L'Oréal is convinced that there is an infinite variety of beauty models and is committed to meeting the beauty needs and aspirations of diverse populations. In order to provide products that are specifically adapted to African skin and hair, for example, L'Oréal created a research centre to gather in-depth knowledge on their specificities.
Initial work started in the late 1980s within the Advanced Research and Hair Metrology teams. They were able to identify the physical and biological characteristics of African hair that explain its great fragility.
In 2003, to further its understanding of ethnic hair and skin, the group opened "The L’Oréal Institute for Ethnic Hair and Skin Research" - the first research centre entirely dedicated to non-Caucasian skin and hair.
In 2007, L’Oréal published a detailed classification of the world's hair types in 8 categories, corresponding to a scale of curl, from the straightest (1) to the frizziest (8).