out for you, and I hope they continue to do so. Unfortunately though, there are countless others who have suffered hair loss, breakage, scalp sores and considerable distress as a result of using MONAT products.
I got involved with Monat due to a friend in May 2016. I bought it to support her. I became a VIP customer. But then she started to work on me to get me to become a market partner. She said that she was able to support herself. She also spoke of the bonuses. I was not well at the time, and I was vulnerable. I joined and bought the huge kit. I spent over 2K in 2 months. I told her I am not the type to sell anything but she would say, it’s not about selling. I wish she just left me alone. When I joined, I did not approach close friends or family. I was respectful of people. The training I received was this: Call someone up. Tell them you have something you want to swing by them..then say you are just leaving your home.” It was like lying. The Monat products did transform my hair. I used to have thin hair. I have thicker hair and it’s looking better than ever. I do know that some people don’t all get the same results. I encountered two women with lymes. They were losing their hair. I told them it wouldn’t help them. I am honest and don’t want to harm others. But I agree. MLMs should be banned.
I should start where you end and applaud you for your conclusion. If not banned certainly massively modified so these incentive systems of endless recruitment our outstripped in favor of typical genuine consumer-driven demand.
I’m glad the products work for you. Your balanced view on this matter is the type of nuance that may be needed more in this space. Thank you for this comment it’s good to hear that someone in the metaphorical middle still understands the need to do something to change these problems.
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