Men's hair colouring segment boosts declining market

By Lorraine Heller

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Human physical appearance, Garnier

Hair colouring products for men and teenagers look likely to prop
up an otherwise declining market, according to a recent report by
market analyst Mintel.

Product saturation, stiff competition and lack of innovation have since 2002 resulted in a year-on-year 7.3 percent decline in the nation's hair colouring market, currently valued at $1 billion.

However, men's hair colouring has been the only segment to see sales gains between 2002 and 2004, reflecting men's newfound interest in personal grooming and appearance.

"Hair colouring is becoming ever more popular among men, particularly Baby Boomers, who strive to ward off the visible effects of aging,"​ said the report.

"Hispanic men also use these products at an increasing rate, as Hispanic cultural emphasis on personal appearance ties Hispanic men to personal grooming products of all types,"​ it added.

Whereas women's products still account for the highest sales, "men are estimated to make a bigger impact in the near future."

Of the three top major companies, men's-only hair-colouring manufacturer Combe is the only one to have seen a sales gain between 2003 and 2004, according to the report.

Products aimed at teenagers are also set to experience good performance as the younger generations experiment with various fashion trends.

"Teens will continue to seek out new or bold looks that can be easily achieved with home coloring kits, so they will be likely to keep the market from declining even further. Because they prefer frequent change, temporary colors or rinses will likely be a popular choice through 2006,"​ said Mintel.

Of all the large players, Garnier revealed the best performance in the period, gaining a significant 23.6 percent in share in 2004.

Garnier, owned by cosmetics giant L'Oreal, markets itself as a hip, trendier alternative to established manufacturers, with brightly coloured packaging and advertisements, featuring young models engaged in active lifestyles.

"The success of Garnier most likely reflects the growing teen presence in the market,"​ said the report.

Each of the leading hair colouring manufacturers uses celebrities as part of their promotion campaigns. Actresses and models are the most used, especially by established companies such as Clairol, Revlon and L'Oreal, whereas Garnier opts for younger, more modern actresses. Combe uses athletes to promote its men's products, as a way to dissociate the idea of hair colouring from femininity.Mintel forecasts the hair colouring market to decrease 10 percent at current prices from 2004 to 2006.

Although salons will continue to challenge sales and hair colouring manufacturers are likely to have a hard time addressing the health risks associated with their products, the report concludes that innovation remains the key to turning around slumping sales.

Related topics: Market Trends, Hair Care

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