The current value of the hair styling market in the four largest countries in the region - South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya and Ghana – is currently a valued at €350m, which market researcher Diagonal Reports believes to be a conservative estimate.
Although the market is still relatively small by global standards, the research company believes that there are significant opportunities for this market to grow significantly from its current base, with annual growth currently estimated at 10 per cent.
In its latest market report entitled Sub-Saharan African Hair Styling Market 2011, the market researcher points out that products such as chemical hair relaxants, hair attachments, and a plethora of hair styling products mainly targeting hair smoothing and relaxing, are likely to be the main product areas for this growth.
Sub-Saharan African women look to hair styling to enhance their appearance
Whereas Asian and Western consumers turn to skin care products to enhance their appearance, in the Sub-Saharan region women tend to turn to hair styling products to change or improve the way they look.
In line with strong economic growth in the region which has resulting in expanded household incomes over the past ten years, a rapidly growing middle class consumer is evolving is hungry for more sophisticated styling products, not just cheap ones.
“Consumers have realised that very cheap product are not good quality,” one Kenyan supplier is quoted as saying.
Consumers often disappointed by quality and functionality
Indeed, the report underlines the fact that consumers in the region are often disappointed by the hair styling products that are currently offer, suggesting that they do not cater to their specific needs, which include maintaining it in good condition after using harsh chemical relaxants.
In particular the issue of conditioning is likely to give rise to a growing demand for hair styling products that incorporate conditioning properties into the formula.
Diagonal’s field research in the region shows that as a result consumers are spending more and more on hair styling products, with growth currently forecast to continue at well into double digit figures.
Likewise, the field research also revealed that in the four primary countries in the region, suppliers to the industry have all reported significant growth , with one particular supplier in Lagos, Nigeria noting that sales had grown 10-fold over a period of 30 months.