The beauty industry has long been challenged to adapt to the needs and preferences of diverse consumers. Over the next few years, we expect to see the industry manage the shift in consumer demographics by addressing trends (and movements) that reflect the cultural values, aesthetic ideals, and spending habits of Black and LatinX consumers, who are two of the most influential and engaged groups in the beauty market.
2024 holds exciting possibilities for transformation and growth within the multicultural beauty segment. Here are Multicultural Beauty Insider’s predictions for what consumers will experience, as well as opportunities for brands in the space.
- More Minis Please: Mini sizes of hero products are taking over. From cosmetics to hair care to personal care, minis have a fun aesthetic, are perfect for trial and travel, and are product junky approved. Retailers in almost every channel where beauty products are sold are making room to merchandise minis.
- Thermal Protection Systems: We’re going beyond Silk Press season! The “Naturally Straight” woman (women who primarily wear their natural texture heat-styled) have been the most ignored segment within the natural hair community. There are dozens of products to define the perfect twist out or keep curls bouncing and behaving. However, there’s little to nothing over the counter to maintain a healthy natural hair, Silk Press lifestyle year-round. In the past, attempts by a few brands with great products were significantly short-lived due to the companies’ lack of investment in courting and educating the consumer. But, new products like The Doux’s Thermal Styling System has a chance to get it right by understanding the science of thermal straightening (the company’s founder is a Cosmetologist), along with the lifestyle of this consumer, and by creating marketing and sales strategies directed to multiple end users (consumers and salon professionals).
- Healthy Scalp, Healthy Hair: 2024 will mirror 2023 with remedies addressing scalp health. Scalp scrubs, serums, exfoliants, and other elixirs will be marketed as the new essential item as part of a healthy hair regimen. The category is growing, globally, as consumers are demanding healthy, more natural options that absorb into their scalp.
- Shiny Lips: Lip oils are having more than a moment. They’re becoming exceptionally popular as a desirable alternative to lip balms and lip glosses (which are both still relevant), since they aren’t waxy or sticky, and generally last longer. Another Gen Z and Millennial targeted category, the demand for non-medicated lip care is expected to rise along with the population’s growing propensity for multi-purpose cosmetics (shine, moisture, wind/sun protection, finishing product, etc). Retail newcomer, Glosshood, is right on track with their gloss/balm hybrid lip therapy.
- Bond Repair Products: Numerous general market and professional brands have struck gold over the past couple of years with bond repair remedies. The multicultural segment is just starting to catch on and explore products with intensive repair and restorative properties. Shea Moisture is one of the first in the multicultural space to offer an over-the-counter solution with the launch of their 4-Step Bond Repair System that claims 84% less breakage and 6X stronger hair, sold in Target. Developed properly, with tested products and good consumer education, multicultural brands have a golden opportunity to launch their own repair systems or other science-backed treatments, as damage and breakage are common pain points for Black and Brown consumers.
- Indigenous Ingredients: Every couple of years a new ingredient from Mother Africa emerges in multicultural hair products. Some have staying power (shea butter and argan oil), and others struggle to gain consumer confidence (marula and moringa). Going into 2024, products made with chebe powder are courting Black consumers. With LatinX consumers, products made with ingredients rooted in their traditions are hitting just right, creating a connection to culture and heritage. From the nopalera plant used in Nopalera’s soap products, to pineapple extracts in Rizos Curls, and Guava in Ceremonia’s hair care, ingredients from the earth are widely believed to have healing properties. Consumers are intrigued by Indigenous and ancient ingredients, and are prone to trial.
- Both Natural & Futuristic Makeup: Two polar opposite makeup trends are expected to dominate 2024. Younger consumers are straying away from the heavily contoured “beat face,” replacing it with a more natural, cleaner, “less is more” look. Many consumers, regardless of gender, will work on achieving glowing skin accentuated with multi-purpose sticks and powders for eyes, cheeks, and lips. The opposing trend gives faces a futuristic vibe (think AfroPunk). Look for brands to launch high pigment, vibrant and metallic colors for eye pallets and eye liners. Accessories will complete the look, with eyes and faces adorned with rhinestones.
- Sun Care for Dark Skin Tones: After a steadfast journey to retail, Black Girl Sunscreen was the first to launch an effective, over-the-counter sun care solution for melanated skin. Other brands have followed suit with products mostly sold in masstige stores (Ulta, Sephora). It’s time for the mass channel to create space and become a destination for this growing and health-focused segment of skin care. Since we’re now learning that “Black does crack,” also start looking for SPF protection benefits to show up in body care and color cosmetics for darker skin tones.
- Beauty & Wellness Merge: We’re already seeing professional and prestige spaces marry beauty with wellness benefits, through experiences like luxury hair spa services and products that have mood enhancing fragrances. This is an area ripe for Black and Brown-owned brands to create general market or culturally-relevant wellness solutions with hair, skin, body, nails, personal care, ingestibles and other products or services that have inside and outside body benefits.