What is in this article?:
- To Dye For: Do-It-Yourself Hair Coloring
- Colorful Competition
Women are taking hair coloring into their own hands with no-drip foam kits and color innovations.
Putting your best face forward is not typically meant literally. But for consumers looking to maintain salon-quality coiffure in budget-tightening times, putting your best face forward often means exchanging the salon visits for at-home hair-coloring products.
“Given the current economic conditions, more consumers are looking for more ways to cut back on expenses,” said Benny Smith, spokesman for Food Lion. “Coloring hair at home is a great way to reduce the cost associated with hair maintenance. We offer a variety of shades and the latest coloring technology available on the market today at low prices.”
In 2011, the at-home hair coloring market was a $1.9 billion industry posting a 3% increase over the previous year, according to Chicago-based Mintel. The growth of the at-home market comes at the expense of the salon industry as consumers tighten their budgets.
The majority of sales growth comes from women — particularly ages 35 to 64 — who are the primary consumers of at-home dyes. SymphonyIRI Group, Chicago, sales data for the 52 weeks ending April 15, puts the market at more than $950 million in sales compared with the men’s segment of just under $150 million.
A Mintel survey finds that one-third of Hispanic respondents use permanent dyes, making them the largest ethnic group to use these products.
These two demographic trends bode well for the hair-coloring category as both the female and Hispanic populations are expected to grow through 2016.
Salisbury, N.C.-based Food Lion uses these and other marketing tools to match the products it stocks to its customers’ needs.
“We leverage a variety of tools such as customer insights and market data to ensure our company is merchandising the correct hair-shading products and technology to our customers,” said Smith.
Maria Brous, spokeswoman for Lakeland, Fla.-based Publix Super Markets confirmed that the chain has seen hair color sales grow over the past two years.
“The majority of change within the past year can be attributed to three brands: John Frieda, L’Oreal and Nice ’n Easy,” she said.
Data tracked by SymphonyIRI show that the same top-performing brands at Publix also sell well at other supermarkets, drug stores and mass merchandisers (excluding Wal-Mart). L’Oreal Superior Preference, which claims to defy fade-out for up to 8 weeks, is the shareleader of the combined channels with $117 million in sales, followed by L’Oreal Excellence Women’s Hair Coloring ($95.4 million) and Garnier Nutrisse Women’s Hair Coloring ($92.2 million).
Though customers seem brand loyal to familiar products, retailers report hair-coloring innovations have made a sizable dent in the market. “We continue to introduce new items, thus enhancing our product mix, allowing for a better assortment and more technological products,” said Brous of products like foam coloring kits.
Two at-home hair-coloring products made SymphonyIRI’s nonfood list of the top 10 Rising Stars, or items on track to be among the bestselling new products of 2012. Clairol Nice ’n Easy Color Blend Foam, touting drip-free tones and highlights, and John Frieda Precision Foam Colour (left), for salon-quality results at home, use new foam technology to reduce the mess generally associated with at-home hair dyes.
Not surprisingly then, retailers report that the new products have helped grow the category.
“We introduced foam products to our stores last year, and it has contributed to our category growth,” said Brous.
Mintel also recognizes the influence of application innovations, which companies are using to compete for customers in the increasingly crowded market. Besides the foam technology, sprays and sticks for root touch-ups are making an appearance.
Permanent hair dye represents more than half of the at-home hair-coloring market. While semi-permanent products saw 9.3% growth since 2006, the segment’s sales were $352 million or just a third of the permanent segment’s sales, but that shouldn’t prevent retailers from stocking the products.
“We offer a wide variety of products, and focus on the items that our customers buy most such as semi-permanent, demi-permanent and permanent products,” said Food Lion’s Smith.