Africa’s hair care market hits US$1 billion

Africa’s hair care market hits US$1 billion

Hair care sales reached US$1 billion in Africa as consumers across the continent saw disposable income rise, according to a report published by

Nigeria witnessed the largest growth, with sales of conditioners and relaxers up 11 percent in 2014, helping the hair care market hit a value of US$440 million. Sales in South Africa were also buoyant, up 7 percent, while in Kenya, salon sales grew 8 percent for an overall value of US$100 million and Algeria saw sales rocket 8 percent.

Nigeria’s success was attributed to the perfect storm of a young, upwardly mobile population, increased use of internet and cable TV, meaning greater penetration of advertising campaigns, and the trend towards more modern hairstyles, which require greater product use. L’Oréal was market leader in 2014, thanks to its Dark & Lovely brand, which occupies the number one spot in the country.  

In Kenya, a growing number of professional hair salons, rising disposable income and increased product quality are all said to be key growth drivers. Leading brands include HACO Toger Brands, L’Oréal East Africa and PZ Cussons East Africa.

Meanwhile, Cameroonian women are heavily influenced by African American celebrities and exposure to Western culture. As working women gain independence over their financial affairs, spend on hair care products is increasing. Unilever is king here, with SoftSheen.Carson (L’Oréal) a close second.

South African consumers are looking for problem-solving products, their chief concerns being dry or thin hair and discoloration. L’Oréal South Africa is market leader, followed by P&G, Amka Products and Unilever South Africa.