Spending by Black consumers on haircare products increased by only 1.3% in 2022; after adjusting for inflation, the black haircare market shrunk by 6.5%. The hits to the Black haircare market immediately following the pandemic were due to a reduction in out-of-home activities, which allowed consumers to spend less on beauty and haircare products. This spurred the existing momentum around the natural hair trend and led consumers to experiment with less fuss (and less product). Among consumers who found satisfaction in embracing natural looks, a return to pre-pandemic activities does not dictate a return to pre-pandemic styles. For some, a scaled-back approach to style and product proved time- and cost-efficient and allowed them to gain satisfactory results with lower spending. Here are seven black haircare trends brands should consider:
1. Hair Texture and Styles
A trend toward natural textures and styles has led to decreasing sales of relaxers. However, interest in straight styles exists. 2/3 of Black adults usually stick with the same style and one-third of haircare product shoppers like to try a new style.
2. Increase hair versatility without the risk
On social media, over a quarter of black adults agree that social media helps them find new brands/products to try. Almost half of young Black men are sticking with proven favorites, leaving room for exploration.
While Black consumers prefer natural styles, straighter hair and increased manageability are also important to this group. Products that provide more versatility, and manageability and improve hair health offer value to consumers by decreasing the time spent on their hair allowing them to focus more on the self-care element of haircare and potentially be open to trying new styles.
3. Haircare as a launch for other lifestyle products
Trusted brands in the black haircare industry have an opportunity to parlay their popularity into other product lanes. Products that promote relaxation and other lifestyle necessities will garner this group’s attention. Brand extensions moving beyond the haircare aisle into a more holistic lifestyle brand, such as through accessories bags, candles, and lipstick launches are a few examples.
4. Be their one-stop shop
Creating customized formulas for specific hair types followed by testimonials and before and after footage of real consumers is likely to help consumers make an informed purchase which ultimately helps them spend more intentionally, build trust and increase brand loyalty for this group
5. Haircare for lifestyle and self-expression
Most Black consumers, specifically Black women, view their hairstyles as the most important element of their physical appearance when expressing themselves. Help create a community for Black women through branding that embodies the lifestyle of haircare, not just the products.
6. Increase representation for black men in haircare
More than half of Black men 55+ agree representation of Black men in beauty products is lacking. Black men are becoming more interested in grooming and haircare, but are either overwhelmed by the options, or they feel unaccounted for. Help them find their place through representation.
7. Entertaining Social Media Campaigns
54% of Black Millennials admit that they primarily use social media as a form of entertainment. Brands that can create entertaining, culturally relevant SM marketing are likely to attract young Black consumers.
What we think
Brands and platforms should focus on representing the underrepresented. We are likely to see an uptick in demand if brands choose to prioritize them.
Affordability & Variety
Black consumers are looking to expand their product search without breaking the bank
When in doubt- go natural
While some consumers are interested in trying products that have chemicals a process, the majority of Black consumers are committed to natural hair and natural products.
Keep Calm & Educate
The resurgence of relaxers and straight styling is likely due to the overwhelming amount of information and expectation around natural hair. Consumers need specialized information to help them understand how products can work for their specific hair type.