Africa and the Middle East I f you were to wander the streets of Cape Town, South Africa and watch as the salty ocean breeze pulled at the hair of the passers-by you would likely catch a glimpse of the dynamic cross-section that makes up the African hair care market. According to the 2013 Euromonitor International report, estimates are that the hair care market in Africa and the Middle East racks up to $4.2 billion. The beauty market in these regions has been growing dramatically over the last several years, and in Africa, the hair care market in particular has seen extensive innovation. In an article with Voice of America’s Gillian Parker, one Johannesburg stylist marks the increase in extensions and wigs to the improved quality of extensions available as well as to the wide range of prices. Parker notes that at some salons extensions cost $10 while at a high-end establishment they can range up to $800. South Africa, although considered by some to be the most established market, is by no means alone in consumption. McBride Research Labs, the manufacturer of the brand Design Essentials, recently launched in Nigeria. Cornell McBride states that the Nigerian market in particular holds a significant potential for growth; the company opened with a variety of teaching opportunities in Lagos on July 24, 2014. News anchor Esther Ugbodaga, in an interview with McBride, suggested that young women in Nigeria consider hair care to be more essential than any other product. While hair care is one of the highest grossing markets, it is not the only one to experience growth in Africa. Euromonitor shows that color cosmetics have also seen serious increases in 86 COSMOBIZ SALON SEPTEMBER 2014 profits in the last few years. The dynamic is reversed in many Middle Eastern countries, with color cosmetics beating out hair care for revenue. For many of the 38 million women of Iran, make-up has become a daily routine. Iran is the 7th largest country in terms of cosmetic purchases, a fact which is made more impressive considering the country ranks 18th in population. Cosmetics researchers have found that Iranian women purchase, on average, one new tube of mascara a month; this is in contrast to the one tube purchased every 4 months by French women. Despite high demand, embargoes and trade restrictions have limited the availability of foreign cosmetics. Only 40% of cosmetics sold come from certified vendors; the remaining 60% of all beauty products sold in Iran are bootlegged. Lancôme recently renewed its trade ties within the country after several decades; the brand hosted a massive party in Tehran to celebrate. Iranian fashion designer, Tina Zarinnam, told reporters, “Iranian women wear makeup as soon as they get up in the morning. Even if they feel ill, they know that they must look beautiful in the street.” Iranian women are not the only ones with a love of lipstick; in Saudi Arabia the estimated revenue for beauty products reached $397.2 million in 2010, and it’s expected to reach $502.9 million by 2015. Some suggest that the dramatic consumption of make-up in the Middle East is in response to the restrictions women have in regard to appearance. In many countries all but the face is covered leaving only one place for style-based self expression. Meanwhile the use of haircare products, such as wigs and extensions, is significantly lower. That is not to say that there is no market for hair products in the Middle East. In fact Euromonitor reported significant growth, especially in the area of products that features two-in-one benefits.