Hair Care Market Lacks Luster in Europe

By Katie Middleweek, Editor,European CosmeticMarkets | August 11, 2011

It has not been a good year for the hair care category in the Big 5 countries of France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK. With the exception of the UK, which posted positive sales, all other countries experienced a loss in value terms. This is disappointing news in a market that seems to be awash with innovation and new product development, but perhaps it indicates that customers are just making cutbacks when it comes to their hair care and styling needs.

Lacking in Bounce

According to SymphonyIRI France, the hair care market there is not exactly full of bounce at present as sales slipped 2.8% in the past year to nearly $1.2 billion. The hair styling category fared even worse, dipping 4.3% to $382 million.

Even sales of conditioners, normally an extremely popular sub-sector in France, fell 0.7% to about $262 million. But there was some light at the end of the tunnel as gains were made in the area of family shampoos, which put on an impressive 11% to $112 million.

In terms of new product launches in France, hair repair treatments have experienced something of a revival and Phyto is one such brand that is focusing on this important trend with the launch of PhytoKératine.

This range of three products, Reparative shampoo, Reparative conditioning treatment and Reparative serum, draws inspiration from the dermatological technique of Lipofilling with Kerato-Filler, an “intra keratin” fiber filler that reportedly helps restore the inner hair substance. The filler contains a combination of botanical keratin and hyaluronic acid, while the products also promise to work on the cuticle to even out the surface of the fiber in order to provide protection, with the help of botanical ceramides and pomegranate extract. Together, these four active ingredients act on both the inside and outside of the hair fiber to leave hair appearing more repaired and protected, according to the company.

Repair Needed

The combined hair care and hair styling category in Germany also recorded a loss in value terms, sliding 0.9% to $2.1 billion in 2010, according to data from Symphony IRI Germany. However, the area of hair care on its own did inch up 0.3% to account for $1.1 billion while hair styling sales slid 1.8% to $584 million. Sales of hair colorants dropped 2.6% to $408 million.

Also following on the repair theme when it came to new product development was Beiersdorf-owned brand Marlies Möller, which is extremely popular with German consumers. The new products for 2011, Daily Repair Rich Shampoo and Repair Oil Treatment, both contain passionflower and Gold of Pleasure oils to give hair a super smooth appearance and to make it easy to comb and style without leaving an oily residue. The company says the first product strengthens the hair and gives it resilience while the second product has an anti-frizz effect and softens hair with its repairing properties. Marlies Möller advises that the two products should be used together for maximum impact.

Poor Condition

According to industry body Unipro, sales within the Italian hair care market also fell 2.3% to $1.5 billion. Unipro says that hair care accounts for a 15.1% share of the total Italian cosmetics and toiletries market. Shampoos, which are normally one of the most steadfast categories, also fell 0.4% to $650 million while masks and conditioners dipped 2.1% to $202 million. The biggest losses were recorded in the hair gels and waters sub-sector as it dropped 4.5% to $95 million.

The trend for volumizing hair was big news in Italy last year and Cielo Alto focused on this trend by bringing out products such as its new Gel Ecologico Volumizzante Effetto Bagnato to volumize and boost hair while styling it. A shampoo product launched in the same lineis said to cleanse hair while giving a boost to even the finest strands.

In other volumizing news, P&G brand Pantene rolled out its new Body & Volume line of six new volumizing items to remove all the residue from hair which can leave it feeling heavy and dull.

Retail Revival

Figures from SymphonyIRI Spain have indicated that hair care sales fell 3% to $994 million in the past year. The sub-sector of shampoos fell 3% to $384 million, although volume sales for this product category did grow 3% due to the popularity of the largely affordable retail channel of supermarkets and hypermarkets. This suggests that Spaniards now prefer to buy their shampoos during their weekly outings rather than make a separate trip to the perfumery or drugstore.

Protection and reparation are key features of a new range from Schwarzkopf (Schwarzkopf & Henkel) that is always a popular brand in Spanish hair care. Gliss Ultimate Repair introduced the new Liquid Hair Repair technology with a triple liquid keratin formula to repair damaged hair and is available in four product variants. Using the shampoo and conditioner together is said to reconstruct the hair and reduce hair breakage by 95%. The range also includes a mask and a treatment that is applied to dry or towel dried hair without the need for rinsing.

Meanwhile, fellow Schwarz-kopf & Henkel brand La Toja has entered the hair care market with its Capilar Spa range that uses thermal minerals from the island of La Toja, off the northwest coast of Spain. There are three new La Toja hair care lines, each consisting of a shampoo, conditioner and mask, Hydra-Brillo for shine, Reparación for damaged hair and Color for dyed hair.

Ruling the Waves

Things were faring better in the UK as the combined hair care and hair styling markets put on a robust 5.3% to total nearly $1.8 billion in 2010, while volume sales fell 1.5% to nearly 510 million units, according to Kantar Worldpanel. Of the individual hair care categories, shampoo remained the largest, maintaining its 32% market share and growing 4.9% year-on-year while hair colorants, which command a 23.3% market share, grew 11%. The conditioner market remained steady at 21.7%, growing 1.2%, while women’s hairsprays grew 10.5% to take a 10% market share.

Product development has been fast and furious during the past 12 months in the UK, with the main trend being the recreation of salon treatments at home. Following the launch of its first-to-market foaming home hair color, Kao Brands’ John Frieda has launched three salon inspired products that the company claims are revolutionary and tackle three of the most common hair concerns—frizziness, root touch-up and volume boost.

The new Frizz-Ease 3-day Straight by John Frieda claims to be the safer alternative to permanent hair straightening procedures and provides a semi-permanent styling action that lasts for up to three days and against eight hours worth of humidity. The product features keratin and a heat-activated polymer technology. Sheer Blonde Go Blonder Controlled Lightening Spray meanwhile is said to be perfect for blending the roots between salon visits. Like the Frizz-Ease 3-day Straight styling spray, John Frieda Sheer Blonde Go Blonder Controlled Lightening Spray is heat-activated.

Lastly the brand has launched Luxurious Volume Anytime Refresher Spray, which provides on-the-go hair freshness and volume without the need to wash hair.

Hair Today, Hair Tomorrow?

So it can be noted that while value sales have been dismal, this has not adequately reflected the levels of innovation in the hair care market in Europe. Indeed, there has been a great focus on repairing, nourishing and styling hair and it is clear that much research and investment has gone into this NPD. The hope is that if this innovation continues, consumers will have no choice but to start paying the price for all of this technology.



European Cosmetic Markets is published monthly by HPCi Media Limited. It provides in-depth data and analysis of the European cosmetics and toiletries market. For subscription details contact HPCi Media Limited,Tel: (44) 0207 193 7447 • Fax: (44) 20 7549 8622

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