Targeting Children from Day One

OTC clients with children will be consistent shoppers from the pigtail and cornrow years to the weave and wig decades. Every child has a grooming regimen unique to their style. Every culture is participating in this evolving youth market. Asian and Hispanic populations are rapidly expanding, outpacing other cultures in experimenting at younger and younger ages. Children around the world have a need to repair damage caused by coloring, chemical treatments, heat styling, and cornrows. Whether introduced through the natural styling or the chemically altered world, there will be spending on childcare products starting from their first birthday. Both boys and girls will be introduced to oral care and body wash early on. The grooming care of a child has become as intricate as that of an adult. So many categories are growing because of the youth market. The accessories and implements markets are also entwined in purchases for babies, tweens and teens.
As kids develop their style identity they will be introduced to the practice of going to the salon or barber shop. A new trend in the market is kiddie salon/barber franchises. The kiddie customer target is as young as five. There will be professional services that require specialized products and there will be at-home products just for kids. Most parents are opting for the “natural” styling and “natural” ingredients. When kids start out early with natural styles, it often means tightly coiled cornrows and twists. Any style that causes too much tension and traction on the hair will require consistent hydration and lubrications. As well, many of these styles require weaving in artificial hair, beads, and ornaments. Unwittingly, this protective and natural styling choice may be paving the way toward permanent hair loss. In the meantime, there will be spending of millions and millions of dollars on conditioners and other kiddie products.