Taming the Curl Culture

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Whatever the race or gender, children are as cute as their curls. Young boys and girls are curly, kinky, or wavy—sometimes all at once. Their curls may be shaped, ponytailed, close-cropped or cascading. In order to capture the children’s market OTC shelves must offer products that tame and arrange curls. Curls can be naturally coiled or they may be twirled and twisted into shape. Parents who are concerned about time-intensive braiding are opting for mildly chemically treated “texlaxing.” Mild softening of the tighter curl pattern can allow a more free-form curly-do. Semi-natural styling and all other curly-q’s require emollients and moisture to keep curls bouncy and defined. Children’s products are positioned to be fun, fragrant and formative. Major brands are targeting the curl culture. The children’s market is dovetailing into a curl culture that is multi-generational.

Many parents prefer natural styling for the beauty and the safety aspects. It has been proven that chemical treatments too often and too early result in loss of edges and hairline. What makes the curl craze significant is that it comes from a heritage of multiculturalism. The 2010 U.S. Census estimates that over 9 Million Americans identify themselves as multiracial. Curly-headed children could have varying lengths, textures and volume. Not only are detanglers popular to tame and style these crops, a wide variety of headbands, bows and other accessories are needed to manage curly hair. Children’s hair accessories are used in early infancy all the way to high school. It’s a cute way to keep naturally under control and in place.

ElayneMcClaineMug
Elayne McClaine has identified and developed emerging domestic and global trends in hair care, skin care and other consumer categories for such firms as Chesebrough-Pond’s, Revlon and Pharmacia (div. of Pfizer). Her expertise in therapeutic treatments for hair, skin and scalp led to the creation of the Women’s Institute for Fine and Thinning Hair, sponsored by Rogaine. McClaine has been acknowledged by the American Academy of Dermatologists for marketing and promotional excellence. ESME Market Specialists, LLC consults with firms that require expertise in strategy development, multicultural marketing and account planning. For more information, visit www.esmemarketspecialists.com.

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