The Hair Care Market

November 14, 2005

Although shampoo, conditioner and coloring sales have declined, marketers continue to roll out new products.

The seemingly invincible hair care market is showing signs of weakness. Sales in hair categories were down 1.4% for conditioners and 1.2% for shampoos, according to Information Resources Inc. (IRI), Chicago, for the year ended Sept. 7. These figures, however, do not include Wal-Mart sales. IRI reported hair color sales fell 3.1% for the same period as well. Industry reports suggest that like the cosmetics industry, hair care is going the way of niche to regain a strong foothold in the personal care market.

The good news is that when recession-resistant segments such as hair care finally falter, that’s usually a signal that the economy is set to surge—which is exactly what’s happened in the past month or so. The Fed reported that the U.S. economy jumped 7.2% in the third quarter and October payrolls jumped 126,000 in the U.S. But enough about economics, let’s look at the latest in hair care. Several new product launches target more specialized trends, such as focusing on men, natural ingredients and ethnic consumers. Some multinationals have also changed price points to alter the players in mid-tier and value-priced categories in an effort to boost profits. Take, for example, Procter & Gamble. The company announced plans to revamp several of its hair care lines, in part due to its acquisition of Clairol in 2001 and Wella AG in 2003, and in part due to dismal sales. For example, thought still the No. 1 selling shampoo, sales of Clairol Herbal Essences fell 19.1% for the year ended Sept. 7.

Meanwhile, other lines use highly specialized formulas to offer the most to consumers. But it all boils down just a couple of things, industry experts told Happi.

“In competition, you have to do it for less or do it better,” explained Jon English, co-founder of Jon English salons and products, Minneapolis. “Where else can you go? Sitting in the middle, you get trampled by the market of mediocrity.”

‘V’ for Value
Procter & Gamble’s Aussie, Daily Defense and Renewal 5X brands are getting a makeover in packaging and formulations this February, according to reports. Executives said the idea was to move several shampoos out of the same mid-tier category. Prices for Aussie, dressed in brighter purple packaging, were lowered from $3.49 to $2.99. Aussie’s Scrunch Sprayer Instant Freeze will remain untouched, but the company will launch products such as 3-Minute Miracle Deeeeep, Tizz No Frizz gel and Knot Forgotten detangler, as well as a TV campaign. The products will also be mix-and-matchable to create customized hair regimens.

Daily Renewal 5X was reduced from $4 to $2 and will be expanded with a six-product styling line in 2004 and more shampoo variants. A value message will also be communicated with Daily Defense’s new packaging.

But P&G executives are also interested in launching new products as well. P&G will start shipping Pantene Full & Thick in January, a 5-SKU line that is said to add 35% more volume to hair.

Value-minded company Alberto-Culver’s VO5 brand is branching out into the mid-tier category with VO5 Nourishing Oasis, a new line of shampoos and conditioners said to release fragrance when activated by the heat of a shower. Alberto VO5 is the leading conditioner with sales of $37.6 million for the year ended Sept. 7, IRI reported.

A New Face for Hair
P&G has also repackaged a few of its lines to target specific audiences. The revamping of Pert Plus still leverages the brand’s green identity, but P&G also has updated graphics and formulas, such as cartoon characters targeted to children on the Banaberri Kid’s shampoo plus conditioner. Sales for Pert Plus fell 11.5% last year, according to IRI.

Executives said the new labeling is easier to read, color-coded and makes selection quicker for the Pert Plus Shampoo plus Light Conditioner (purple), Pert Plus Shampoo plus Medium Conditioner (green), Pert Plus Shampoo plus Deep Conditioner (red) and Pert Plus Dandruff Control Shampoo plus Conditioner (blue) variants. P&G also reduced all of the prices.

Executives said the repackaging of several Physique specialty items was done to achieve a more premium look consistent with that of salon brands. Executives also hoped to achieve better shelf “pop.” The new packages will be available in stores in late February.

Thermasilk updated its formulas for curly, flat, colored and damaged hair.

Revved up Reformulations
In addition to changes in price and packaging, formulas are changing too. Unilever’s ThermaSilk brand has revamped its formulas. Optimized for individual hair types, the new shampoo and conditioner variants include: Moisture Infusing for dry, damaged hair; Volume Enhancing for flat, lifeless hair; Curl Defining for smooth, defined curls and Color Revitalizing for color-treated hair. The formulas still share the patented ThermaSilk heat-activated technology, but have specialized agents as well, such as detanglers for the Moisture Infusing conditioner, silicones in the Volume Enhancing conditioner and an anti-frizz ingredient in the ThermaSilk Curl Defining shampoo.

L’Oréal upgraded several formulas in its Vive line. For example, Vive Color-Care has a higher level of conditioners to enhance color retention by 45%. For severely damaged hair, Vive Nutri-Shine provides 80% less breakage for soft, shiny hair. Frizz is reduced completely with Vive Curl-Moisture.

L’Oréal also added entirely new products to its Vive collection. Vive Smooth-Intense provides up to three times more smoothness for silky hair. And volume is pumped up 30% with L’Oréal’s Vive Volume-Infusing formula.

A Much Needed Vacation for Damaged Hair
Several new products address the damaging effects of blowdrying, coloring and salon services, and how to recover from the abuse. ISO Recovery Condition Intensive treatment, from Zotos International, is a rich, rinse-out therapy with dual cationic conditioners, positively charged vitamins, proteins and moisturizers. These ingredients work together to restore balance and moisture from root to tip.

Triplenish complex is the star blend in Bain de Terre’s Kiwi Color Protecting shampoo and Lavender Color Protecting conditioner. The complex has UV protectants, silicone and antioxidants to help preserve hair color. All Bain de Terre products also have the bio-renew complex, a mixture of soy protein, gingko biloba and sunflower seed extracts to moisturize and protect hair.

Chemically treated hair can be restored with Goldwell’s Kerasilk, a line of wheat bran lipid- and silk protein-infused formulas. The products also contain vitamins E and F to nourish and protect hair from harmful environmental influences. Goldwell recently added the Rich Care segment to gently cleanse and condition damaged, porous hair. It replaces the former Care & Smoothness line. Products include Rich Care shampoo and treatment.

For consumers needing more intensive products, the Kerasilk line has added Ultra Rich Care with jojoba oil for added moisture, combability and shine. It comes in a shampoo and treatment.

Goldwell also launched Kerasilk Instant Silk fluid, a highly concentrated, leave-in conditioner with vitamin E and UV filters. It touches up hairstyles by calming frizzies and smoothing curls and waves.

Of Course It’s Coarse
Some conditioning products also help coarse hair. Matrix’s Biolage brand launched Ultra-Hydrating Systéme in March. The system was designed for women with very dry, thick and coarse hair that also tends to be frizzy. Conditioning agents and silicones work together to smooth tresses, including a botanical complex of lemongrass and wheat germ lipids. Other ingredients are algae, sage leaf and bee pollen. The system includes Ultra-Hydrating shampoo and Ultra-Hydrating balm.

SmoothDown, a new line from L’Oréal’s Redken, is targeted to consumers with dry, coarse and unruly hair who want a natural look and feel to the hair. The collection of anti-frizz shampoo, anti-frizz conditioner, heat glide (leave-in) treatment and butter treat (rinse-out or leave-in deep treatment) contains the Interbond Conditioning system, a blend of macadamia oil, candelilla wax and cationic refiners to smooth the hair. They also contain the Ionic Smoothing complex to neutralize negative charges and fly-aways.

Natural Selections
Natural ingredients can be found everywhere, from consumer products to cleaners. This green trend has infiltrated all categories of the hair care market and continues to grow.

Celebrity hairstylist Robert Hallowell designed a hair care line, Prawduct, with natural ingredients chosen for dependability, gentleness, body and shine. Two natural blends are featured: Honey Fruit complex (apple, orange, grapefruit, lemon and honey) and Herb Garden complex (rosemary, basil, chamomile and fennel). Other agents include shea butter, neroli, lavender and vitamin C.

Among the products, the Prawduct collection has a shine booster shampoo, shine booster conditioner and various creams, serums and sprays for different hair effects. The line is sold in beauty supply stores.

Goldwell’s Definition Kids Hair & Body shampoo makes bath time sweeter for parents and kids with blueberry milk and wheat proteins. The mild formula strengthens hair, enhances shine and makes hair easier to comb through. An 8.4-oz. bottle is sold with a toy zebra for $10.

Redken’s SmoothDown items calm coarse and unruly hair.

John Paul Mitchell’s Awapuhi is celebrating its 1980 launch and unwavering popularity for 23 years. The 8.5-oz. shampoo, which contains Hawaiian ginger (awapuhi), is sold in salons for $5.25 and is joined by products such as Awapuhi Body bar and Awapuhi Moisture mist. The shampoo deeply cleanses the hair, replenishes moisture and creates body and intense shine, according to executives.

Salon innovator Modern Organic Products has added a Basil Mint product family to complement its Basil Mint shampoo. The products contain certified organic basil, peppermint and sage, no sulfates and no synthetic emollients, fragrances or colors. The bodywash and soap bar use coconut oil cleansing agents, while the lotion contains sunflower oil. The Basil Mint conditioner, designed for normal to oily hair, minimizes oil production and dandruff on the scalp with basil and sage extracts. Peppermint adds luster.

Tutti Frutti
Following the natural ingredients trend, fruit complexes are found in several new hair care products. The Garnier Fructis collection contains Active Fruit concentrate, a combination of fruit acids, vitamins B3 and B6, fructose and glucose. This concentrate nourishes and smoothes the hair from root to tip. Garnier recently added Fortifying Deep conditioner, a 5-oz., 3-minute mask, with a high level of the concentrate. All Garnier Fructis SKUs retail for $3.99. They also share a melon and grapefruit fragrance.

Fresh Concepts’ Rejuicinate features mango and papaya extracts.

Sexy Hair Concepts launched an entirely new hair care line called Fresh Concepts. With innovative bottles and nutritional labels, the products promise to protect and prevent hair damage using essential vitamins and an antioxidant blend packed with vitamins A, C and E and grapeseed, green tea, black walnut, cranberry fruit and ginger root extracts.

“A huge part of the market is aging and holding onto their youth,” said Michael O’Rourke, Sexy Hair Concepts president and chief executive officer. “They are turning to antioxidants and technology to keep looking and feeling young.”

The products also feature scratch-and-sniff labels to offer in-store scent sampling of the Vitamelon Daily shampoo, Vitalea Moisture conditioner, Bananarama Daily conditioner, RePear Reconstructor, Whey Better leave-in conditioner, Rejuicinate Moisture shampoo and Plum Straight Straightening balm fragrances. Sexy Hair Concepts senior vice president of marketing Donna Federici said some consumers will be drawn to the bright packaging similar to bath and body shop items. Consumers are also looking to products to solve various problems.

“Consumers are doing more to their hair and that is creating more damage,” Ms. Federici explained. “Consumers expect better products to erase what they do to their skin and hair. They want healthy-looking hair, and that transcends age, gender and nationality.”

Ever the Innovators
The ethnic hair care market is gaining attention from multinationals in the U.S., which is inline with fast-growing ethnic populations. JossClaude is set to launch Formula Latina, a collection of 12 shampoos, conditioners, styling and finishing products for Hispanic consumers.

Embelleze’s Natucor hair color, distributed by Dax Inc. in the U.S., offers innovative hair colors made from herbs, flowers and fruits such as tea, blackberries, nuts and chocolate. The nutrient-rich products also give hair sheen, softness and vitality and do not contain ammonia or peroxide. “The natural colors enhance the hair color,” insisted Vincent Durante, president and chief executive officer of Dax.

The 10 colors, ranging from Chamomile (golden light blonde) to Black Tea (natural black), are targeted to Hispanic consumers. Executives said Embelleze is the No. 2 hair coloring line in Brazil and has formed a joint venture with Dax. “When we were first involved with South America, we were looking more to export,” Mr. Durante said. “But we eventually found out that the best route to pursue was to find an actual manufacturer.”

Natucor semi-permanent and permanent hair colors retail for $3.69 each. Dax also offers a range of ethnic hair care products such as Dax Wave and Groom hairdress, Sulphur scalp treatment, Hydrowax styler and Indian Hemp deep conditioning moisturizer.

Ethnic hair care items often need curl definition for the natural, tight curling of African-American hair. Perfect Results, a Midwest salon brand, will launch an eponymous ethnic hair care line in mass stores. Posner Cosmetics has repackaged its hair care line, which includes products such as Posner Light Bergamot. Soft-Sheen Carson is said to be relaunching Dark & Lovely.

Kao Corp. is set to launch Asience in Japan, its first new entry into the hair care category in seven years. The premium-priced line of shampoo and conditioner treatments was designed to enhance Asian hair by revitalizing hair fibers from the core, allowing hair to become more supple and less disturbed, even after a hairstyle is taken out or down. Executives said Japanese hair is naturally supple and elastic, but can be ruined with repeated coloring and daily rigors. The formula’s Oriental Beauty Essences include soy and pearly proteins, rice and Korean ginseng extracts and eucalyptus to revitalize, moisturize and protect hair.

A Masculine Take on Hair
Men have been getting more attention in recent years in a variety of personal care sectors. Designed specifically for guys, Goldwell for Men gives men healthy, well-groomed hair in no time at all. Each product contains pro-vitamin B5 to revitalize the hair and scalp, as well as refreshing mint extracts. The collection includes Goldwell for Men Refreshing gel shampoo for hair & body, Power styling gel (long-lasting hold) and Freestyler (texturizing stick). Executives said the products have natural glucose to enhance shine and volume and can be used frequently, even several times a day.

Idelle Labs, a division of Helen of Troy, is molding Vitalis into an 8-SKU hair care line for men, with three shampoos, two conditioners, two hair sprays and gel mousse. It will debut in February. Continental Consumer Products, Birmingham, MI, is introducing M Professional, a drugstore brand for men that will be touted in TV and print ads by former dating show host Chuck Woolery. The line consists of a volumizing shampoo and conditioner, a 2-in-1 product and various hair stylers.

Scalp Helpers
Though dandruff shampoos have a largely male clientele, scalp irritation is a problem shared by both men and women. Some studies even suggest scalp issues can lead to serious problems like hair loss.

This past spring, Head & Shoulders added a new shampoo, Ultimate Clean. It provides hair with a fresh, clean smell and feel without flakiness, according to P&G executives. Extracts of grapefruit, lemongrass and green tea lift sebum and flakes away. The product also contains the Head & Shoulders mainstay ZPT (pyrithione zinc) to prevent flakes associated with dandruff.

Aveda is helping the scalp with Scalp Benefits Balancing shampoo and conditioner. Gentle cleansers such as babassu nut and coconut agents remove excess oil and Burdock root, sage leaf and echinacea promote a balanced scalp to create healthy hair. Environmental aggressors are addressed with sea buckthorn. A blend of vetiver, rosemary and cinnamon gently fragrances the products. Packaged in an 80% post-consumer recycled high-density polyethylene bottle, the 8.5- and 33.8-oz. bottle cost $12 and $34, respectively.

Did you know there was a connection between hemlines and hairlines? Miniskirt inventor Mary Quant has launched an eponymous hair care line to protect the hair from aggressive environmental influences and dandruff. The mild amino acid-infused formulas gently cleanse the hair and replenish moisture using hiokitiol, althae officinalis root extract, chamomile flower, hydroxypropyl trimonium hydrolyzed silk and ceramide 2. The three products, a shampoo and two conditioner treatments, have a lavender scent. All are packaged in the signature Mary Quant mod style with large, raised daisy logos.

Garnier Fructis will launch the 2-in-1 Anti-Dandruff shampoo and conditioner in February. Formulated with ZPT and a fruit concentrate, the product makes the scalp flake-free and the hair highly conditioned. The 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner retails for $3.99.

Some industry experts said people with sulfate-sensitive scalps often develop dandruff. For consumers who have a reaction to sulfates and want to maintain color-treated hair, look no further. Jon English recently added several new products to his hair care lineup. The new Sulphate-free Replenishing shampoo and conditioner help to retain color and nourish heat-styled hair with vitamin E and plant and flower essences. Mr. English said that in this tough economic climate, products that truly perform will stick around for some time.

“The shampoo actually helps color sustain longer,” insisted Mr. English. “When products come out with legitimacy, and those elements are successful, those with no substance don’t hold up in tough times.”

Also, Jon English’s new Atonic shampoo and conditioner contain naturally-derived herbal extracts, essential oils and proteins to nourish the hair, add shine and remove static. They can be used to help set the stage for hairstyling. “Quite often shampoos don’t get any result other than stripping the hair,” explained Mr. English. “But shampoo is fundamental. What you wash the hair with will set the foundation in how you enter and exit the styling arena,” he added.

Clairol Herbal Essences launched an at-home HiLights gel coloring system.

The Highlighting Explosion
Though hair coloring sales slid 3.1% last year according to IRI, executives are hopeful that a focus on at-home highlighting will revive the category. Some executives said highlighting is no longer a seasonal activity. “Sales of home highlighting products used to triple in the summer months, but thanks to the natural-looking result they offer, highlights are becoming more popular all year round,” said Kevin Hoover, assistant brand manager, Herbal Essences.

Clairol Herbal Essences was the No. 11 brand in the hair coloring market with sales of $32.8 million, a decline of 28% for the year ended Sept. 7. P&G launched a new at-home highlighting kit, Herbal Essences HighLights, with an innovative highlighting comb to separate strands and place highlights exactly where consumers want. The Color Guide formulas are clearly visible on each strand in blue, yellow and red crème gels. “Herbal Essences wanted to create an up-to-the-minute highlighting kit that addressed the main challenges highlighting users face,” Mr. Hoover. “That meant coming up with a highly innovative application design that makes it easy to achieve even placement of highlights.”

The three formulations include Cool Blond Highlights for Light to Medium Blonde hair (blue), Golden Blonde Highlights for Dark Blonde to Light Brown hair (yellow) and Rich Copper Highlights for Medium to Dark Brown hair (red). Using an exclusive Colorseal conditioner, the colors can be locked onto any color hair, even previously color-treated hair. The kit costs $9.99.

L’Oréal, the leader of the hair coloring category with three of the top four brands, entered the at-home highlighting arena with Couleur Experte. The two-step highlighting process includes a patented gel-crème base color applied for 25 minutes with conditioning cationic polymers, and a micro-fine highlighting formula that is applied with the Couleur Experte Wand and rinsed after 15 minutes. One application costs $21.95.

Revlon High Dimension hair color was expanded with the Color Accents Highlighting kit. Permanent, dimensional highlights can be achieved in as little as 10 minutes using an easy, non-clumping applicator comb for controlled application. The three shades, Honey, Blonde and Burgundy, can be used on all hair types, according to executives.

The kit contains a shampoo-in toner, Vitalizing conditioner (with a UV filter and mango butter), comb and an exclusive highlighting formula combining a highlighting developer with a highlighting powder. The kit costs $12.99.

Colorific Options
Some companies also expanded with fashionable, all-over hair colors. Elumen Blue, new from Goldwell USA, features long-lasting color without ammonia or peroxide and bright color pigments that deeply penetrate the hair. It can be used to create colors ranging from rich blue to blue-black.

Eugene-Perma has launched the Lumatis hair color collection, a range of oxidative, fluid gel colors with plant-based ingredients. Hair is colored in 30 minutes. Forty-one shades are available, from Luxury Light to Subtle Glow.

Some companies launched products to maintain the results of coloring services. Nexxus’ Aloxxi conditioner-color Infusers can be used to enhance, correct or maintain color-treated or natural hair color. The eight shades contain fine Italian direct dye pigments.

John Frieda will launch Brilliant Brunette. Following in the selective path of Sheer Blonde, this product line will solely target brunettes, who make up 60% of the population.

Endless Activity
The hair care category, though declining slightly, remains a beehive of activity. New products focus on new target audiences, or new ideas altogether, like at-home highlighting. This is all largely a residual effect from the events of September 11, 2001 and the subsequent failing economy.

“Everybody is conscious that it is not the frivolous 1990s,” said Mr. English. “When the economy turns, it creates a fear factor and breaks down consumer confidence. It makes the consumer look closely at concepts before making purchases.”

But despite the dismal sales, executives hope to revive the category with new products and rearranged items to bring either technology or value to the consumer. After all, that’s what matters most to women.

“We owe innovation, creativity, effectiveness and integrity to our consumers,” added Mr. English. “When push comes to shove, those things matter.”

Looking for a new ingredient for your hair care product? A list of them can be found on p. 64 in the print version of Happi.

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