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Meet the Hair-Care Product Junkies Propelling Category Growth

Nearly one in four women with textured hair don't go to a salon to have their hair done.

Retailer efforts to serve the needs of women with curls pay off.

That’s according to just-released findings from TextureMedia, revealing those consumers spend more than 100 percent above straight-haired counterparts.

The now twice-yearly report, Texture Trends, found curly-haired shoppers spend an average of $82 over a three-month period versus $40 that same period among those with straight hair. Drawing from more than 3,000 consumers with naturally straight hair and those who use chemical straighteners, the report calls textured hair shoppers “product junkies.”

Moreover, these shoppers like to buy retail products to support their styles with one-in-four textured hair women indicating they don’t go to a salon to get their hair done. That helps explain the fact the textured hair category has been one of the fastest growing in the beauty industry.

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Sephora launched a major curl initiative last year while chains including Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Target Corp. carved out special sections for products. These are fertile consumers to court since, according to TextureTrends, 91 percent continue to seek out products — even if they’ve found one that clicks for them. Dozens of new brands specifically for curly hair are hitting the market at rapid pace to serve the needs of the 60 percent of the market with wavy, curly or coiled hair. In the past year, majors such as Garnier, TRESemmé and Pantene all introduced curl-specific products.

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As illustrated by celebrities and influencers who go curly one day and straight the next (think Halle Berry), girls with curls like options. Almost 70 percent of those with textured hair have worn sleek, straight looks in the past three months. There is also a move toward protective styles, which include braids, twists and faux hair. Interestingly, the study showed the type of texture impacts how women prefer to style their tresses. Wavy haired women are the most likely to wear their hair straight. Coiled are least likely.

“Results [in 2017] punctuate the fact that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to the textured-hair consumer,” said Michelle Breyer, NaturallyCurly cofounder and head of business development for TextureMedia. “Their consumers, their product and brand preferences and their styling choices vary dramatically.” She said brands and retailers who understand the wide range of needs will lead the category.

Retailers used TextureTrends to help forecast their business and react in stores. Karonda Cook, director of merchandising for Sally Beauty Supply said the report provides insight into the hair texture landscape. “The data is actionable and extremely useful in understanding trends and consumer preferences,” Cook said.

TextureMedia is a social media platform for women with textured hair. By engaging beauty enthusiasts through original content, branded entertainment, social media, product reviews and commerce, it influences up to $5 billion in hair-care sales each year.

For clients and brand partners, TextureMedia delivers marketing services and data-driven insights that translate to increased brand exposure and the potential for greater market share. Its monthly social, consumer reach is 26 million strong across a portfolio of digital brands including its newest Market Research & Insights division, CurlyNikki and NaturallyCurly.