COVID-19 may have tangled the economy, but it actually has helped build sales within the hair care category.
Industry observers said that the onset of the pandemic has caused many consumers to look more closely at home treatments, from simple shampoos and conditioners to more complex products usually made available at spas and salons, to take care of their hair care needs.
The result is a significant uptick in sales in the $12.3 billion hair care industry, as well as an acceleration of megatrends that dominate the category. In fact, many industry officials said the confluence of these trends has not only positively impacted the category but has opened the door to new ways to merchandise mass-market hair care.
A number of retailers have expanded their hair care assortment in recent months to respond to consumer needs. At the forefront is the much-discussed hair coloring segment that has seen significant growth since the beginning of the pandemic. Yet, retailers also said other segments are growing, too.
First is the “skinification” of hair care as ingredients and regimens traditionally associated with skin have been applied to hair, as well. Just as dry skin has special remedies, consumers now have options to tackle dry scalps and dry hair strands.
Seaweed Bath’s naturally positioned brand caught the attention of Camp Hill, Pa.-based Rite Aid, which is putting the company’s Hydrating Body and Hair collection in 2,400 of its stores, Grossman said, adding that the brand also is going into Rite Aid’s “Store of the Future,” which will be a wellness destination.
Yes To also is getting a boost from its positioning as a brand with formulas that are all 95% (and in many cases more than 95%) natural and tested by dermatologists. Originally a skin brand, Yes To leverages its knowledge in skin care into hair. For example, Yes To Tea Tree Gentle and Soothing Pre-Shampoo Scalp Scrub is equated with a deep cleanser for skin. Scalp health is top of mind and a centerpiece of the range, which also includes Yes To Tea Tree Soothing Scalp Treatment, Yes To Tea Tree and Sage Oil Scalp Relief, and Yes To Tea Tree and Sage Oil Scalp Relief Shampoo.
Target also has put an emphasis on a healthy scalp with its Kristin Ess private brand, created exclusively by its namesake, a celebrity hair stylist.
“When you think of it, the scalp is an extension of your skin,” Ess said late last year when she expanded her brand’s range with such new items as Purifying Micellar Shampoo, Detoxifying Bubble Hair Mask, Weightless Hydration Daily Scalp and Hair Mask, Anytime Anywhere Scalp Plus Hair Milk Oil, and Instant Exfoliating Scalp Scrub.
With its strength in sun care, Sun Bum, now owned by SC Johnson, also has made the progression from skin to hair. The brand plays off its sun care heritage with products for “beach hair.” CVS Pharmacy is among the chains with an in-shelf specialty presentation of such Sun Bum products as a Detox Shampoo, Blond Hair Lightener, and Scalp and Hair Mist.