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The mass nail care market has grown by leaps and bounds over the last few years, dwarfing the relatively sleepy growth rates in other cosmetic categories, according to Packaged Facts' new report The Nail Care Market in the U.S. According to SymphonyIRI data cited in the report, mass market sales of nail care products grew 26% for the 52 weeks ending April 15, 2012.
Several intertwined factors are driving the market. A nail-centric fashion culture has transformed women's nails into stylish accessories, even as a continuing flood of innovative, fashion-forward nail care products empower women to affordably imitate nail salon effects in their own homes. Therefore, a growing population of women make frequent use of DIY nail care products.
According to the Nails Magazine 2011–2012 Big Book, the nail salon services market fell nearly 5% in 2009 and was still below its 2008 level in 2010. However, all signs now point to a return to popularity of nail salon services. According to Experian Simmons data cited in the Packaged Facts report, an improving economic picture has resulted in a sharp uptick in the number of women obtaining frequent professional nail care services. In 2011, the number of women having two or more manicures in a six-month period (defined as "salonistas" by Packaged Facts) increased from 16.3 million to 18.1 million, or 11.3%.
The question now facing nail care product marketers is whether DIY nail care sales will decline as women return to salons to get professional manicures and pedicures. According to David Sprinkle, the publisher of Packaged Facts, "The data strongly suggest that the reverse will be true." The more women go to salons for manicures, the more they buy and use DIY nail care products.