Boosted by the revolutionary introduction of bond multipliers, as well as easier access to care and styling products through expanded distribution, the salon hair care market in the United Stated shows the highest annual growth in more than five years. Recording a rounded 6% increase in 2015, the market remains vibrant, particularly due to categories like conditioners and hair coloring, which grow above the overall market’s increase. Additionally, the rise in independent brands, such as Kevin Murphy, Oribe, Unite, Keune, and AG Hair, provides increased competition for the leading brands.
Conditioners show the highest growth in 2015, especially in the treatment area, propelled by bond multipliers, hair oils, and other treatment-oriented products. Among these, bond multipliers, a relatively new subcategory that began in mid-2014 with the launch of the revolutionary Olaplex, post the strongest growth throughout 2015.
Bond multipliers are considered by many to be a game‐changing treatment process as they are used to strengthen hair bonds and improve hair’s integrity, which is important when coloring the hair, especially with fragile hair. After Olaplex’s success, several manufacturers have followed this path with similar products entering the marketplace in 2015, including ColorpHlex, B3 Bond Builder, ColorPlex, Bondex, and Neo Bond.
Hair oils continue to be prominent due to new launches, such as Marula Oil from John Paul Mitchell Systems and Chi Tea Tree Oil from Farouk.
Other new treatment entries include Redken Frizz Dismiss, which is one of the largest launches of the year as it claims to put at bay the pesky problem of frizz, especially during periods of high humidity.
In hair coloring, the most exciting launches in the category are root touch-up products in a range of colors that allow consumers to easily extend the time between visiting the salon. Furthermore, new color techniques highlighted in fashion magazines and worn by celebrities, such as unicorn hair and babylights, along with new color collections of vivids, metallics, and opal-like colors, create additional interest in this category. Lastly, no-drip/freehand bleaches used to obtain desired effects, along with several new blonde color ranges, enter the market.
Sales for shampoos are also advancing, aided by the growing acceptance of cleansing conditioners, which Kline includes under shampoos, as the primary purpose of these products is to cleanse the hair. New cleansing conditioners introduced during the year come from Matrix, DevaCurl, and R+ Co., among others. While dry shampoos have been popular the past few years, during 2015, AG Hair and Moroccanoil launch dry shampoos that help maintain hair color.
On the distribution side, the changing retail arena for salon hair care products in the United States over the past few years has helped the industry grow, with an increasing number of salon brands being legitimately sold outside the salon channel in high-end cosmetic specialty stores, such as Sephora and Blue Mercury, as well as in department stores, such as Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus. Additionally, cosmetic specialty retailer Ulta gains 100 new locations during the year, making it one of the largest sellers of salon care and styling products in the country.
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This increased accessibility to salon products is further augmented by the growing acceptance of online platforms, such as Loxa Beauty and StyleSeat, which expand during the year. Some salon brands, such as Oribe, even agree to be sold in Amazon’s luxury beauty store.
We will discuss more about this evolving market in the upcoming edition of our annual Salon Hair Care Global Series, which now features an analysis of the bond multipliers product category, as well as in-depth coverage of more than 20 key countries around the globe. The online database is now available, while the written reports will follow soon.
Written by Donna Barson, Senior Associate Consumer Products and Marcela Chifu, Marketing Executive Consumer Products