”The new generation is beginning to go natural because they have lost their hair,” said Ennon, who predicted the resulting change in product demands would continue.
”You’re going to see more products for the natural type of hairstyle,” he said.
The Mintel report predicted a 23 percent decline in sales of straighteners, or ”relaxers,” through 2011, while conditioner sales were expected to increase.
Some credit an awakening among black consumers.
Activist Duron Chavis said his annual Happily Natural Day, in Richmond, draws 1,000 consumers for an organic product expo and natural hair show — a modest turnout, but one Chavis said would’ve been scant years ago.
”People have become secure and affirming of who they are as African people,” Chavis said. ”…They’re going natural to affirm their heritage.”
Qhemet Biologics has tapped the trend.