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Is the Beauty Industry Finally Addressing the Needs of Ethnic Women?

The search for the perfect look. Nothing has fueled more industries than the desire mankind has for their vision of aesthetic perfection. Despite all the different beauty, hair and makeup products on the market, certain demographics or communities are often overlooked. The hair and beauty needs of ethic women and people of color are different, unique and too often unaddressed by mainstream hair and beauty companies.

Hair is so important, although many would beg to differ. Hair is a sign of health and vitality. Even the shininess of hair is thought to be an indicator of good health. Even in the subconscious mind the issue of hair a concern. Men are often attracted to women with long, healthy hair and the appearance of health and sex appeal that it creates. With this is mind, women often go to great lengths to achieve shiny, healthy hair that is also beautifully styled.

Woman of all races spend money on hair and beauty related products, with ethnic women often being the biggest spenders. However, when you take a good look at the types of products available and even their placement on store shelves, you’ll see the disparity in the number of products for people and women of color. 

The hair of ethnic women varies in texture, but is often curlier and prone to dryness. A lot of the techniques African American and ethnic women use to style or straighten the hair usually increases dryness. Hair dyes, relaxers and many shampoos often dry out the hair of Black women. This fact is often ignored by beauty companies and manufactures, who have failed to create a product or tool solution for this problem.

Recently, there has been a shift in the marketing and product lines of many big beauty companies as they begin to focus on the needs of ethnic and African American communities. Products that naturally combat dryness, such as coconut oil and Shea butter are now being added to a number of products. Sulfate and paraben-free shampoos and beauty products are also being introduced as women of color are becoming more educated about their hair type and what products will work best for them.

These and other changes serve as indicators that the mainstream is finally willing or able to deal with the beauty issues of ethnic communities. More and more products are being released that are designed to deal specifically with the hair and beauty problems that people of color face. Hopefully the trend to cater to ethic demographics continues. It serves to be lucrative for both the business and the consumer.


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