Here2Grow: formulating for a growing black hair market

19-Jan-2015

For decades, the black hair market has largely been overlooked by the mainstream beauty and personal care industry...

For decades, the black hair market has largely been overlooked by the mainstream beauty and personal care industry. Even today with a market, estimated to be worth approximately $500bn, it is commonly regarded as niche. According to Mintel, investment is seen as risky with potentially low returns. While popular brands are entering the market, investment and growth is low.

Yet with a consumer willing to spend up to six times more on hair care compared to other ethnicities, are manufacturers and retailers missing a trick? Particularly, when the cultural importance of hair is so significant, that black consumers do not see cost as a barrier, due to the underlying cultural pursuit of “good hair”. Chris Rock in his documentary “Good Hair” highlighted the vast sums involved and the wide use of relaxers and weaves, in a bid to have European textured hair. Reuters reported, how in sub-Saharan Africa, where the population survives on less than $2 a day, consumers are spending upwards of $40 on hair care.

Given the potential, you may be a start-up or existing brand owner weighing up whether or not it is a good idea to enter this market segment. You may want to develop a new brand or reformulate an existing product, to make it suitable for this market. Maybe you are not quite sure where to start. You could be wondering: What do black consumers look for? What are their challenges? How can I compete with existing products?

Here2Grow has a solid understanding of the black consumer and are able to translate their needs into actual products. They can offer considerable industry knowledge and expertise based on an existing portfolio. Some of their insights include, market trends and consumer demand. For instance, they note that the black consumer is increasingly shifting away from the use of petrolatum, mineral oil, sulfates, parabens, colorants or phthalates.

In keeping pace with these changes, CEO Dr Henry Brew notes: “at Here2Grow we are able to provide formulations that will ensure optimum moisture is achieved. We are able to process challenging systems, where a higher than usual oil content is required; by drawing on our extensive catalogue of natural ingredients such as Argan Oil, Shea Butter, Moringa Oil, Extra Virgin Organic Coconut Oil and Almond Oil. We use scientific rigor to tackle development problems and all our formulations are taken through their paces at low to high temperatures, at different humidity levels and through sensory evaluation”.

If you are thinking of developing a successful brand, it’s important to understand that the black hair and personal care market is complex; it should not be conceived in the same manner as other ethnicities. Undoubtedly it’s a market that requires a solid understanding of the process from conception, formulation development through to manufacturing and all the steps in between. By choosing to work with Here2Grow, you will be able to tap into specialist skills and be on your way, to lucratively launching into this market.