According to the Pew Research Center, the U.S. Asian population grew 72% between 2000 and 2015 (from 11.9 million to 20.4 million), the fastest growth rate of any major racial or ethnic group. The largest groups are of Chinese, Indian and Filipino origin. Often this statistic is usually thought of as the AAPI (Asian America, Pacific Islander) population however there is another subset that should be addressed.
The MENA (Middle East and North Africa) or WANA (Western Asian and North African) population within the US is estimated at 5 million people and had a growth rate of 36% at last true measurement in 2016.
For instance, the Muslim population is set to grow significantly faster than the world’s total population, yet this market remains very under-served. As we extend the US multi-racial beauty conversation, let’s work to understand how to address these consumer subsets needs also.
What does this all MENA?
Many people across the Western Asia and North Africa regions wear head coverings in one way or another as a sign of faith, status, modesty, mourning, or tradition. Others have what seems like mythically long, smooth, and lustrous locks of the richest hues that is don no headpiece. For either option, these consumers have thick strands with varying densities. So, What are they looking for in hair care products?
Hair is often styled in braids to ensure nourishment and protect strands. Aiding in shape retention without heat is an ideal product for when releasing braids or heatless curlers.
Start with ingredients that provide light moisturization, prevent static and frizz to help to keep hair manageable and most importantly healthy. Consider also ingredients that allow for Vegan and Halal Claims.
a fast-spreading, polar oil component with silicon-like sensorial properties that is naturally derived and conditions while efficiently reducing combining forces without, adds shine all without greasiness, residue or build-up
Protective Styling of Strands for Shape Hair is often styled in braids to ensure nourishment and protect strands. Aiding in shape retention without heat is an ideal product for when releasing braids or heatless curlers
Populations stemming from the WANA/MENA regions are not the only groups to wear head covering, in fact across North America, there are 574 federally recognized Indian Nations (Indigenous people) many of who wear traditional or ceremonial headdress. In addition across Africa, people have worn and brought with them head wraps also known as Yorubas/Angeles/doek/dukus. The pieces are worn in the Americas as fashion statements, as a marker of communal identity and pride, to protect the hair and scalp or to avoid styling the hair. Read more about that here
Provide added benefits through concepts that address the effects of covering the hair such as greasiness, odor, static and flat hair allow for a more comprehensive product selection. Appropriate solutions can be leave-in products that moisturize the hair throughout the day, as well as products such as mists that provide freshness and fragrance for the covered hair.
There is also an opportunity for products that refresh the scalp, such as hair masks or night repair creams to provide nourishment and rejuvenation to the scalp.