While the number of hair care products targeted at men has seen a sharp decline in the past year (-46% between 2013 and 2014 alone), new research from Mintel  has found that despite this, the men’s hair care market is continuing to grow. Sales grew from £59 million in 2013 to a predicted £60 million in 2014 (USD 92 million or EUR 83 million). This healthy growth is expected to continue with value sales forecast to rise to £68 million in 2019.
Concerns about thinning hair
Long hair has been a mainstay in men’s fashion and looks to remain. “This trend has resulted in increased revenue for the sector and offers further opportunities for the men’s hair care market to respond to changing fashions, with products designed to stimulate growth as well as manage longer hair. Styling brands could also offer tips and advice to encourage experimentation,” said Roshida Khanom, Senior Personal Care Analyst at Mintel.
However, when it comes to hair, the top three concerns amongst men is thinning hair, with over a quarter (27%) claiming this is a concern, whilst 24% say they’re concerned about hair loss and one in five (17%) are worried about hair that is difficult to style. Highlighting these concerns, Mintel’s research shows that when it comes to product innovation opportunities, a quarter (24%) would like to try products that stimulate hair growth, 23% would be interested in products that make hair easier to style, whilst one in five (21%) would be interested in products that thicken hair.
“Hair loss is a universal concern for men, although the reasons for being concerned about hair loss may be different. Younger men may find it harder to retain hairstyles, or experiment with different hairstyles as they lose hair. For older men, being concerned about hair loss may be more about not wanting to look older. Products that stimulate hair growth will therefore appeal to men of all ages,” Roshida continues.
Spend money to save money
When it comes to the women’s hair care market, Mintel’s research shows that consumers are trading up, with sales of prestige hair care products rising by 6% from £380 million in 2013 to £403 million in 2014 (USD 623 million or EUR 558 million). What’s more, this has followed an increase in prestige product innovation with the proportion of new product launches with a prestige price point increasing to 29% in 2014 from 18% in 2013. Overall, the women’s hair care market in the UK rose 2% in 2014 to £ 1.44 billion (USD 2,22 billion or EUR 2 billion), up from £ 1.41 billion in 2013.
“Women are willing to spend money on perceived better quality products. The growth in online retailers in particular is facilitating a move to more expensive products, as women use price comparison sites to find luxury products at reduced prices, sparking a ‘spend money to save money’ mentality,” said Charlotte Libby, Senior Beauty and Personal Care Analyst at Mintel.
However, women are trading up to products with premium price points, the factors they feel have the biggest impact on appearance of hair it seems are primarily internal. Over half (57%) of UK women agreed that health, for example hormone levels, have a big impact in determining the appearance of hair, whilst a matching proportion (57%) said the same of diet, for example the consumption of fruit or vegetables or drinking enough water. In comparison, just a third (33%) agreed that the quality of ingredients found in hair care products had an important impact. “Innovation in hair treatment claims can appeal to women looking to counteract and repair the effects of poor diet on the hair,” Charlotte concludes.