2020 was the tipping point (in the mainstream beauty market) for textured hair care, treatment, and styling products.
Now in 2021 hair care is on track to be the ‘it’ category. And with the global hair care market set to grow by nearly $5bn between 2020 and 2024 (according to data from Stylus Innovation) and shifting consumer demographics accounting for a substantial rise in the numbers of consumers with textured hair in the Americas region, beauty ingredient makers, personal care product formulators, and brand leaders are all turning their attention to textured hair.
Heritage beauty ingredient manufacturers are targeting textured hair
Numerous specialty chemical and ingredient companies are developing technologies, product prototypes, and marketing campaigns relevant to the textured hair movement.
BASF Care Creations, for instance, has a concept called Exclusively HerCare to help meet demand for textured hair care innovations. According to a news release posted to the company’s site in May of 2020, “BASF adapted straight-hair test methods, namely wet combing, to support claims substantiation specific to textured hair care product ingredients and developed five formulations for textured hair, including two masks, a conditioner, a gel styler and hair butter.”
Clariant has a new collection of 6 product prototypes collectively called The Curl Project. The ingredient maker has developed a conditioning cleanser (or co-wash), a hair mask, a conditioning and defining cream, scalp soothing ampoules, root treatment ampoules, and edge control gel using, of course, several Clariant ingredients such as Plantasens Carefeel Light, Nipaguard SCP, and K-Oleo in the root treatment product.
Dow is also catering to beauty scientists looking to develop products for textured hair. The company is currently promoting a starter formula for a textured hair styling spray that the team at Dow is calling Tame Me Turmeric. The spray is made using Dow’s bio-based polymer MaizeCare, which launched in 2019 at the NYSCC Suppliers’ Day event here in NYC.
Textured hair care isn’t new but it’s getting a new sort of attention
Romina Brown, President of Strategic Solutions International, has been tracking data and helping brands grow in the multicultural and textured hair category for years. And the CosmeticsDesign.com audience will likely recall this video interview Brown gave at the 2019 edition of Cosmoprof North America with Editor Deanna Utroske, forecasting the inevitable expansion of textured hair care in the years to come. (Other coverage featuring Brown’s insights of interest here include this 2017 article on the (K)now! portal and this 2020 item about Brown’s partnership with Nielsen.)
And over the past year a half, mainstream beauty makers are deliberately moving into the textured hair space.
For instance, last September, J&J invested in the textured hair brand for active beauty consumers called Sunday II Sunday. Just this month that brand launched at Sephora. Also this month, Ulta Beauty partnered with Curlbox. And popular brands like Lush now have full product collections expressly for consumer with textured hair.
While a reenergized racial justice movement in 2020 helped open people’s hearts and minds (to paraphrase Yve-Car Momperousse, Founder of Kreyol Essence), and give a boost to emerging textured hair brands like Ella Dean, an Oregon-based brand led by Nicole Rose, the industry and larger consumer marketplace have plenty of room for improvement.
This recent commentary piece by John Oliver, despite some foul language, is a fair synopsis of the challenges Black consumers, in particular, continue to face when it comes to hair-related discrimination and access to hair care.