A revolution in hair styling

June 2015

Strong consumer demand for hair management and control transforms the global straightening market beyond recognition.

It is no longer about 'just straightening' - but a world of new terms and new outcomes.

The three largest global beauty markets are key users of these new hair styling technologies and products.

Hair straightening offers the market today what hair colouring offered in the late 1990s

Hair straightening is no longer a one-size fits all category. Innovative technologies and products have revolutionised it, creating one of the most dynamic haircare categories. Demand for hair control is growing exponentially due to these new products and also demographic and lifestyle changes.

Numbers of consumers styling their hair in order to control it have exploded. Innovative solutions, which offer flexibility and choice in the type of straightening/smoothing, now meet a wider range of women's demands. These technologies and brands are being successfully rolled out globally to consumers in Latin America, Africa, North America, Asia and Europe all populations with totally different hair types.

Haircare, and specifically control, is a key category in the top three global beauty markets. Brazil, remains the largest hair straightening market in the world with its insatiable demand for hair combability solutions and products. Chinese women, despite the apparent contradiction, are intensive users of hair control technologies. While in the US new hair straightening and smoothing treatments have become mainstream because they offer styling versatility to every type of - African American, Caucasian, Hispanic - hair.

Straightening, in little more than a decade, has undergone a total reversal of fortunes. Up till recently, it was a mono product category: the chemical relaxer. Sales were mainly restricted to ethnic consumer segments and few alternatives were available. Then, new methods and technologies emerged in Asia and Latin America , they were enthusiastically adopted by frustrated consumers. and won significant market share in their countries of origin. Within a few years, these multiple technologies had been rolled out worldwide - widening the consumer base globally all the while.

What was a monolithic straightening category has fragmented into and across many new technologies - the chemical, the chemical free and tools. Their market is the many millions of consumers who want convenient, and personalised styling, such as hair management, curl control and defrizzing. These categories have entered a virtuous growth cycle: more consumers and publicity, sales increasing all the time. In contrast, chemical relaxing has not benefited from this demand and sales are stagnant.

The new mega hair straightening market is fully explained in our Global Haircare: Consumer Behaviour/Regimes and Market Report 2015. Contact for details

A 35 minute webinar which explains the global hair straightening / smoothing market is available. Contact for details.