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Ethnic Hair Care: Room for Growth

SpecialChem / Nanci McArdle – Feb 22, 2006

Every woman, no matter her ethnicity, strives for a good hair day. In order to achieve it, consumers search for products designed to meet the needs of their specific hair type, and marketers respond by launching a slew of products formulated to enhance the texture, color and overall health of ethnic hair. Once considered a niche market, ethnic hair care is now a booming segment in its own right. In 2004, sales topped $218 million in supermarkets, drug stores and mass merchandisers, excluding Wal-Mart, according to Chicago-based Information Resources, Inc. In the African-American hair care sector, chemical products remained No. 1, but sales decreased slightly from the previous year, according to IRI. African-American shampoo sales jumped 28% to $9.9 million. Shampoo unit sales rose 24%. Conditioner sales increased as well, reaching $21.2 million, up almost 6.5% from 2003. Unit sales were up 7%. Sales of curl and wave maintenance products took a plunge, down 14% from the previous year, to $8.1 million with unit sales decreasing 14%, as well.

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