A professional hair care product so heavily praised by my colleague and the project manager for Salon Hair Care, caused me to seek it out at a hair salon. To my pleasant surprise, I also received a free shampoo product with my purchase. It wasn’t a large package, but it was enough to convince me that professional hair care products can make my hair exceptionally beautiful. This happy revelation, which was prompted by a word-of-mouth recommendation of an unrelated product and the brand’s promotional efforts that delivered promised results, has converted me into a buyer.
Incidentally, the product that led me to the salon was one of those highly popular hair oils. The emergence of these oil-based treatments enriched with argan and macadamia oils has proven an exciting trend much appreciated by the market. These products are doing very well – especially the Colomer Group’s Orofluido, Kérastase’s Elixir Ultime, and Schwarzkopf’s Oil Miracle Finishing Treatment. This week’s Cosmoprof show confirmed the trend with our consumer team noting a number of new brands introducing oil treatments. While most of these products were still argon-based, new varieties with agave oil were seen there as well.
A wide variety of marketing strategies used by professional hair care brands, such as special price offers, duo-packs of essential hair care products, or special gift sets, seem to become popular ways to introduce consumers to new products or simply drive sales. Despite all the intensive marketing activities, innovative products, and complex but near irresistible in-salon treatments, the salon hair care products market has been flat or even in decline in mature markets, such as the United States and Europe. Mirroring the professional skin care scene, the trends behind the figures show an interesting mix of performances.
The U.S. market dips slightly in 2011, after a substantial increase in 2010. Europe posts a slight gain of 1.7%, with this number gaining its positive spin by virtue of the lusty markets of Russia and Turkey. Of the mature markets, only Germany shows an increase in sales. Frequency of salon visits is lower in 2011 than in 2010, and it appears that this may be a long-term trend. However, specifically in the United States, in-salon treatments are on the rise, boosting back-bar sales, and suggesting an encouraging means for both marketers and salons to gain incremental sales, especially in the areas of thinning hair, reversing signs of aging and sun damage, and scalp health. Marketers are also continuing to launch innovative products and seek ways to further engage, entice and broaden their customer base. Hair coloring products category, supported by a number of new launches–especially in the low and no-ammonia areas from brands such as L’Oréal Professionnel’s INOA (L’Oréal) and Schwarzkopf’s ESSENSITY (Henkel) performing particularly well–posts a 2.9% increase in 2011. Hair coloring marketers are innovating their products for easier application, less odor, and reduced processing times.
Another trend consists of customized treatments, where Kérastase fusio-dose is pioneering multiple made-to-measure combinations, is one of those revolutionary steps that will hopefully bring more customers back to salons. Although the market numbers seem wobbly at the moment, a myriad of happenings on the market forecast positive growth over the next five years. Above-average growth rates are expected to be shown by brands that have high support from their parent companies in terms of R&D and new product launches, as well as large marketing budgets for promotions and advertising.
For more information see Kline’s Salon Hair Care Global Series: Market Analysis and Opportunities.
Vera Sandarova, Marketing Manager