Mintel: 26% Decline in Hair-Relaxer Sales Over the Past Five Years

Mintel: 26% Decline in Hair-Relaxer Sales Over the Past Five Years

As the natural-hair trend booms in black hair, relaxer sales are suffering, according to the latest research from
Mintel, a leading global supplier of consumer, product and media intelligence.

"The natural-hair trend is driving an increase in sales of styling products, such as styling moisturizers, setting lotions, curl creams, pomades, etc. But the increase has caused the relaxer segment to decline in sales," states Tonya Roberts, multicultural analyst at Mintel. "A look at expenditures from 2008 to 2013 shows steady growth in the black haircare category for all categories except relaxers/perms."

Currently, relaxers account for just 21% of black haircare sales, Mintel reports. In addition, it says:

  • The sector has declined 26% since 2008 and 15% since 2011, when sales reached $179 million. It is the only category not to see growth.
  • It is now estimated that the relaxer segment will reach $152 million this year, down from $206 million in 2008.
  • Shampoos and conditioners formulated for black hair are estimated to reach $257 million in 2013, up from $211 million in 2008.
  • The styling-products segment has increased from $220 million in 2008 to an estimated $268 million in 2013.
  • The haircolor market is forecast to see sales of $36 million in 2013, compared to $32 million in 2008.

Forty-eight percent of black women believe natural or curly hairstyles exude confidence, and the same percentage consider them daring, notes Mintel. Other trends and preferences include:

  • 70% say they are wearing or have worn their hair natural--sans relaxer or perm; while 53% have worn braids, and 41% have worn locks in the past 12 months.
  • 51% agree that it's worth spending more on haircare products to achieve the best results, while 39% like to experiment with new haircare products.
  • 45% think natural coifs are trendy.

"Given their passion and love of hair, black consumers represent a lucrative market for companies. Black consumers are always looking for new products to try and seeking information about haircare products," notes Roberts. "Social networking is one avenue that has helped to garner trust, empowerment, individuality and pride as it relates to hair care. Brands have been born and reborn using social networks."

[Image courtesy of PRNewsFoto/Mintel]