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Detangling Hair Care

By: Carrie Lennard, Euromonitor International
Posted: February 2, 2010, from the February 2010 issue of GCI Magazine.

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In March 2009, Procter & Gamble launched its Pantene Shine Hair Spa in Sydney, with a view to a wider rollout. The salon offers consumers a wash and blow dry for AUS$15 and uses Pantene products exclusively. The concept emulates the success of the Nivea Haus in Germany, a spa owned by Beiersdorf that uses only Nivea skin care products.

Although most new launches were in the colorants category, some new product concepts in other areas of hair care have captured the imagination of consumers and have helped to maintain interest in the category, thus stemming the flow of consumer trade down. Kairos’s anti-acne shampoo, conditioner and treatment products were rolled out in the North American market in 2009, and a strong unique selling proposition (USP) is likely to appeal—especially to the elusive teen market.

In mid 2009, the Nine Naturals launched a hair care line aimed at mothers-to-be. Its Oh Baby! shampoo and conditioner range is marketed as free from harsh chemicals and preservatives that are typical of standard products. The range is likely to prove a success—baby care has proved itself one of the most recession-resistant areas of the beauty industry as parents refuse to make cutbacks or take chances when it comes to their offspring.

Ultimately, it is likely to be ranges with a strong USP such as this that succeed in the recession and beyond, particularly in developed markets. Brand loyalty is at a low in hair care, and brands that give consumers the most convincing reasons to continue paying more for their hair care should see the best long-term rewards.

Carrie Lennard is a research analyst at Euromonitor International.