Thursday, July 29, 2010

DPL Products - An African American Owned & Operated Hair Care Line

I met with Bill Wilborn, VP of Sales & Marketing at DPL Products today. Bill is the son of Dr. Wesley S. Wilborn, the creator of these products and a pioneer who launched the first mainstream skin and hair product line, formulated by a dermatologist to people of African descent. We met to discuss the products, natural hair care, and the future of the line. The meeting took place at the DPL warehouse in Southwest Atlanta, Georgia. After introductions and a quick tour of the facility, I sat down with Bill and since I have never heard of or tried these products I had many questions for him all of which he was more than willing to answer for me.
So tell me about DPL?
The DPL Hair Care Line of products was created by my father Dr. Wesley S Wilborn, a world renown expert on Hair and Scalp disorders in people of color.

What does DPL stand for?
Dermatologist’s Products Limited - we wanted a name that was intelligent and that specifies that physicians are involved. We got tired of seeing products for "us" that contain misspelled words and slang terminology. We are more than that.

What type of products do you carry?
DPL has a full line of shampoos, moisturizers and conditioners for every hair type.

How long have you been in business?
My father started DPL in the early 80's. It began as Back Alive Hair Care and evolved into the nationally recognized product that it is today. I became actively involved with redeveloping the business a few years ago.

Wow really? I am sorry but I have never heard of these products. Where have they been?
My father, is a board certified dermatologist & chemist that specializes in skin disorders. He initially formulated the products for his patients that were dealing with such ailments as, alopecia, eczema, seborrhea dermatitis, etc. and began to distribute them at his office. So we have been in business for decades through his practice. I am breathing new life into the products now by taking a look at our marketing strategies, redesigning the packaging & labels, and also by introducing them to the Natural Hair Community. I want to change up the demographic. Right now my father has loyal older customer base that is faithful to our products. I'll bet a lot of our parents have DPL products on their shelves. You probably see it and dont know what it is. (Bill now retreats and returns with a bottle from the previous product design, and oddly enough it did look familiar, like something my mama would have. lol) Our products are not age specific. They can be used on all age groups including children.

Is that why you chose Bloggers/Vloggers/YT as a vehicle for getting your message across?
Exactly! I wanted to reach out to people in our demographic. The internet, I feel is the best way to do that. I plan to become involved with Atlanta's Natural Hair Community to further spread our message and take our products to the next level. We have an exciting new website as well.

That's really cool, where else are your products currently being sold?
Our products are currently carried by many beauty supplies in several states including GA, NC, SC, TN, AL, FL, TX and IL.

Your prices are VERY reasonable, how can you afford to have such low prices in this economy?
When my father created these products, money was not his motivation. Scalp and skin health was. He offered them at an affordable price because he wanted anyone that needed it to be able to get it. We honor that principle by keeping our prices affordable. We are not trying get all of your money by charging outrageous prices for a mediocre product that you probably wont buy again. We know that our products work, and that you will come back for more, so its not necessary to do that.

In breathing new life into the products will you be changing any of the formulas?
Our formulations will not change. If you look at a lot of products out there, they might say, "dermatologist tested", or "dermatologist approved" but you hardly ever see them say "dermatologist FORMULATED". The difference is that our products were created by an actual physician, they have been tested. Our products are scientifically formulated which produces the best results for healing, moisturizing and protecting the human anatomy. We are not reselling or repackaging a product made by someone else.

I have noticed that your products contain parabens as well as "cones" a lot of people in the natural hair community believe that these ingredients are not good for our scalp and hair.
Again, my father is a trained chemist and physician. A lot of the ingredients that you have been told to avoid are necessary for the preservation of the products and they are added in such trace amounts that they are barely detectable. You cant believe everything you read unless you understand the science behind it. Our products are sulfate free as well as hypo allergenic. Our formula contains the finest ingredients and they are safe for use by the entire family.

What can your products do for my hair?
We are in the business of helping to promote and maintain healthy hair and scalps. A lot of women, specifically black women have caused so much damage to their hair by incorrectly applying relaxers and from stylists who are more interested in making money than taking the time to properly care for their clients hair. We created our Hair Root Conditioner that can be applied BEFORE relaxing to help prevent damage. This was one of our first products. It can also be used for a Wash n Go as a rinse out or leave in conditioner. It will keep your hair moisturized as well as protect it from heat, harsh chemicals, and perspiration. That's just one of our many products. Some others are:

Moisturizing Shampoo - A very mild formula that can be used on all hair types, natural and relaxed.
Curl Revitalizer - This light, non greasy hair lotion is lanolin free and keeps your hair soft and moisturized. Ideal for itchy scalp conditions.
Gel Curl Activator - Can be used on wet or dry hair. Ideal for natural, curly and wavy hair. Apply as needed for moisture.
Instant Moisturizer - Spray moisturizer for natural, curly, braids, twists and locks

Do you use the products?
YES! and so do my wife and daughter, my wife likes to try new things, but she always comes back to DPL. We also use our line of skincare products.

During the course of our discussion, Bill allowed me to smell and touch the products to give me an idea of the fragrance and different textures of each. He also gave me many samples to try and also to share. Between my mother (natural), sister (relaxed), and myself (natural). We will be trying some or all of these products, I will also be giving away samples to members of Our Natural Kids so stay tuned for reviews!!

Until then...

To learn more about DPL check them out on the web:

Thanks for reading,