Canada has become an important market to watch in the professional beauty space, despite its small size. The country has become increasingly populated by fast-growing indie brands trending in the United States, but a number of new Canadian-born entrants are also making moves. With the ever-changing competitive landscape, this market will be vital to brands and marketers seeking to establish themselves as leaders in both the salon hair care and professional skin care markets in Canada.
After years of maintaining 3%-4% growth, the salon hair care market saw significant struggles in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The market often follows key trends first witnessed in the U.S. salon environment, such as the rise of independent stylists. This difficult-to-track segment has been a key area of focus for Kline in recent years, with the publication of reports such as the Independent Stylists: Global Market Brief and Independent Stylists: Canada Qualitative Study. These independent stylists run their own business from a variety of locations, including their own homes, clients’ homes, salon suites, or booth rentals, and have continued to grow as the future of the salon environment remains unstable in Canada.
Many anticipate that government bailouts and programs in 2020 prevented a significant number of salon closures, but beginning in 2021, closure rates will increase drastically, resulting in a rising number of unemployed stylists. While some may seek employment from other salons, others may use the opportunity to make the shift to an independent format. This shift is expected to be a lasting change, as panelists from Kline’s recent Independent Stylists: Canada Qualitative Study indicated that the only way they would return to a salon was if they were opening their own location. The benefits of owning their own business, such as freedom in choosing brands, setting pricing and hours, and choosing clientele, outweighed the negatives, such as having to book appointments, order supplies, and service clients on their own.
Similar to the salon hair care market in Canada, the professional skin care market was small when compared to the United States and Europe but continued to be highly dynamic. According to our Professional Skin Care Global Series report, the market is characterized by the dominance of multi-national companies like SkinCeuticals and Canadian–born brands like Vivier; however, emerging independent brands like SkinBetter Science and Alastin also continue to make their presence notable in the industry. SkinBetter Science and Alastin, both market movers in the United States since their debuts in 2015 and 2016, respectively, have recently begun to look internationally, with Alastin marking its first international expansion in October 2020 to Canada. Spa brands are also starting to widen distribution in the physician-dispensed space in Canada. Murad, for example, announced a partnership with HydraFacial Canada last month, introducing Murad Vita-C Booster for HydraFacial only a few months after the launch of Murad’s Retinol Booster for HydraFacial Canada.
Kline tracks these growing trends in the Canadian professional beauty market with the Professional Skin Care Global Series report and the Independent Stylists: Global Market Brief report, analyzing the latest dynamics and shifts for brands and channels.