The Booming Beauty Market in Africa

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LAGOS, Nigeria — In Africa, more and more middle-class women pay attention to their makeup and hairstyle and increase their consumption on their beauty. The expanding middle class makes Africa a promising platform for beauty markets. Thus, both entrepreneurs and multinational companies invest in the booming beauty industry in Africa.

According to Forbes, among the six women who are considered as emerging female entrepreneurs in Africa, two started their businesses in the beauty industry. Being aware of the large space in the cosmetics market, Louisa Kinoshi, a makeup enthusiast, founded BeautyRevNG.com. It is an e-commerce and online community for African makeup artists, beauty bloggers and makeup enthusiasts, and it offers young women an easier way to access local and international brands via laptops and mobile phones.

By offering consumers the latest cosmetic brands and corresponding tutorials and advice from makeup artists, Kinoshi earned $52,000 in three months. She hopes that women in Paris and Tokyo will be amazed by the African makeup styles of bright eye shadows, bold lips, gels and beads.

In addition to makeup, hair is also a big deal for women of African descent. However, it was hard for women who keep naturally textured hair to find the hair care service, and investors just started paying attention to the black hair care market in recent years.

Ngozi Opara, a former financial analyst and trained cosmetologist, founded Heat Free Hair Movement to offer hair care service for women’s naturally curly or multi-textured hair. She has many celebrity clients, such as the actress in Orange is the New Black Uzo Aduba, singer Jill Scott and reality TV star Tamar Braxton.

These celebrities lead the fashion of African hairstyle and help her gain fame in the market. As a pioneer in this market, she maintains her leading position by controlling the entire chain, even though the number of competitors has risen rapidly after her success.

“Africa is an exciting proposition for the beauty market, especially in the fast-growing economies such as Nigeria, as well as major markets such as South Africa and Egypt,” said Richard Orendo Smith, chemical materials analyst at Frost and Sullivan.

Facing such a vast market, not only entrepreneurs, but also giant multinational companies invest in Africa’s beauty industry. On March 2015, French cosmetics colossus L’Oreal contracted with Compagnie Française de l’Afrique Occidentale (CFAO) on the issues of producing and distributing cosmetics in the Ivory Coast.

According to Geoff Skingsley, executive vice-president for the Africa and Middle East zone at L’Oreal, the emerging middle class broadens the opportunity in the African market nowadays.

With the vast investment into Africa in the beauty industry, the personal care and beauty markets of South Africa and Nigeria have reached $2.1 billion and $1.2 billion, respectively. Thus, with the increasing number of women in Africa, especially middle-class women spending more on personal beauty, the beauty industry is becoming a promising sector that will boosts the economy in Africa.

Sources: Forbes, BeautyRevNG, Heat Free Hair Movement, Financial Times, Trefis
Photo: Essence Magazine

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