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Hair Styling Holds Up



Consumers' interest in hair styling products continues to spike.



Published May 16, 2006
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Photo: Goldwell
Is demand for a strong hold beginning to weaken? According to Information Resources, Inc., Chicago, hair spray sales in the U.S. increased less than 2% to $367 million and U.S. gel and mousse sales increased less than 3% to $581 million for the 52 weeks ending Feb. 19, 2006.

Globally, the market has performed a bit better. According to Euromonitor International, Chicago, global sales in 2005 grew less than 5% to total about $8 billion. The market research firm forecasts sales to reach $8.8 billion by 2010.

Global sales growth was restricted by weak economic conditions in the U.S. and Japan, the two most important markets in terms of sales. In Japan, styling products saw a decline of 3% in constant value terms in 2004, representing the least dynamic performance of the entire review period. Sales were further limited by fashion trends toward natural hairstyles, which required a smaller amount of product.

The effects on the market in the U.S. are mostly due to the outlook of fashion and the role hair takes in all styles.

“Today’s consumer looks at hair as the ultimate accessory,” explained Van Stamey, chief executive offier, ThermaFuse, Kannapolis, NC. “It’s evident on the runways where designers visualize hairstyles to match their clothing designs. You’ll see everything from hair that’s up or down, curly or straight, up-dos, twisted ponytails and Goth meets American chic.”

“Today’s consumer looks to the runways for fashion inspiration, as well as beauty,” noted Jim Markham, chief executive officer/founder, PureOlogy Serious Colour Care, Irvine, CA. “Their busy lifestyles demand flexibility and versatility especially when it comes to hair styling options. This season’s fashions can be complemented with hair styles that accentuate renewed texture woven to catch the light and shimmer with intensified shine, color depth and vibrancy.”

Nina Kovner, senior vice president, marketing at John Paul Mitchell Systems agreed that hair styling is very important to consumers “because it is a significant part of a person’s overall look.”

“Getting a great cut is the foundation, but styling and finishing is what keeps hair looking great in between salon visits. And it’s important that clients learn about the right products and techniques to achieve their favorite looks,” she stated.

Frequent Fly-Aways



At the same time, marketers are targeting hair issues and have created products to solve problems such as frizzy, unruly, thin or damaged hair. Consumers are consistently looking for products that meet their hair needs.


Goldwell’s Trend Zoom 06 Global Collection provides product geared towards women as well as men.
“What’s important is that the products do what they say they are going to do,” said Rodney Cutler, owner, Cutler-Redken Salon, New York, NY. “Clients actually have the ability to achieve the desired look with a hair cut and great products. Ingredients need to be beneficial to hair as well as performance enhancing.”

He explained that consumers should use cleansers that have conditioning agents, styling products that create hold without drying out hair and products that hold without creating build-up, flakiness or dryness.

Mr. Cutler’s beliefs are reflected in the products his salon offers. According to the company, Cutler products combine proteins, vitamins and botanicals that are effective with runway models as well as the average woman.

The line includes a daily shampoo with fruit and flower extracts, conditioner to boost shine, extra gentle shampoo to rehydrate dry, damaged and color-treated hair, intensive conditioner to nourish and curling and straightening cream. The products retail from $14 to $17.

“In our fast-paced society, consumers expect and demand instant gratification as well as dependable performance that lasts,” said Tamara Granger, senior academy manager, KPSS, Inc., North America.

Thomas Dewing a guest artist of Goldwell North America, Baltimore, MD, explained how Goldwell accomodates this time-limited society.

“Goldwell’s technological advances are moving forward to keep up with the consumer demands and with a greater appeal to industry professionals.”

Thin Isn’t In



The waif look may be the norm in Hollywood but when it comes to hair, thicker is better. Maintaining and finding products to create desired looks for thin hair is a problem that many consumers struggle with. Women want thick, full, bouncy hair with a lot of volume that looks and feels healthy. Men, too, desire full and healthy hair.

“Today’s main issue remains problematic hair: fine, thinning hair or erratic texture,” stressed Michael O’Rourke, Sexy Hair Concepts, Chatsworth, CA. “People with fine hair want to add volume and lift without weighing the hair down, while people with erratic texture are often trying to control and smooth the hair.”

Mr. O’Rourke added that people want to address their individual hair needs, but time is limited. He said that the issue is due to today’s lifestyle.

“We are currently a very time-poor culture,” he said. “Sexy Hair Concepts promises to address all of these issues by creating brands that address specific hair types and concerns. These products say what they do and they do what they say.”

Big Sexy Hair provides volume, moisture and is color safe; Silky Sexy Hair refines erratic texture without weighing hair down; and Straight Sexy Hair smoothes and straightens while adding shine, according to the company.

Nioxin is well aware of the thinning hair problem, which is why the company is dedicated to helping consumers overcome it.

“Different hair types need to be addressed differently,” said Donna Maggi, national performing artist, Nioxin, Atlanta, GA. “Consumers who have fine hair are looking for volume and shine. The challenge is that most conventional products weigh fine hair down and do not provide enough volume for the consumer to achieve the same results as their salon stylist.”

Nioxin’s new line, Volumizing Reflectives, creates volume for fine and fragile hair using the company’s thickening technology, BioAmp, combines with glyco-proteins and amino acids. The line includes seven new products and, like all Nioxin products, are formulated with UVA and UVB inhibitors.

Ecru New York products promise to meet consumer expectations. Their goal, according to Lisa Lobosco, artistic director, is “to provide an elegant, well-edited collection of products that treat and perform.”

She said that Ecru New York products create volume without alcohol, condition without wax and add brilliance without build-up.

“The products use skin care-like ingredients to treat the hair and scalp while also performing and creating beautiful healthy hair,” she added.

Not So Slick



Another goal of consumers are lightweight products that create soft controlled hair. With natural looks, the products cannot be heavy or greasy.

Stephen MacDonough, managing director, Osmo Essence, UK, explained that consumers are looking for lightweight products to control frizz, are easy to wash out and give results.

“The products must allow for flexibility and allow hair to move,” he said. “They are also looking for products that fight humidity and hold style.”


Nioxin products are geared toward solving the problem of thinning hair.
Osmo Essence products satisfy these consumer expectations, according to Mr. MacDonough. “Osmo Essence uses modern technology to give hold but still allow movement and flexibility. The products are pliable,” he said.

He explained that all Osmo Essence formulas are based around lightweight molecules. Most of the styling products are designed to control frizz and calm hair. Aqua Wax/Hard and Shaper Maker are completely water soluble and wash out easily. Various Osmo Essence products, such as Blinding Shine Range and Aqua Wax give hair shine but for a matte finish, Osmo Essence Clay Wax is ideal.

“The biggest problems consumers face with regard to styling are understanding their hair type, understanding what works best for them and choosing the right products for the result they want,” said Ms. Kovner. “The right tools and products are critical when styling hair,” she stressed.

She explained that Paul Mitchell’s categories system makes product choices easier to understand. Paul Mitchell categories include Moisture, Extra-Body, Smoothing, Color Care, Strength and Style. The system assists consumers in making choices based on the look they want.


With a wide array of hair styling products, Goldwell helps consumers create the looks they desire.
Business In the Front



…Party in the back. While mullets most likely won’t be back in style any time soon, (and hopefully, never) consumers are interested in hair styles that they can wear professionally as well as socially.

Ms. Maggi says that consumers will dictate their personal needs to a styling and maintenance regime according to their lifestyle.

“Trends will come and go,” she said. “Classic styles will never leave. They will repeat themselves in fresher and newer ways. Consumers want beautiful looking hair. This year we are seeing a return to volume in the hair. From the professional world to their personal lives, consumers will keep searching for the perfect styling collection for their personal needs.”

Mr. O’Rourke explained, “What’s important is knowing that if the product doesn’t address a person’s specific needs with the features that are relevant to them, they’ll move on quickly.”

He said that Sexy Hair has a lot of experience in addressing individual hair needs, which has been one of the main forces behind the growth of the company and the development of its specific brands.

Frazzled and Fried



In addition to stylists’ complaints that the average consumer doesn’t know how to wash her hair properly, the most detrimental and long-term problem is the incessant damage they are causing to their tresses. With the constant use of the wrong products and styling with heat, such as hair dryers, straighteners and curling irons, hair can become increasingly weaker with easily broken strands and more split ends.

ThermaFuse seeks to solve this burning issue with its HeatSmart Complex, a delivery system of silicon and wheat protein molecules that attach to hair and stay put. All ThermaFuse products contain the HeatSmart Complex, which was created to strengthen hair and infuse shine. According to the company, it works three times better at an elevated temperature than at room temperature and contains ceramide-2 and ceramide-6 to help replace the hair’s natural ceramides that are often destroyed by heat.


According to the company, Ecru New York products weren’t just created with today’s consumer in mind, but also with the evolving market that seeks simplicity and style.
“If you use a blow dryer, you’re damaging your hair,” said Mr. Stamey. “And there are very few consumers who don’t blow out their hair.”

He noted that statistics show as much as 70% of women claim to have some type of hair damage and men use a blow dryer as often as women.

“ThermaFuse products are scientifically formulated to address the special needs of consumers who use heat to style their hair. It’s the only full line of care, conditioning, treatment, style and finishing products where each individual product acts synergistically with others to protect and repair heat-styled hair,” he said.

He added that today’s trends are all about change and ThermaFuse makes a range of styling products that allow the consumer to change their hair, almost at will.

“From Fixxe volume mousse to TAC texture taffy, Boost thickening spray to Straight smoothing balm, ThermaFuse has what everyone needs,” he said.


The Osmo Essence Ficker Volumizing Range is infused with nutrient-rich botanicals, vitamins and amino acids.
Another company that claims to heal hair is L’Anza. Company executives insist that healing is the foundation for beautiful hair.

“Healing is extremely important today as more women expose their hair to damage-causing elements such as color-processing, chemical processing, heat appliances and harsh environmental elements,” noted Bill Topolinski, vice president, marketing, L’Anza, Santa Monica, CA. “What’s most important to note is that without healthy hair, it can be impossible to achieve desired looks with any styling product. Thus, healing products represent a prerequisite for all consumers prior to styling. Hairstyles change every season, however, healthy hair will always be in vogue.”

According to the company, L’Anza’s healing formulas deliver twice the healing power, combining time-released natural ingredients including botanical extracts, keratin amino acids and moisturizers with advanced scientific research.  

Mr. Topolinski predicted the market will move toward deep treatments and anti-aging formulas. He said there will be an increase in demand and popularity for premium, diverse and specialized products as well as overall sustained growth.

“When it comes to beauty, consumers are willing to pay extra for products that truly deliver on performance and satisfy their needs and meet their expectations. Simply put…they want products that work.”

Kool Kids



Adults aren’t the only ones who find hairstyle an important part of life. Children see their parents and other role models using products to enhance their looks and they want to do it too.

At the same time, parents are looking for products to make their children’s hair more manageable and look presentable and neat. With children’s delicate skin and hair, parents need to be cautious of the products they use.


By using the company’s “Heat Smart Complex,” all Thermafuse products are formulated to protect and repair heat-styled hair.
Circle of Friends products are educational and promote diversity by introducing children to new friends from around the world. This allows them to learn about and appreciate the personal styles and cultures of others. Each product in the line is formulated with ingredients such as exotic botanical and fruit extracts, natural elements and fragrances. The products are gentle, tearless, free of sodium lauryl and laureth sulfate, and come in fragrances like chocolate, banana and orange.

“The trends range from natural, long and loose to spiked Mohawks,” said Eleanor Keare, president, Circle of Friends, Santa Monica, CA. “The trends in children’s hair care are very similar to those in adult hairstyles. However, a major difference between the adult and children’s markets is novelty. Kids love fun and there will always be a place in the children’s styling category for products like hard-hold gels and wash-out color that allow kids to be creative with their hair.”

According to the company, the styling products don’t leave product build-up. Circle of Friends’ Erik’s Shaping hair gel and Janaina’s Mango Mousse foam are alcohol-free products that hold hair in place and give direction without build-up or crunchy hair. Janaina’s Mango Mousse Foam is great for defining soft curls and Circle of Friends detanglers remove tangles while softening even the finest hair. Other Circle of Friends styling products include waxes, slickers, styling sticks and hairsprays that retail from $7 to $10.


Hair Paint from Circle of Friends makes styling fun for kids.
Ms. Keare added, “Today’s parents are looking for a softer hold and more natural look for their children’s hair. Parents are also much smarter about ingredients and are seeking out products that are botanically based. The kids’ category has seen tremendous growth in the past 10 years, with no signs of slowing down.”

The Hold Up



In general, the hair styling market hasn’t significantly increased, but many are hopeful. They said that styling products will always be needed and the influx of education and accessible information regarding personal products will force marketers to create products that consumers are seeking.

“With the abundance of information we have at our fingertips these days, consumers are much savvier about the products they use and how they spend their money,” noted Ms. Lobosco. “It’s essential that hair products perform the way they say they will in order to build a loyal consumer following.”

Consumers don’t want to fuss with numerous products for one hairstyle, and they won’t use them if that’s the case. They are concerned with convenience and simplicity, especially with their time-limited lives.

Mr. Markham explains the importance of working products that do what they promise to do. “It is all about value and performance, not price, especially when it affects them in an emotional way as hair care does.”

Mr. Stamey’s outlook on the industry is very positive. After all, he noted, “almost nothing can be created without styling products.”


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