Global Hair Care Overview Part I: Rooting Hair in the Numbers

October 2017

The global hair care market was slow to react to evolving consumer demands in 2016. This, coupled with market volatility beyond manufacturers’ control, led to hair care continuing to grow below the beauty industry average. However, hair care concerns are increasingly reflecting those in skin care, offering brands scope to build equity. Healthier practices are rife across both emerging and developed markets, but multinationals need to widen their Western focus before they are outdone by regional

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Hair care trends below the industry average

Globally, hair care products have high penetration and are staples in key markets. However, hair care’s close alignment with discretionary benefits, more than hygiene needs, means that both economic volatility and cyclical trend tend to hit the category relatively hard. As a result, hair care declined in 2016, while the industry overall continued to grow.

Hair care premiumises as it mirrors skin care

As hair care products follow the lead of skin care, they are becoming targeted towards healthy hair and scalp as a prerequisite of good looking hair. Healthy living concerns are ushering in a new normal of therapeutic, deep treatment and defence claims, which command higher prices.

A new geographical dawn

Hair care is predictable in its similarities to the wider beauty sphere – market frontiers are shifting from west to east and, more than ever, innovation must reflect this. Emerging markets are more fragmented than developed ones, and regional knowhow has great potential to knock multinationals off their perch.

Specialist retailing wins with market fragmentation

At the extreme end of fragmentation are the “indie” start-up brands that have leveraged social media as a marketing platform. With the rise of smaller brands comes the challenge of retail partnerships that allow for small scale – something which beauty specialists are best placed to accommodate.

E-commerce primed to disrupt hair care

E-commerce also lends itself naturally to the needs of the host of new brands entering the market. Moreover, it could finally facilitate the “democratisation” of professional salon brands, expanding distribution extensively. This platform also opens borders, allowing more seamless expansion into new markets.


Key findings

Category Overview

A learning curve for hair care
Shampoo for hygiene nearing critical mass?
Global landscape characterised by some short-term setbacks…
… and more challenging long-term shifts
Quest for healthy hair and scalp influences forecast growth
Hair care premiumises as it mirrors skin care
Conditioners most beholden to macro fiscal factors
Population growth a pivotal factor in hair care’s projections

Market Overview

US and China draw level as titans of consumption
Mature markets a mixed bag of prosperities
Shifting hair care market frontiers
Low prices incubate developing market growth

Retailing Overview

Basic claims limit retailing scope
Specialist retailers gain as competitive landscape fragments
Replenishment in hair care primes it for ecommerce disruption
Diverse regional motivations for shopping online
Salon hair care without the salon?

Competitive Overview

Asia struggles to match its presence in hair care
Mitigating risk through cross border sales?
Wider distribution of salon brands to disrupt rankings?
Caucasian populations come with market consolidation

Key Takeaways

Key takeaways

Appendix: Industry Forecast Model

About Euromonitor International’s Industry Forecast Model
Soft drivers and the Industry Forecast Model
Significance and applications for growth decomposition


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