Valued at £349 million in 2013, the hair colourants market has grown by 4.5% since 2012, with sales boosted by innovation in the category from some of the leading players. This can be largely attributed to a host of innovations from 2012-13 from key players, inciting more attention and involvement in the category by consumers. Sales to 2018 are expected to continue to be positive, with growth of around 3.5% predicted each year, thanks to an increase in the heavier using C2DE socio-economic group in particular. The ageing population is also likely to help boost some growth, although further potential exists in identifying and addressing the hair colourant wants and needs of older consumers to keep them invested in the market for longer: currently only 16% of 65+-year-olds colour their hair. Although most consumers buy into hair colourants in order to boost confidence and attractiveness, the issue of chemicals in such products is pressing.
Product recalls and allergy scares are contributing to weariness with the products we consume. Allergies to common hair colourant ingredients, such as ammonia and PPD, are well-documented, but can arise at any point. It is therefore important for hair colourers to test every hair colourant for allergies before applying the product to their hair.
The push for allergy testing is becoming an integral part of advertising, as well as on-pack information, from key brands such as L’Oréal with its Be Colour Safe initiative. However, despite this, only 62% of home hair colourers feel it is important to do an allergy test prior to colouring hair. Looking more specifically at age, agreement with the statement increases with age, from 47% of 16-24-year-olds to 74% of 55+-year-olds.
Younger adults seem much more concerned with the effect of hair colourants on the condition of their hair: 63% of 16-24-year-old home colourers feel that chemicals in hair colourants are damaging for the hair, in contrast with 44% of 55+-year-olds. This suggests that younger hair colourers are more prepared to take risks with their overall health than their hair.
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