In the US alone, black consumers spend over $1T each year, and a significant amount of that spending goes toward hair care products. According to some estimates, black consumers spend $473M on hair products annually.
Ethnic hair and beauty brands market their products toward black consumers. But exactly how much do these companies rake in each year? And which products are the ethnic hair and beauty aisle lacking? We’re answering these questions and more in this guide.
Scroll down to our table of contents to find the reliable black hair industry statistics you’ve been searching for. Or check out our key takeaways for the most important facts you need to know about the black hair industry in 2021.
- Black-owned hair products are only 3% of the ethnic hair and beauty market, and the majority of major black hair care retailers are not black-owned.
- 20% of black consumers say they have a hard time purchasing a variety of products because there aren’t enough to suit their needs.
- 19% of black consumers say they have trouble finding hair products that can suit their needs and hairstyling desires.
- The global black hair market was worth $2.5B in 2020.
- The global hair care industry’s revenues are expected to hit $12.4B in 2021, up from 2020 revenues of approximately $12B.
- In 2019, the global hair care industry saw revenues of $12.9B. Industry revenues are expected to recover to this pre-COVID high by 2022.
- Experts project that the global hair care industry will grow at a 2.55% compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2021 to 2025.
- The global hair care market will be worth $13.8B by 2025.
- Hair care makes up 24% of the beauty and personal care industry’s revenues.
- The US hair care sector is worth more than $83B, making it the largest hair care market in the world.
- Experts project that the US hair care market will grow at a 3.69% CAGR from 2021 to 2025.
How Much Is the Black Hair Industry Worth?
Personal care and beauty, which includes hair care, is a $518B industry in 2021. How much revenue do black hair brands contribute to the overall hair care market? Here’s what our research revealed:
- In the US, the personal care industry, including hair care products, generates $98B in annual sales.
- Each year black women spend billions of dollars on beauty and personal care products.
- Black women spend 9x more on ethnic hair products than non-black consumers of both genders.
- African American and Hispanic shoppers drive the majority of US personal care sales, which includes black hair care sales.
- African American shoppers spent 5.4% more on personal care products in 2020, which was nearly 2% greater than the national average.
- The only ethnic group that outspent black consumers on personal care products in 2020 were Latin American consumers, spending 2.6% more than the national average.
- Black American women who prefer natural hair products are the typical hair care market consumers.
- Experts estimate that the black hair market in the UK is worth £88M or over $120M.
Who Spends the Most on Black Hair Care Products?
It’s a well-known fact that black consumers punch well above their weight class when it comes to personal care spending. In the US, black consumers are 14% of the population but make up a disproportionate percentage of spending on hair and beauty products. Keep reading to learn more about the power of black dollars.
- Black dollars make up 85.7% of the ethnic hair & beauty market. Black consumers spent $54.4M on ethnic hair & beauty products out of $63.5M in total spending on this category.
- Black men contribute 21.0% of spending on toiletries, spending $62M out of a total of $308.3M.
- Personal soap & bath products are another category where black people spend disproportionately to their US population, spending $573.6M. That’s 18.9% of the total $3.04B market.
- In the US, black people spend 18% of their annual income on hair care and beauty products.
- 81% of black people say that hair and beauty products advertised through black media channels are more relevant to their needs.
- 43% of black spending power can be attributed to women.
- In 2018, black consumers spent $473M on hair products, which is 11.3% of sales for the $4.2B hair care industry.
- Black consumers in the US spend disproportionately on styling products. Styling products are only 16% of the total hair care market, but black people spend 35% of their hair care budgets on styling products.
- 51% of black consumers use hair styling products, while only 34% of non-black consumers use styling products.
- Black styling product spending surpassed $1.4B in 2020.
- Experts project that styling product spending among black consumers will decline from 2021 to 2025.
- During the COVID-19 pandemic, black consumers were 2.4 times more likely than the average consumer to purchase hair treatments.
- Black women spend $1.1B annually on wigs, weaves, and extensions.
- From 2016 to 2018, black spending on shampoo and conditioner grew 12.2% and 7.3%, respectively.
- Shampoo and conditioner sales have continued to grow among black consumers in 2019 and 2020.
- In 2021, hair color sales grew amongst the black consumer base.
- Studies show that, among black consumers, financial status makes no difference in hair care product purchases.
- Low-income households make up 43.3% of the market for black hair and beauty products. Low-income black consumers also make up 39.1% of hair and beauty spending, which is higher than middle- and high-income spending in this category.
- 41% of black American women say that the COVID-19 pandemic has forced them to change their hair routines, leading to increases in new product category spending.
What Brands Are Good for Black Hair?
It may surprise you to learn that not all brands on the ethnic hair care aisle are owned by black people. However, in 2021, black-owned hair care brands are becoming increasingly common. Check out our findings on the top ethnic hair care companies in the US, plus some interesting facts about black-owned ethnic hair and beauty products.
- According to the most recent data, the top five ethnic hair care products in the US are Organic Root Stimulator, SoftSheen-Carson Dark & Lovely Health, Africa’s Best, Luster’s Pink Smooth Touch, and African Pride Olive Miracle.
- With sales of $13.6M, Organic Root Stimulator led the ethnic hair care market in 2014.
- SoftSheen-Carson Dark & Lovely Healthy had the second-highest ethnic hair product sales in 2014, bringing in $9.6M, followed by Africa’s Best ($8M), Luster’s Pink Smooth Touch ($7.3M), and African Pride Olive Miracle ($7M).
- SoftSheen-Carson, Africa’s Best, Luster’s, and Dr. Miracle’s contributed the greatest number of top-selling ethnic hair care products in 2014.
- With 24 product launches, Carol’s Daughter released the largest number of ethnic hair products from 2014 to 2016.
- Sundial Brands, including the Madam CJ Walker styling and treatment line, launched the second-highest number of ethnic hair products from 2014 to 2016, with 20 total launches.
- From 2014 to 2016, SoftSheen-Carson released five new ethnic hair care products, Curls and Advanced Beauty each launched three new products, Miss Jessie’s and Mizani put out two new products, and Beautyge, Black Onyx World, and Andre Walker Hair each released one new ethnic hair product.
- In the years preceding 2021, major consumer packaged goods companies have started acquiring black-owned hair and beauty brands. For example, Unilever recently acquired Sundial Brands, a portfolio of personal care companies targeted at the black hair and beauty market.
- In 2019 and 2020, SheaMoisture led sales in the hair relaxer segment of the black hair care market.
- In 2018 and 2019, UK-based Superdrug saw an 80% increase in afro hair care product sales and became the country’s #1 afro product retailer after launching the Shades of Beauty campaign a few years earlier.
- Mainstream hair brands like Sundial are coming out with new black hair care lines mainly through the acquisition of independent and often black-owned hair product brands.
- The black-owned Fenty Beauty brand, which was founded by Rihanna, made $72M in one month.
- Madam CJ Walker became the first black female millionaire in the US from sales of her black hair product line.
- Studies show that black consumer spending increases with the number of black hair and beauty products available.
- The majority of major black hair product retailers are not black-owned.
- South Korean businesses control 60%–80% of the ethnic hair and beauty market.
- The black population in Canada is 5 times larger than the Korean population, but Korean-owned hair care brands dominate the Canadian black hair product market.
- 39% of black people in the US say they’re interested in spending more on black-owned hair and beauty products.
- 32% of black consumers say they buy their hair products online.
- 24% of black consumers exclusively buy hair products online, which represents a 9% increase from 2016.
- 68% of black women between the ages of 18 and 34 say they use social media to discover how-to tutorials, which introduce them to new black hair brands.
Why Is the Natural Hair Movement Important in 2021?
The natural hair movement began in the 1960s as a way for black people to reclaim their natural textures after decades of hair-based discrimination. The natural hair movement died out as black people entered corporate workspaces in the 1980s.
Over the last few decades, though, the movement to reclaim natural black hair has re-emerged. Keep reading below to learn about the driving factors of the natural hair movement today.
- In 2016, perms & relaxers were the most popular hair service provided to black customers. Approximately 65% of services fell into this category.
- Permanent waves & texturizers were the second most common service provided by black hair stylists at around 62% of services provided.
- At 60% of all services, hair dying was the third most common request by black women in 2016.
- Brazilian blowouts, press & curls, and protective hairstyles were the least-requested hair service in 2016, making up 15%, 255%, and 28% of services provided, respectively.
- A study looked at the percentage of black personal care products with toxic ingredients and found that 58% of hair products marketed toward black people contained one or more toxic ingredients.
- In five years, hair relaxer sales declined 25% from an all-time high of $750M.
- From 2013 to 2016, black spending on hair perms and relaxers declined by 30.8%, and hair relaxers became the smallest segment of the black hair care market in 2020.
- In the last 12 months, 70% of black women say they’ve worn their natural hair, 53% say they’ve worn braids, and 41% say they’ve worn locs.
- There are 21.8M posts tagged under “natural hair” on Instagram.
- 40% of black women say they use no-heat styling and 33% say they use heat styling.
- 90% of black women have had their hair straightened before.
- 35% of black people who prefer natural hair have had their hair colored once monthly or more.
- In a study of hot oils, hair lotions, root stimulators, and leave-in conditioners marketed toward black people, researchers found that 80% of commonly-used products contained toxic amounts of hormone-disrupting chemicals.
- 70% of black women say they now read hair product ingredient labels to avoid potentially toxic chemicals.
- 87% of black women say that health and safety are their most significant concerns when it comes to buying personal care products.
- However, in 2021, product claims drive black consumer purchases more than ingredient lists.
Which Styles and Products Do Black Hair Industry Consumers Prefer?
Research into the black hair market has revealed significant gaps in the types of products black consumers want and need. Learn the facts about the preferences of black hair industry consumers below.
- 50% of black consumers say that their hair is central to their identity.
- 38% of black consumers say they’re open to trying new hairstyles.
- 27% of black consumers say they like to try out different hairstyles.
- 43% of black women say they use 5+ hair products.
- Black men who change their hairstyle often report using the highest number of black hair products.
- 81% of black women say they prefer low-maintenance beauty and hair routines.
- 84% of black women say they prefer hairstyles they can do at home.
- 59% of black women aged 18–24 say they use deep conditioning treatments, compared to 37% of black women of all age groups.
- 58% of black women aged 18–24 say they use edge control products, compared to only 26% of black women of all age groups.