Hair care trends come and go. Where trends are derived from and how they are shaped is debatable. Did you know that hair care trends are in part incited in beauty supply store neighborhoods across the United States? “Street style” inspirations have always been a contributor to fashion and hair styles, conceived from ingenuity and often out of necessity.
There is an infinite amount of information on the Internet from beauty experts and bloggers alike, all claiming to know what’s new and “hot” in hair each year. Not to mention there are also color and style influences from annual Fashion Week runways globally: NYC, Paris, Milan and London.
At Shine Beauty Culture, our Consultants use a Cross-Cultural™ research approach to predict new hair trends. We transform foresight from the insider’s view. We marry consumer and industry market research for a layered strategic approach to analyze what’s happening in haircare trends.
The Natural Movement
The “natural movement” has transcended over the last 10-15 years to a “natural lifestyle” both professionally and personally. Achieving a specific “hairstyle” is still paramount to the ethnic consumer, followed by the need to have healthy hair. There is also a willingness among multicultural consumers to exert large amounts of time and money to do so.
The infinite search for the “right” products to manage and style the multicultural woman’s hair is a quest. In addition to hair products, purchases of equipment and accessories are on the rise. Equipment such as hair steamers, dryers and diffusers as well as accessories like puff-cuffs, banana clips, head bands and up-do pin accessories are common to support achieving varied styles.
The ever-growing diversity in the multicultural population has a huge influence on haircare needs and styling trends. Change of style and diversity of interests are robust contributors to hairstyles and hair maintenance products. In 2015, 8.7% (or one in every 11) of African Americans are reported as immigrants from the Caribbean or Africa, being Black or Mixed-Race. In 2010, The Hispanic population exceeded the African American population. (US Census 2010) with the nation becoming more racially and ethnically diverse than ever, ethnic diversity and Multi-Cultural immigrants help shape diversity in hairstyle, hair maintenance and haute classifications. (Source: US Census 2010, Pew Research Center, Nielson AA Consumer Report 2015)
One of the most popular hair trends is using “protective styles.” These are styles that limit the manipulation of your hair by covering it with a wig, weave, braids or an up-do. Therefore you are protecting your hair with less heat because of the absence of flat irons and blow dryers.
Heard of Tex-Lax?
An ever-growing segment is the “Closet Tex-Laxer.” A Tex-Lax is a process of applying a relaxer, but only with the objective of making the hair more manageable, not bone straight. Oil or conditioner is applied to the relaxer and hair in advance, and the relaxer is left on for a very short time as just to soften and calm the curls, waves, coils or kinks. Few in the natural community are willing to admit they Tex-Lax, thus the name “Closet Tex-Laxer.” Relaxer use has declined from a leader in hair care sales in the 90s to only 13% of hair care sales in 2015. Marginal, though, relaxer sales do exist.
Hairstylists are revealing that women are returning to relaxing or tex-laxing to garner a longer lasting hair style. Except their return is with less relaxing frequency for purposes like having more hair manageability when working out at the gym. (Stylist Research Sources: VoicesofHair.com and ProCosmoBox.com)
Multicultural women spend approximately $1 billion dollars annually on beauty, and over half is within hair care. Beauty supply stores contribute to at least half of haircare sales, and the other 50% is from multi-outlet (MULO) retailers. The natural product section is over 50% of haircare products, with styling products leading those shelf sales. This is significant because it reinforces the Natural movement’s presence and future. Moisture rich and full-bodied conditioning products will continue to dominate shelves to help achieve healthy natural hair with styling products to achieve the ever-important hairstyle.
Where Trends Start
Trends start right under your nose, in beauty supply neighborhoods all across the U.S. They begin in part from urban cutting-edge subcultures. They often arise out of ingenuity and creativity, birthed for a variety of reasons to include convenience, social acceptance, health concerns, uniqueness, opulence and panache to name a few. The multicultural woman has an undeniable ingenuity that has sparked hair care trends for decades, even centuries. By the time trends spread to mainstream America—through suburban and rural neighborhoods, television shows, movies and overall pop-culture—the trend has usually ended. The subculture has now moved on to new trends and styles.
Now that we’ve examined where and how trends are conceived, here are the six hair styles to watch and get in 2016.
- HAUTE COLOR: Rich Colors will
Change the Hues in 2016
Bronde (in between brown and blonde), reds and oranges, rich greys and blues – whether full color, ombre or highlights, color variations will dominate in 2016! Colored weaves are a great way to play with color without the commitment.
Photo Credit: Darya Johnson
Darya Johnson of Darya’s Naturals @DaryasNaturals Professional Natural Stylist & Educator Salon Owner, Atlanta (Buckhead) & Chicago (Humboldt Park)
- TEXTURED UNDEFINED TOUSSLES:
Hair Styles that Embrace Texture
Natural Hair will continue to penetrate lifestyle for the multicultural woman through undefined afros, TWAs (Teeny Weeny Afros) and LOBS (shoulder length bobs).
- HAIR ACCESSORIES GALORE: Up-do’s and Accessories
These are easy go-tos for day or night, and everything in between. Unique and leather hair accessories give hair hold and high-style.
Photo Credit: Shine Beauty Culture
- BUNS & KNOTS: Chignons with a Twist
Simple, beautiful ways to change one’s look and still look fashionable; buns (bow, donuts, dual, high ninja), top knots and round knots are in! Maiden braids with buns are extra special.
- QUICK PROTECTIVE STYLES: Easy Change
Weaves and wigs are excellent protective styles. However, the cost commitment and time to install and wear can be daunting. Twists, braids and easy-to-install crochet weave hair installations offer quick hair style changes that can be removed quickly. Twists and Braids also taunt Bohemian, Natural or African inspired looks. (Consider Box and Ghana Braids and Marley Crochet Weaves.)
Photo Credit: Shine Beauty Culture
- SHORT STYLES: Nothing Says Change
Like a Short Cut
When a woman cuts her hair, it’s been said that she is inviting change. Edgy shaven, razored, undercuts or graduated bobs will continue to lead style versatility in 2016!
Photo Credit: Shine Beauty Culture
Sources: VoicesofHair.com, ProcosmoBox.com, IRI 2/2015, Nielson AA Consumer Report, 2015 and Pew Research Center, 2013.