It is time for hair care manufacturers to recognise African consumer needs


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As numbers grow and demand heightens, it is time for hair care manufacturers to better serve African consumers worldwide, according to a new market report.

Many ingredient suppliers and manufacturers alike have upped their focus on the different ethnic demands in hair care, but Diagonal Reports states that consumers still feel underserved, and in some cases ignored by the mainstream industry.

The new report, ‘African Haircare Consumer Behavior, Product Formulation, and Marketing 2013’ ​presents qualitative and original research conducted by Diagonal Reports in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Americas, Europe combined with the company's own proprietary African consumer and market intelligence.


According to the report, as consumers become dissatisfied with available products on the market, they are turning to their own home made products; offering a vast arena of potential for manufacturers.

“For example, leading ethnic hair care experts in Canada argue that, in terms of innovation at least, corporations now lag behind consumers,”​ says the Diagonal Reports study.

“A number of these mixes now provides the inspiration for own brand and product lines for specialist supply stores and salons, the springboard to the wider market.”

Natural trend

Consumer behaviour is also undergoing changes. The rise of the natural in African hair care is having a profound impact on a market traditionally dominated by chemicals.

DR says this area shows great potential as more consumers worldwide look to the natural market, and shift away from chemicals, when searching for personal care products, in what the research firm coins the ‘era of the chemophobe’.

“Consumer preferences will force change on products formulated to control/manage curls, and on hair straighteners - all with high levels of chemicals,”​ continues the report.

“There are interesting implications here for the mega brands whose sales are mainly in the chemical relaxer category. The value of the relaxer market explains why many companies ignored consumers' other hair care needs for so long.”

Power of online

The market researcher also points to online flexing its muscle in this field as it helps to facilitate change.

Diagonal Reports says that the online has created a new bloc ‘go to’ people, who are consulted for information on products and hair fashions, with online tutorials bringing expertise and know-how within the reach of millions of consumers, transforming their expectations of products.

To keep up-to-date with all things hair care, make sure you register for the HairCareIngredients 2013 online event taking place on Wednesday 18th​ September. For more information and details, click here​.

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