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From the Roots Out

By: Priyanka Bhattacharya
Posted: May 1, 2008, from the May 2008 issue of GCI Magazine.

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The shampoo market itself is seeing maturity as consumers realize the need for specific shampoos that answer specific hair problems. Both HUL and P&G have introduced products that handle specific problems such as dry hair, thin hair, breakable hair, etc. “There is an emerging segment that consumes premium products; the Dove range recognizes this trend and addresses specific needs of consumers,” says N Rajaram, general manager and category head, hair care, HUL.

“We have launched specific products that handle problems like hair fall [hair fallout due to breakage], because there is a need in the market for that,” adds Alison Roughley, senior scientist, scientific communications manager, R&D, P&G Beauty. “Women have realized that their regular shampoos will not give them a solution to their hair care problem; so they need specific treatments.”

To this end, Pantene added Hair Fall Control shampoo and conditioner to its offerings. “We also need to show the women here the need for conditioning their hair. Since most Indian women love long hair, using a good conditioner becomes even more important,” adds Roughley.

High-end Hair Care
Indian consumers have begun to understand the importance of maintaining a good head of hair, and are now spending money on professional services as well as mass-market products. During the last two years, hair care services and products available through exclusive hair spas have become a rage.

Leading the pack, the L’Oréal-owned premium hair care brand Kerastase opened its first hair spas in Mumbai and Delhi in 2006. In addition to premium hair care services, the brand also retailed its premium hair care solution through these salons. “Women today are ready to spend that little extra to get good hair. They have realized that hair spas offer them solutions to their hair problems,” says Vidya Punjabi, assistant marketing manager, Kerastase, L’Oréal India. Following suit have been brands like Wella, Schwarzkopf and Keune. Each has introduced its range of specific hair spa services as well as at-home care for great hair.
“With professional products, consumers can be assured of the right care and treatment that will ensure that they can maintain the results of a good hair care service,” adds Wella’s Agnihotri. “The professional products are gentler. The young working crowd of India now has enough money and mind-set to invest a little bit more on buying higher-end products.”