The Barbie movie is officially a billion-dollar blockbuster and is on track to be the highest-grossing movie of the year. Can the movie’s success help turnaround sales for hair lightening services, which have been soft over the last 12 months?
Barbie has been a cultural icon for over 60 years, and her hairstyles have had a major impact on the beauty industry. From the simple ponytail to the elaborate updo, Barbie’s hairstyles have been mirrored by girls and women all over the world.
Barbie encouraged creativity and innovation among hairstylists. Her ever-changing hairstyles have pushed stylists to keep up with the latest trends and techniques, as well as to create their own original designs. Many hairstylists have used Barbie as a model or a muse for their work, and some have even collaborated with Mattel, the maker of Barbie, to create exclusive collections or campaigns featuring Barbie’s hair.
Leading up to the movie’s release, Barbie-related beauty hashtags have blown up on TikTok, with #barbienails, #barbiemakeup, #barbiebeauty and #barbiehair accumulating 171 million views in just 30 days.
Beauty manufacturers added to the buzz by fostering collaborations centered around the Barbie theme. Notably, Schwarzkopf Professional BLONDME released two limited edition hair kits in conjunction with Barbie, exclusively available for purchase on Amazon. Paul Mitchell is sponsoring the ‘World of Barbie’ in Los Angeles, an in-person interactive experience to explore the iconic lifestyle of the doll.
These collective initiatives appear to be yielding results as revenues for Barbie soar on Amazon, and Barbie-related beauty service requests such as pink manicures and platinum blonde hair stylings have reportedly skyrocketed.
Can Barbie’s success at the box office translate to register rings at salons? Hair lightening services in independent salons is a big business to reverse. According to our Kline PRO: Salon Retail Products and Services Database, spending on hair lightening services among Americans totalled $6.2 billion over the latest 12 months ending March 2023, marking a decline of 2% compared to the prior 12 months. The number of hair lightening services slid even further, down 7% to 52 million during the same period.
To revert to the benchmarks of the prior year, independent salons would need to see requests for hair lightening services increasing by a whopping 4.2 million transactions. Achieving this goal would entail approximately 7% of women aged 15–44 to add one lightening service to their salon visits over the next year. Alternatively, 10% of all Barbie movie-goers would need to be inspired to lighten their hair as of mid-August. If either of these scenarios materializes, independent salons will net an additional $500 million in lightening services sales.
Through our Kline PRO: Salon Retail Products and Services Database, we will continue to track how the excitement around the iconic Barbie doll translates into salon sales. To learn more, please schedule a demo with our team.