Trends In East African Haircare Market

By on October 23, 2015

kenya3• Increased spending by women and men on hair care, has led to an increase in the number of brands on the Kenyan market. L’Oréal launched the Amla Legend hair products range under its Dark & Lovely brand during 2013, with mass advertising through billboards and television.

• It is estimated that L’Oréal commands 30% of Kenya’s beauty product imports, according to Patricia Ithau, former L’Oréal East Africa Managing Director.

• The hair care category showed a relatively flat performance in 2013 compared to the previous year. The growing trend towards natural hair among women (instead of relaxed hair) and also a preference for weaves and hair braiding to lower hair care management costs, are factors that have resulted in slow growth.


• Conditioners experienced the fastest value growth of 7.5% in 2014. Oil moisturisers and braid sprays are included in this category and these products are extremely popular for grooming ethnic hair.

• Increased trend towards natural hair and natural hair styles, away from treated hair, has been the current trend in the market. Many women are cutting their relaxed hair in favour of natural hair. This saw manufacturers develop products for this type of hair and also salons train to style natural hair. Products such as Miadi, by Haco Industries, have a strong focus on natural hair management.


• Growth in product development saw the incorporation of natural products, such as Aloe Vera, olive oil, sage, neem, tea tree oil and  rosemary as core ingredients into products that manufacturers are adopting, with the aim of maintaining customer loyalty and growing sales.

• Growth in home care products was a key factor during the review period, with manufacturers developing home care kits, chemicals and treatments, as Kenyan consumers manage their spending habits more closely due to the rising cost of living. Haco Industries’ Motions home treatment kit is one such product that was launched, allowing the Kenyan consumer to take care of their hair from their home and lower overall salon spending.

• A survey conducted in 2012 in Nairobi by Suzie Wokabi, CEO of Kenya- based SuzieBeauty Cosmetics, which markets and sells international beauty products from companies such as L’Oréal, Unilever and P&G, showed that Kenyan women are willing to spend up to 20% of their salaries on beauty products.

• A Roland Berger report, released December 2013, said Kenya’s use of beauty products was growing at 5% annually.

• The colour cosmetics market in Kenya and neighbouring Tanzania and Uganda is in total worth US$155m and is projected to grow to $231m by 2018.

• Home treatments are still a common practice in Kenya. Increased access to home treatment kits has resulted in more and more consumers, especially those with relaxed hair, cutting their costs by using such treatments as well as natural homemade products that have been advocated for with the growing natural hair trends, such as avocado, eggs, honey and olive oil.

• Premium brands are well differentiated from mass brands by pricing; they are more expensive, their packaging is of higher quality and are largely sold through beauty and cosmetics retailers in Kenya, while mass brands have a wider distribution channel, are affordable, with plastic containers or plastic bags.

• During the forecast period, there will be a growing focus on product development and research, higher spending will be seen in this area, as manufacturers tap into the trend of using natural ingredients in their products, with the aim of growing sales and maintaining customer loyalty.

• A value CAGR of 2% is forecast at constant 2013 prices for hair care over the forecast period. The growth will be driven by increased product awareness by consumers due to increased competition among manufacturers, lower product prices and growing relevance of personal grooming among the public, especially in urban centres.

• Growing popularity of wigs, weaves, human and synthetic hair will remain a threat to this category during the forecast period. Their popularity will reduce purchases of hair care products.

• Use of natural home treatments, such as avocado, eggs and olive oil, are potential threats during the forecast period as they are cheaper alternatives to manufactured treatments.

• Competition among firms is expected to intensify with manufacturers competing for not only wallet share, but also shelf space in the distribution channels. More international players are expected to enter hair care, with local players engaging in product development and improving quality to match-up to international standards.

• Consumer spending in hair care is expected to rise, due to predicted economic growth during the forecast period, and also greater knowledge and product awareness gained from increased marketing campaigns, affordable products and a variety of product ranges to select from.


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