• Ethnic Hair Care
Styles with Staying Power
An increasing amount of ethnic hair care consumers are sporting
a natural look along with their botanical ingredients. However,
going au natural is often achieved with a favorite styling product or
two behind the scenes.
“Consumers are looking for manageability, hydration and
longevity in hair care products— they want their hair to last,” said
stylist, educator and“Queen of Curl”Ouidad.“After years and years
of slicking and gluing hair back—the look now is more sophisticated and natural.
According to the New York-based stylist, hydrating polymers
such as hydro elastin help preserve moisturize in the hair, as“con-sumers are looking for ingredients that hydrate rather than adding
stiffness and weighing hair down by gluing hair together.”
Ouidad’s new Moisture Lock Leave-in Conditioner is inspired
by skin care, according to the company. It creates a“moisture foundation” by infusing individual strands with conditioning proteins
vital to healthy hair. Prickly pear cactus extract draws moisture from
the air and seals it in for superior conditioning; green tea and vitamin B5 promote shine.
This month, Redken is also targeting textured tresses with its
new Curl Collection. The line features customized styling products
for every curl type, according to the company.
“More than ever, curls are becoming the ultimate glamour ac-
cessory,” said Rodney Cutler, Redken brand ambassador and
owner of Cutler/Redken Salons, New York.“On the runways, we’re
seeing everything from polished ringlets to sexy, tousled waves.
The key is using the right products specific to your curls to create
hold and separation for a dramatic but touchable look.”
The new Curl Collection consists of“high-performance” prod-
ucts customized for different types of textures: a curl-enhancing
lightweight gel that boosts fine locks with avocado oil, a nourish-
ing salve with sunflower oil to refine medium-textured ringlets and
a defining cream with mango butter to tame coarse, thick curls. All
three products feature Redken’s exclusive Curl-Care Complex of
protein and antioxidants.
“Consumers tell us that they want products that will cater to
their specific hair textures. In the multicultural marketplace, this
can range from naturally curly to relaxed,” noted Shawn K. Toller-
son, vice president, marketing, Colomer U.S.A. Multicultural
Group, Jacksonville, FL. “They also desire products to help them
solve problems that are inherent with having curly and relaxed
hair—in most cases this means hair dryness and breakage.”
Tollerson added that curly styles are increasingly popular for
the upcoming season.
“Oftentimes, consumers who have relaxed their hair for many
years want to take a break during the summer months and will go
into either natural or braided looks,”he said.“In order to keep hair
looking its best, moisturization is key.”
The latest rollouts from Colomer’s Lottabody brand include a
setting lotion and foam wrap with extra-virgin olive oil to instantly
moisturize and strengthen dry tresses.
Straight, relaxed styles are also big for 2010, according to
Tiffanie E. Jones, Alberto Culver’s global marketing director, multicultural brands.“Women today are looking for products that help
them with manageability, (give them) beautiful, healthy looking
hair and ultimately achieving long-lasting style at an affordable
price,” she said.
The new Motions Silkening Shine Relaxer System from Alberto Culver helps women achieve salon-like results by reducing
breakage up to 85% and giving 80% more shine at home, according to Jones. It brings“the newest innovation in relaxer history”
with a gel versus liquid activator that provides conditioning at every
step of the relaxing process.
“The straighter styles currently trending along with those
celebrities embracing natural styling send a message of versatility
to our consumer,”noted Veronique Morrison, director of education,
Mizani, L’Oréal, New York, NY.
Mizani’s Thermasmooth Thermal Straightening system meets
the needs of both of those client types, as it allows the consumer
to go from curly to straight and back without a chemical commitment, according to Morrison. For Spring 2010, Mizani’s newest hair
care and styling collection is True Textures, which meets curls’needs
for reinforcement, moisturizing and smoothing.
Around the Bend
The ethnic hair care market is chock-full of marketers offering
styling products. For 2011 and beyond, true“solution-based products” that deliver results will be the trend for the future to come, according to Dellinger of Curls.
“Providing consumers with products that offer a solution for
their specific problems, that go beyond the standard ‘
cleanse-con-dition–style’ will enable hair care companies to continue to realize
growth,” she added.
“The future of ethnic hair holds a lot of freedom and texture.
Women are celebrating and embracing texture more then ever and
will be wearing natural, sexy, soft styles,”agreed Ouidad.
“Natural hairstyling will continue strong into 2011 and beyond
and will require products with moisture, detangling ability and
weightless hold and shine properties,” observed Morrison of
Mizani.“There will be a need for products for smoothing as well as
maximum hold such as waxes and oils with conditioning proper-
ties to keep the hair nourished and looking healthy.”
For 2011, a wider perspective on what the ethnic hair care
consumer craves is key to a brand’s success, according to Toller-
son of Colomer.
“We have to keep our pulse on trends around the world and integrate this thinking into meaningful product innovations that we
can bring to the multicultural consumer,”she said. “We must keep
an eye to the broader view in hair textures and be responsive to
these emerging needs.
“In addition, we must remember that hair care products are
only the vessel by which consumers and salon professionals create
their ultimate vision of beauty.” •