By Princewill Ekwujuru
Local and foreign manufacturers in the hair and beauty segment of the market are locked in supremacy battle for market share.
The battle for the market share is in the shampoo, conditioner and oil sub-sector of the market. The local brands competing against foreign brands include, Natures Gentle Touch, manufactured by Recare Nigeria, a multinational with local presence in Nigeria; Venus hair care range, manufactured by PZ Cussons, Promaxx, produced by Global Industries Limited; Topklass manufactured by VIP Industries Limited; Vinoz, produced by Vintage Industries Limited; Morning star, manufactured by M. S Industries Nigeria; Apple Beauty shampoo, produced by N.N. Fems Industries, Soulmate, manufactured by Soulmate Industries Limited and others.
The foreign hair and beauty brands jostling for market share against local brands are, Dark and Lovely, Argan oil shampoo, Lemon sage, Nexxus, Vo5 Herbal Escape hair shampoo and conditioner, Shea butter moisturizing cream shampoo, and Revlon.
The battle for supremacy is reflected in products segmentation, competitive pricing and attractive packaging by the manufacturers, aimed at expanding their market reach in a bid to leverage market growth.
Another step taken by the producers to grow the market is, offering of products in different pack sizes and plastic containers, therefore widening consumer choices across different price ranges.
Vanguard Companies Markets, C&M findings revealed that investment in infrastructure by the multinationals with local presence in Nigeria, increasing population, craze for beautiful, neat and fashionable hair have been identified as factors driving growth in the industry.
The manufacturers are considering Nigeria as one of their major markets primarily due to the huge population and market size, which they see as attractive and ready-made for their products.
C&M discovered that most of the brands come with shampoo, conditioners and oil, which makes it difficult for a consumer to buy the products differently.
C&M also noted that the distribution system employed by the manufacturers is not different from the direct supply approach deployed by other product owners to reach their target audience.
Findings by C&M in various markets and hair dressers in parts of Lagos, Ogun, Imo , Anambra and Enugu States showed that consumers were divergent in their views, but majority of them preferred Natures Gentle Touch, Promaxx, Salvon, Topklass, Dark and Lovely, Nexxus and Soulmate.
A consumer, Yemisi Awosanya, indicated preference for Topklass, saying, “It gives me the kind of soft and tiny hair I want.”
Ms. Ifeoma Oji, a hairdresser who plies her trader at Iyana-Isasi, Lagos said: “Most customers who come here use Promaxx, Salvon or Natures Gentle Touch, this also depends on scull and skin type. People also go for these products because of their quality. “
Another hair dresser, Francisca Ochonogor, whose shop is located at Isolo, Lagos, said: “All these products are of good quality, particularly Dark and Lovely, Argan oil shampoo, Venus and Natures Gentle Touch. Ochonogor who refused to mention brand names stated: “The challenge with some of the products is that consumers complain of burns after use.” According to Mrs Abisola Olarotimi, Chief Executive Officer of Ultimate Shampoo, Iyana-Iba market, Lagos State, said: Topklass hair shampoo is the most popular shampoo among consumers. It is widely used in salons; I often use the product because it repairs hair and makes it soft, although I also make use of Promaxx shampoo whenever I run out of Topklass.”
Ogbodo Ifeoma, a hairstylist at Jessica’s Unisex salon at Festac Town, Lagos State, said: “Topklass shampoo is the best so far, it softens hair and makes it shiny. When used on clients’ hair, it makes the hair shiny and it is affordable.
According to a hair expert, Josephine Oke, who runs a hair clinic in Surulere, Lagos, said: “Washing our hair is something most of us do without thinking twice about it. It’s just part of our daily routine. It might not be as simple as we thought. As it turns out, the way you wash your hair can be the difference between a good hair day and a bad one.”
“After doing hair for 15 years, I find most people still have a hard time with this very fundamental task. The first step is figuring out what type of hair you have. Do a test and see if the diameter of your hair is smaller than a quarter. That means you have fine hair. And a quarter or more means you have medium to thick hair,” said Oke.
“From there you will find the right shampoo and conditioner for your hair type. For fine hair, use a product that won’t weigh the hair down, but give it strength and volume.
Fine hair has 50 percent less protein than medium or thick hair, which means it’s weak and needs to be strengthened. For medium to thick hair, look for a product with moisture that will soften the texture,” she pointed out.