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A New Style for Hair Care

By: Fabrizio D’Alete, Euromonitor International
Posted: November 29, 2011, from the December 2011 issue of GCI Magazine.

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In line with this trend, there are also an increasing number of salonlike treatments making a strong foray into the retail market. Renowned U.K. salon brand Charles Worthington, for example, added a new semi-permanent straightening kit to its Salon At Home range in early 2011 as a less expensive alternative to popular Brazilian blowout treatments. Similarly, Dove’s Nutri-Oil Care range, due to launch globally by the end of 2011, is boasting luxurious and intensive hair treatment formulations, traditionally confined and associated with those obtained in salons.

Eastern Europe; Latin America Driving Growth

While growth remained sluggish in North America and Western Europe, emerging regions did their part to boost hair care category growth. Particularly strong performances were put in by Eastern Europe (8% value growth 2010–2009) and Latin America (17%). Improvements in income, distribution and retail networks are all driving factors behind the strong growth of hair care in both regions. The sharp increase in chain retailers has allowed consumers in some emerging markets more exposure to a wider variety of products than ever before, and this has led to sales in the category beyond basic products (such as shampoo) to conditioners and styling agents. The relative immaturity of these markets offers fantastic potential. In stark contrast to the developed markets, there is far more scope for long-term growth as consumers, in many cases, are only beginning to trade up.

Innovations Lean on Ingredients and Naturals

For more mature markets, brand owners adopted strategies with the core objective of offering added value. In order to apply this concept, some companies are exploring the use of novel ingredients for value sales growth opportunities. In this context, the natural trend continues to be high on the agendas of key players, leading to more mainstream brands launching products in this segment.

One of the most important examples in line with this trend is the launch of a green line from L’Oréal’s Garnier Fructis brand: Pure Clean, which promotes a silicone and paraben-free formulation and more than 90% biodegradable ingredients. As part of the line, the company is offering shampoo, conditioners and styling products, evidence of the fact that the company plans to invest in this category rather that exploit a temporary trend. Procter & Gamble’s Pantene ProV Nature Fusion is another good example of how big companies are very keen to focus their R&D investments on products based on natural ingredients.

Investment in this area can be seen as a structural response to the natural trend. That being said, there remains an issue of effectiveness, which keeps some manufacturers from investing further in this direction. For example, the use of natural antioxidants products that have some antimicrobial properties, such as rosemary extract and green tea extract, are just not as effective as traditional preservatives, which could be a barrier for further launches.