Hair care – Tailored tresses

Published: 1-Nov-2012

Increased innovation in hair care has resulted in a more segmented offering that caters to a diverse range of hair types. Oils of all kinds continue to dominate NPD as both ingredients and as products in their own right as consumers look for traditional and natural ways to nurture hair. Consumers are also taking a more holistic approach to hair care and looking at improving the look of hair via better scalp health and the use of nutricosmetics. Meanwhile, salon style products for at-home use cater to time and cash poor consumers but people are willing to spend more money on high end products if it means greater efficacy or a more luxurious experience

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Increased innovation in hair care has resulted in a more segmented offering that caters to a diverse range of hair types, which in turn is helping to drive market growth. Julia Wray reports

Few people are a stranger to the confidence kick of a bad hair day. The right clothing can hide all manner of sins while today’s sophisticated skin care/make-up hybrids are the perfect weapon against dull, blotchy skin. But frizzy, greasy, badly dyed or cut hair is far harder to disguise.

“Hair is extremely important psychologically,” confirms renowned trichologist Philip Kingsley. “If you have a bad hair day you have a bad day. It can make you miserable.”

Lucky then that hair care is currently enjoying a renaissance in terms of innovation and value growth. In 2011 the hair care market reached nearly $73.7bn in sales, up 9% on $67.6bn in 2010 with significant gains across all product sectors.

Moreover, hair care has benefited from ongoing diversification. “A few years ago hair care was at a bit of an innovation stand still and price was the deciding factor between brands,” notes Nicole Tyrimou, beauty and personal care analyst at Euromonitor International. “Now hair care is being inspired by skin care and there is far more segmentation, with products for the scalp, split ends, nourishing products, organic ones etc.”

Kingsley agrees that the market is diversifying and will continue to do so. “What’s going to happen and is already happening to an extent is there will be more niche products. Not to be used all the time but when necessary: products for use on a damp day or a cold day, for example,” he tells SPC. “I think there will be a trend towards people looking for personalised hair care.”

Internationally, growth in hair care is being spurred forward by rising sales in Asia Pacific and Latin America. As Tyrimou explains: “In Asia Pacific, India especially, consumers are very big on hair. Indian women don’t buy a lot of moisturising creams or anti-agers because the climate is so hot and humid; for skin they prefer talcum powder and this frees up money to invest in hair care.”

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