Hair care products cater to individual needs

Whether seeking products that offer styling versatility for their natural hair, products that help rejuvenate dry locks, or formulas that help maintain the look of just relaxed hair, there's no doubt that hair care is important among African-American shoppers.

"Blacks place a great deal of importance on hair care. This is evidenced by the fact that Blacks spend more than nine times more on ethnic hair and beauty products than any other group. Companies that can more clearly identify and promote hair care products that address the unique needs for Black hair may be able to increase their presence and market share with consumers who are highly engaged in this product category," stated the Nielsen Co. in its 2012 report titled "The African-American consumers: Still vital, still growing."

Styling products are showing healthy growth as more consumers are turning away from pricier salon treatments and exploring the option of at-home treatments, according to market research firm Mintel. Styling products represent 38.8% of the overall African-American hair care market, followed by shampoo and conditioner with 35.1% of the market. Both of these segments saw increases in sales and market share between 2010 and 2012 at the expense of relaxer kits, which posted sales decreases of almost 30%.

SoftSheen-Carson has developed an array of new products that are slated to hit shelves in September. For those looking for a gentle shampoo that is designed to lock in moisture and is ideal for frequent use, there's the newest addition to the Dark and Lovely Au Naturale Anti-Shrinkage line: Beyond Gentle & Sulfate-Free Wash.

SoftSheen-Carson also is expanding its 6 Week Anti-Reversion line with a shampoo, conditioner and styling cream serum in extra strength, creating an entire Anti-Reversion system for those who want to achieve straight hairstyles and keep that just relaxed look.

Also hitting shelves in September is the Optimum Amla Legend Rejuvenating Oil. The new multipurpose oil is formulated specifically for dry and damaged hair. It can be used as a pre-shampoo, deep conditioner, finishing treatment, scalp treatment or shine booster.

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