Embracing your natural has been the mantra for the last couple of years in the hair industry and it seems like that is here to stay. This has been great for the hair, chemical, and entrepreneurial stylist industries and will continue to be. But, with the rise of the natural hair culture, expect to see some hits in the industry that will leave big effects on how hair is maintained, unlike past years. Let’s discuss some of the highs and lows of the natural hair world we can expect for the rest of the year, and how this can affect you and some of your favorites positively and negatively.
Oversaturation of Hair Products
It seems like every day a new product is being introduced to the general public and everyone is trying to be on top in the chemical category for natural hair. With the big contenders like Shea Moisture, Carol’s Daughter, and Taliah Waajid, little brands are trying to make their mark while competing with unlikely competitors. Competitors range from brands like themselves to celebrities introducing their own brands instead of serving as ambassadors and Youtube DIY tutorials. With Youtube, consumers are able to make their own products in a matter of minutes rather than the tedious work they might have previously emcountered. These consumers often make their own products then create small businesses to sell them, eventually adding to the list of competitors.
With all of these options for natural hair lovers to spend their money on, will oversaturation of beauty products be a problem in the industry? Retail stores once only sold products specific for Caucasians, but now, there are aisles dedicated to Black consumers with numerous brands to choose from. There will be a time when the market will be, if not already, oversaturated with different chemical brands, thus resulting in companies dropping even after successful product sales in the past.
Steady Trend of Braids Protective Styling
One thing that will continue through 2018 and for many years is the trend of embracing Black protective styling. This includes eccentric cornrows, long braids, crochets, even weaving. These protective styles will continually be embraced and cherished for years to come. We are in the era of accepting one’s blackness, embracing that and showing the proudness of that, though not being disrespectful to other ethnicities. This means wearing styles that are often found in Africa, cornrows with detailed patterns, hair jewelry, feed-in braids. This is especially strong with movies like Marvels’ Black Panther and with stylists like Camille Friend introducing those styles to the world and the strong support of African Americans. Styles like these will forever be appreciated by all races and have now become more than a trend.
We should also mention how beneficial protective styling is for African American hair. The natural hair can be challenging at times or very time-consuming. These styles give African Americans variety in changing styles, easy maintenance and desired length. With the acceptance of associating weaves and wigs to protective styling, these styles will prosper longer than a trend, turning into a culture.
Natural Hair Salons
By now, you have noticed salons and stylist specifically specializing in natural hair. This will continue to grow this year while other stylists may see a drop in clients from this trend. Natural hair salons are very important for this very reason: not everyone on Youtube is an expert and has credentials. Everyone’s hair is different, so what may work for a blogger may not work for you. You also cannot do consultations with these bloggers and eventually will need maintenance, like a trim or deeper conditioning. You will see a rise in stylists specializing in the maintenance of only natural hair and styling natural hair. This includes wash-n-go’s, twist-outs, Bantu knots, etc.
As we said before, stylists not specializing in natural hair will continue to suffer. Many millennials only go to the salon for trims with most consumers trimming their own hair (we do not recommend unless you are a professional). With the trend rise of natural hair and the ongoing support, many people are shying away from heat and are seeing no need to see a stylist; simply, do their hair themselves. If they are forced to see a stylist, it is someone specializing in natural hair or protective styles. Most stylist that still put perms in African American hair are mainly servicing Generation X and Baby Boomers. Stylists, be prepared to gain necessary licenses and experience as the trends move forward.
Natural Hair Technologies
We can, lastly, expect to see a rise of natural hair technologies by the end of the year. Just like beauty companies are producing software for facial styling, we can expect to see the same for hair. Apps will be created specifically for picking out different natural hairstyles and previewing them to see what they will look like through the app. We’ll continue to see a rise of booking client appointments through apps and online rather than calling. We’ll also continue to see social media’s influence on natural hair and trends. Social media will continue to keep this trend alive with bloggers, hair companies, and celebrities all promoting the culture. Expect to see the natural hair journey become more interactive and technology-based with different launches from your top beauty brands.