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Relaxer Sales Continue To Slump

September 27, 2013

New research from Mintel reveals that natural may be the new normal in Black hair care as relaxers now account for just 21% of sales and the sector has declined 26% since 2008 and 15% since 2011. In fact, it is the only category not to see growth within black hair care, according to Mintel.

“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,” said Tonya Roberts, multicultural analyst at Mintel. “A look at expenditures from 2008-2013 shows steady growth in the Black hair care category for all categories except relaxers/perms.”

Mintel’s research estimates the relaxer segment will reach $152 million this year, down from $206 million in 2008 and $179 million in 2011. Furthermore, in the past 12 months, 70% of Black women say they currently wear or have worn their hair natural (no relaxer or perm), more than half (53%) have worn braids, and 41% have worn locks.

Shampoo and conditioner formulated for Black hair is estimated to reach $257 million in 2013, up from $211 million in 2008. The styling products segment has also increased from $220 million in 2008 to an estimated $268 million in 2013. Meanwhile, hair color sales are forecast to reach $36 million in 2013, compared to $32 million in 2008.

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