Americans are spending lofty sums to shampoo, grow, remove, style and strengthen their tresses.
Hair care sales expanded 8% for the first half of 2023, according to Circana data. The most promising news for mass merchants is that almost all segments are on the rise, including stylers, which have been flat over the past three years. The only downside to the category’s bouncy business outlook is that prestige retailers are growing their sales faster than mass, but drug, food and supermarkets still control the lion’s share of sales.
Some key areas are driving an uptick in sales: the ongoing emphasis on scalp care, textured hair products, formulas that help hair grow and a bevy of new items hitting mass market shelves. One of the buzziest is the debut hair color brand Madison Reed in Walmart.
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“Madison Reed is deeply rooted in the belief that prestige, salon-quality hair color made without harsh ingredients should be accessible,” said Amy Errett, founder and CEO of Madison Reed, in a release announcing the Walmart distribution. “To us this means empowering our guests to choose where and when they purchase our products and color their hair, so they have the freedom to enjoy gorgeous results on their own terms.”
Sales of Madison Reed soared during the pandemic when consumers scurried to find hair color products beyond the box formulas. Many shoppers have stuck with the brand.
Target also sells Function of Beauty, a personalized hair care brand that launched DTC before creating a self-service option.
Drug chains, including CVS and Walgreens, have also stepped up their hair care assortments with the addition of lines such as HIMS and HERS, Native Hair Care and a wider array of items for textured tresses.
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With hair care delivering some of the biggest gains in beauty aisles, DSN asked brands that are standouts in the four biggest segments—shampoos/conditioners, stylers, hair growth and tools—to pinpoint their best sellers, why those items are trending up and what they predict for the category in the year to come.