In our society, women experience a greater burden and pressure to look beautiful. This is the main reason why hair products and extensions, skin care and make-up products are the largest and most lucrative segments of the global cosmetics market. Of course, these segments are targeted at, and dominated by, female consumers.
Every year, in addition to other basic cosmetics, women around the world are the biggest spenders on all kinds of make-up, skin care and hair products.
More African women, especially in the middle class, now have more spending power. Higher education is allowing many middle class African women to pursue promising careers (like men) in the workplace. As a result, more women on our continent have the extra income that gives them the spending power to ‘invest’ in the latest fashion trends – and a significant chunk of this spending goes to beauty and personal care products.
In addition to the income women earn themselves, there is also a ‘male support factor’ at play in the huge spending on cosmetic products. Many women are wholly or partially supported by partners (husbands, boyfriends, uncles and brothers) who spend directly and indirectly on beauty products either by giving cash or buying these cosmetics as ‘gift’ items.
As long as Africa’s economic growth continues to look up and the size of the middle class continues to grow, these direct and indirect sources of female spending power will get stronger.