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Paradigm Shift for India’s Hair Care

By: Priyanka Bhattacharya
Posted: September 2, 2008, from the September 2006 issue of GCI Magazine.

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Meanwhile, conditioners are showing a steady growth rate in the urban markets. In fact, this is one product category that is expected to show exponential growth this year. To push this market, midrange consumer brands such as Garnier Fructis, P&G’s Pantene and Lakm’s HairNext are selling shampoo-conditioner duos as a complete hair care solution.

Hair Color Market

Once bought only by the affluent as a beauty treat, hair colorants have now become a lifestyle need, according to an AC Nielsen report. Overall, the hair colorant segment is showing a strong growth rate of 8% year on year. It is expected to show even stronger growth in 2006. “In India, hair colorants have proven to be the hair care industry’s crowning glory,” said Nielsen’s Sherpa.

The hair colorants market has two distinct segments—the professional coloring service offered by salons and the at-home hair color market.

L’Oréal Professionnel, followed by Schwarzkopf and Wella, dominate the professional market. This segment has seen steady growth, predominantly in metropolitan market because the pricing of the color services can be prohibitive for tier two market consumers. “Hair color has been big in the country for some time now,” said Adhuna Akhtar, hairstylist and director, B: Blunt Salon. “Today, we can say ... Indian consumers, especially women customers, are very mature when it comes to hair color and other chemical treatments. They follow the international hair trends very closely, and are willing to spend more to get the style they want.”

However, it is the at-home hair color market that has really excited the big marketers. It is the market that is generating the highest volumes for most of them, and it also is the segment that is going through a transition phase. In addition to L’Oréal and Laboratoires Garnier, some big Indian players have entered the market. This market can be divided into permanent haircolor products, powder hair dye and oil-based hair dye segments.