Growth Tracking the Natural Hair Industry Over the Last Five Years
The natural hair industry has witnessed an intense boom in the last five years. Although natural hair is not a new phenomenon whatsoever, through the power of the internet and bloggers, new hair products being developed specifically for natural hair and a media push, natural hair has been received and displayed in a whole new light.
According to independent study research firm Mintel, in 2016, an estimated 71% of black Americans were wearing their hair natural at least once, and these black consumers were estimated to spend $2.56 billion dollars on hair products overall for the year. Simultaneously, relaxer sales were plummeting, falling 30.8% between 2011 and 2016, and estimated to continue to decrease through 2020.
It is estimated that the natural hair care industry was worth $684 million in 2012 and was projected to reach $761 million by the end of 2017. However, that seems to be a deep underestimation, and Mintel did note that the research they conducted did not include independently owned beauty supply stores, e-commerce natural hair stores and products, distributors, weaves, extensions and wigs. If these figures were to be included, the natural hair care market would jump to a whopping $500 billion dollars!
Major retail brands have recognized this insurgence of growth in the natural hair area. Therefore, top beauty corporations like Pantene and L’Or’eal (who purchased top natural hair care line Carol’s Daughter in 2014) combined with top retailers have landed natural hair products in stores and on shelves where they had not been previously available. Unfortunately, this boom of inclusion has further narrowed the lane for smaller, independently owned natural hair care brands, making it harder for them to swim with the big fish in the natural hair care world they may have once dominated.