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Finding Solutions for Ethnic Hair Care

The fragrance of a product, including hair products plays a huge part in its success and acceptance by consumers. A well-matched fragrance can lead to lifelong loyalty whilst an unpleasant one can be a deal breaker. In this blog we take a look at the role fragrance plays in ethnic hair care and highlight what types of fragrances are currently popular in this market.

African consumers are encouraged to embrace and celebrate their natural hair but maintaining its health and natural body can be challenging. From controlling curls to managing breakage, dandruff and hair loss, the best results are achieved by using products that are specially formulated for the unique texture of ethnic hair.

Since the pandemic, consumers have been keen to create daily rituals aimed at reducing stress and promoting wellness. Hair care has evolved into a sensory experience and quite often, a product is not only judged on its performance, but how it makes the consumer feel. Caring for ethnic hair is a multi-phase process and the role of fragrance has never been so vital.

Here we take a closer look at some of the key fragrance trends, starting with shampoos and waterless cleansers. Vibrant fruity notes are popular in this category, in particular tropical fruits with sweet gourmand facets such as pineapple, mango and coconut. Fruity fragrances are bold and impactful but also convey a fresh message, making them perfect for the cleansing stage. We’ve also noticed rich red berry notes coming through and also sophisticated white florals, particularly amongst products with a more premium positioning.

Ethnic hair often lacks moisture, so the conditioning step is important. Consumers can choose from a vast array of products from leave-in treatments that claim to deeply hydrate, to hair food that helps to nourish and strengthen the hair.

Allinea (link to video), is an active ingredient that provides temporary realignment of hair fibres, helping to reduce volume and frizz. It contains a combination of alpha-hydroxy acids, ethyl esters, disaccharide, smectite clay, coconut triglycerides, and the reuse of a plant-based biopolymer called lignin. It is ideal for use in conditioners, hair masks, leave-ins, combing creams, and pre-blowout sprays.

The fragrance of within conditioning products is also important as they remain on the hair and therefore contribute to the overall experience. We see a lot of comforting gourmand fragrances which help to convey a caring and nurturing message.

From curly to coily, ethnic hair comes in so many glorious textures! But when consumers want a new look, straight and sleek styles are the perfect way to mix things up. Hair relaxers help to chemically straighten the hair but when it comes to fragrance, perfumers have the difficult task of creating a scent that will delight consumers but also mask powerful base odours. We find that luscious, sweet fruits, dewy green notes and powdery florals tend to perform well. We’d also recommend the use of Odouraze, our unique fragrance technology that helps to counteract unpleasant odours- this can really make a difference in hair relaxers.

Finally, an overarching trend that we’re seeing across ethnic hair care is the natural movement. Tried and trusted ingredients, such as shea butter, honey, aloe and avocado are popular as they also evoke a sense of nostalgia. This impacts the type of fragrances that are in demand as consumers look for authentic scents that will enrich their experience.

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