"Women with textured hair are constantly searching and trying new products for their hair type and are willing to pay more for products that work," notes Donna Petretti, marketing manager at Croda.
Despite these encouraging statistics, the hair care industry has done a poor job of reaching these ready and willing consumers. Consumers are alienated by brands and product aisles that declare certain hair types as ethnic or multicultural. A more scientific approach consists of classifying the hair into eight categories from straight to extremely curled hair based on morph-o-logic parameters. This method is based on two measurements:
• For moderate curled hair, the curve diameter of the hair is measured and results can be used for type 1 to 4;
• For more curled hair, the numbers of wave peaks in a fixed length of hair is counted and results are used for type 5 to 8.
The search is on when it comes to caring for textured hair. According to Google results, consumers looking for information are using “natural and textured hair” search words more than other terms. Leading the way is the term “natural hair,” which had nearly 35,000 searches according to one metric. That far outpaced the No. 2 term, textured hair, which had 15,000 searches. And when their online search concludes, women are ready to purchase!
According to the same NaturallyCurly Report, 65% of women have textured hair and can be described as product junkies. In fact, women with textured hair spend 78% more ($247 vs $139) than women with straight hair. More than half of textured-hair consumers buy hair products at least once a month. More than one-third of curly and coily consumers purchase hair products at least twice a month. And where are they shopping?
• 51% of textured-hair consumers shop for their hair care needs at beauty specialty stores, only • 31% of those with naturally straight or relaxed hair shop at these stores.
• 61% of women with coily hair say they straighten their hair rarely, if ever.
Using and liking a sample is the No. 1 reason respondents purchased a new product, followed by its availability in the stores where they shop. What do women with textured hair seek at beauty supply stores? A product's ease of use is as important or more important than affordability when it comes to making a purchasing decision.
Issues and Brands to Consider
Textured hair consumers have unique hair care issues. According to one industry study, frizz is top concern for those with wavy and curly hair, while dryness and moisture retention matter most to those with coily hair. Women with relaxed hair are more concerned about hair breakage than any other hair texture.
Textured hair consumers spend the most each year on conditioners, with leave-in conditioners topping the list for those with curly and coily hair. Leave-in conditioners are used by more than 80% of women with these curl types. That compares to 36 % of straight-haired consumers who use leave-in conditioners.
Women with textured hair are more likely to seek or avoid specific ingredients in their hair care products. Argan oil and shea butter are the most sought-after ingredients, while sodium lauryl/laureth sulfate and isopropyl alcohol are the two ingredients consumers avoid in their products.
From the thousands of hair care formulas from which to choose, women have some clear favorites. SheaMoisture and Cantu are the brands used most often by curly and coily haired consumers. Those with wavy, straight and relaxed hair trend toward Pantene, Suave and Garnier.
Some popular curly and coily hair care formulas include:
• SheaMoisture Red Palm Oil & Cocoa Butter Hi-Slip Detangling Shampoo. Designed to transform curly, coily, shrinkage-prone hair into luxurious, elongated locks, as it cleanses and detangles. It contains cocoa butter, and it is formulated without coconut oil, sulfates, parabens, phthalates, propylene glycol, mineral oil or petrolatum.
• TXTR by Cantu Treat Leave-In + Rinse Out Hydrating Conditioner. Claims to moisturize and soften strands. Suitable for waves, curls and soils, the formula contains shea butter; spearmint oil, to soothe dry scalp; and canola oil, to minimize split ends. It is silicone-, paraben-, sulfate- and mineral oil-free.
• Cantu Shea Butter for Natural Hair Comeback Curl Next Day Curl Revitalizer. The formula promises to refresh curls, reduce frizz and add shine with pure shea butter, as well as redefine, moisturize, restore and refresh curls. It does not contain ingredients like mineral oil, sulfates, parabens, silicones, phthalates, gluten, paraffin or propylene glycol.
Textured hair is often characterized as dry. No wonder why so many products make moisturizing and hydrating claims. Some examples include:
• Creme of Nature Argan Oil Intensive Conditioning Treatment. This rinse-out product is formulated with argan oil from Morocco and is said to strengthen, impart moisture and prevent hair breakage, while adding “exotic hair shine.”
• Mizani Moisture Fusion Moisture Rich Shampoo. Formulated with a blend of cupuaçu butter, argan oil and honey designed to gently cleanse and condition the hair. It is said to quench hair for soft moisturized manageability, leaving hair feeling clean, smooth and easy to comb.
• Mielle Mongongo Oil Hydrating Conditioner. A protein-free, moisturizing and hydrating conditioner for versatile hairstyling that protects from heat damage by restoring health and shine.
Croda offers a range of ingredients for textured hair:
• MiruStyle MFP PE provides good style retention without affecting the feel or sheen of the hair. It reduces frizz and static flyaway in leave-in styling products, shampoos and conditioners.
• ProSina provides targeted repair for relaxed hair. It increases the tensile strength of relaxed hair and limits breakage. ProSina helps to strengthen new hair, while repairing damaged strands during the transition from relaxed to natural hair.
• Volarest FL is a unique polymer providing benefits for the consumer and formulator. Volarest FL delivers good curl definition and style retention. It can act as a combination thickener and fixative as well.
• Kereffect SD enhances manageability and curl definition on certain curl types. Maintains hair strength and flexible results allowing a choice of hair styles.
• Keravis PE is an extremely powerful hair strengthening complex. It has dual action—penetrating the hair shaft to increase moisture content and plasticity of the hair, and coating the hair to lubricate and reinforce the cuticle.
• KeraDyn HH increases the movement of damaged hair. This patented conditioning agent enhances fiber alignment and reduces friction between hair strands for the freedom of movement that only healthy hair enjoys.
• Crodazoquat MCC is a hair conditioning agent that meets the needs of an increasingly diverse global population that seek treatment for damaged hair. Its versatile performance makes it suitable for all markets and hair types. Additionally, Crodazoquat MCC has broad regulatory acceptance enabling its use in every geographical region.
Croda has created several formulas to highlight the benefits of these ingredients. These formulas include Cold Process Textured Combing Cream, Curly Conditioner Tress Tamer, Curl Defining Spray, Replenishing Hair, Scalp Conditioner and Moisture Quench Detangler SA.
The textured hair consumer has unique needs. But formulators who provide solutions have the opportunity to reap rewards.
For more information on Croda's ingredients for textured hair formulas, click here.