Hair care and beauty customs in Sub-Saharan Africa are country-specific, and some consumers will prefer aesthetic hairstyles while for others healthy hair is a priority.
In Sub-Saharan Africa, hair care is maintained both at home and in hair salons. Weekly or monthly visits to the hair salon depend on revenue but also on hair styles: braided, woven, with extensions or natural. Salon options range from those that are outdoors around open markets or in working-class neighbourhoods, to luxury salons with air-conditioning in large shopping malls. Prices in salons vary greatly and can increase significantly according to location. Hairdressing salons also offer a wide variety of products and brands.
Women chose their hairstyles according to important events (weddings, a new job), fashion, budget and the season. A hairstyle is the combination of three criteria:
- The final look that we see (straight, woven, braided or natural: afro, locks, short hair, etc.)
- The use of straightening products
- The addition of hair (extensions or weaved-in hair which allow for a variety of hairstyles: long, short, fringe, streaked, coloured, etc.)
Hair care is also practiced at home. Hair care products for use at home are selected for personal use according to hair type and to desired effects. Consumers do not hesitate to invest in a number of products, sometimes bought in hair salons, always with the same expectation for results and quality. A consumer's home hair care routine can include all of the following: cream to relieve scalp irritations, moisturising lotion to prevent breakage, detangling shampoo, de-frizzing conditioner and an oil to stimulate hair growth (coconut oil, for example).
These multiple products respond to a number of desired effects: hair health, shine and vitality.