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New Study from 71% of Women Say Beauty Industry Fails Textured Hair Needs

People with textured hair types, such as curly, coily, and afro-textured hair, face extensive inequities when it comes to hair care and hairstyling. Issues range from discriminatory policies to financial struggles for stylists trying to serve these communities, illustrating that the beauty industry fails textured hair. Despite the billions spent annually on beauty by women with textured hair, they continue to be underserved and marginalized in the hair industry.

A survey by Hairvine across major U.S. cities revealed that women with highly textured hair, like African Americans, spend the most on monthly haircare and travel the farthest to find a salon catering to their needs. For example, black women spend an average of $200 monthly on haircare and travel 15 miles on average to stylists, where they then spend over 3 hours per appointment (Hairvine, 2023). This demonstrates the significant time and financial burdens these women undertake compared to other demographics simply to meet their haircare needs.

And while black women spent $6.6 billion on beauty in 2021, representing 11.1% of the total U.S. beauty market, mainstream brands still fail to meet textured hair needs overall, with 71% of minority women saying haircare products miss the mark (Insider Intelligence, 2022).

These gaps have allowed South Korean companies to control 60-80% of the textured haircare industry, while black-owned brands make up only 3% (McKinsey, 2022). Though black women far outspend other demographics on natural haircare products, very few leadership positions in beauty companies are held by black professionals (Catalyst, 2022).

"The inequities in the hair industry are simply unacceptable," said Tracey Lloyd, Co-Founder/COO of Hairvine. "Something has to change for the financial and social well-being of stylists and consumers alike."

The reasons behind these disparities include decades of discrimination, lack of access to capital for diverse entrepreneurs, and exclusion of professionals of color from decision-making roles in the industry (McKinsey, 2022). The impact is that textured hair consumers often feel marginalized and unsupported by mainstream brands.

Inequities also affect hairstylists trying to make a living serving diverse clientele. Research shows that 75% of hairstylists earn below a livable wage and lack retirement plans or long-term financial security (Hairvine, 2023). Celebrity stylist Jordana David assessed that many stylists sadly "die with their hairbrushes in their hands" due to career-long financial struggles (Hairvine, 2023).

These financial vulnerabilities for stylists also impact textured hair consumers. Hairvine’s survey found that 65% of customers are unhappy with the standard of care they receive, with over 80% complaining about unprofessionalism when trying to book appointments (Hairvine Consumer Report, 2023).

There is also a lack of pricing transparency and mistrust between many salons and clients.

Discrimination persists as well, with studies showing women with natural textured hairstyles often face scrutiny and penalties in schools and workplaces for not conforming to straight hair standards (Cosmopolitan, 2017). Even within minority groups, anti-textured hair bias exists, like Latina managers favoring Latina women with straight hair over natural (University of Texas, 2022).

At Hairvine, we aim to celebrate diverse hair and financially empower stylists to keep serving their community with pride and professionalism. We also want to educate the public and employers that natural textured hairstyles are beautiful and professional.

With pervasive discrimination and vulnerability for textured hair stylists, it’s clear inequities exist in the industry. But there are signs of hope, like social media helping diverse-owned brands thrive, protective policies like The CROWN Act, and the textured haircare market projected to reach $4.5 billion by 2032 (Fact. MR, 2022).

True change requires the beauty and hair industry’s commitment from the top down. Brands must make concrete investments in the financial and social well-being of textured hair stylists, consumers, and professionals. With a dedication to enacting and measuring progress toward equality, the glaring racial haircare divide can dissipate.

Hairvine aims to be part of the solution by providing tools designed specifically to meet textured hair community needs, improving the stylist and client experience. By focusing on this underserved market, Hairvine seeks to be a catalyst for positive change.

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