The market value of hair products in Kenya currently stands at a whopping Sh20 billion, the world’s largest beauty and cosmetics company L’Oreal EA have revealed. High demand fueled by Kenyan women’s fetish for hair solutions especially weaves, hair relaxers, treatments and oil, have been cited as the major forces behind the growth in the hair industry.
It’s reported that the different hair relaxers available in the country account for Sh4 billion of the market value while the rest of the hair products account for Sh16 billion.
HIDING BEHIND WEAVES
According to L’Oreal EA Managing Director, Patricia Ithau, most Kenyan women hide behind weaves because they are more manageable compared to their natural hair.
“You no longer have to hide under bad looking hair, we have products that can make your hair better”, said Patricia.
A woman’s elegance is mostly defined by the mode of her dressing and adornment and hair plays a key component in this case, perhaps therefore explaining women’s indulgence in hair products no matter the cost.
WOMEN PREFER LONG HAIR… AND SO DO MEN
A woman’s hair is one of the most valuable bodily assets and most of us would do just anything to get that long hair. Men have not given women a choice either as they publicly keep professing their fondness for long hair in a women.
In a study conducted by Ipsos Synovate earlier this year, 40 per cent of all the men interviewed said they preferred their women in long hair, with 18 per cent preferring short (one inch) hair and 13 per cent preferring braids on women.
Apparently, most Kenyan men detest weaves but ironically Kenyan women cannot get enough of them. Well can you blame us! When the desirable is not available, the available can get desirable as well. Most of us are not lucky enough to be naturally endowed with such, the only option left is to go for artificial long hair (weaves). It’s still our hair any way because we paid for it and got a receipt so quit with the question “is that your hair”?
Manufacturers have also made it easier to get human hair wigs and weaves whose texture and appearance is very close to
the actual human hair. Unlike synthetic weaves which are cheaper, human hair is more costly and ranges from as little as Sh1,500 to as much as Sh90, 000.
BEAUTY ALL THE WAY, NO MATTER THE PRICE
Beauty is everything to a woman no matter the cost and demand for hair solutions will keep rising as much as we can afford them. Recent research that studied the spending habits of women conducted by Consumer Insight for Global Payment Solutions Visa, revealed that women invest as much money in beauty and image boosting products as they do on school fees for their children.
According to The Star, which also published an article on this subject, the Sh20 billion spent on hair products by Kenyan women could finance the school feeding programme for 10 years with the government’s annual budget of Sh2.2 billion and also finance free primary education for this year, currently allocated Sh10.3 billion.