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hair care products

How to get ahead in the hair care category

Understanding consumer needs, choosing the best go-to-market strategy and continuing to innovate is a strong path to success.

For brands just starting out, the path into the shopping basket can take many routes. To get to market quickly, selling online can be the easiest option. The success of online sales, especially on Amazon, will help convince brick-and-mortar retail and wholesale buyers that your product is worth shelf space.

That’s the journey Pura d’or took. The co-founders started the company with the intent of providing natural personal care products and started with one hair care item (the Hair Thinning Therapy Shampoo) and one skin care item (the 100% Pure Cold Pressed Organic Argan Oil) in 2012. Not having sales and marketing expertise themselves, nor a retail background, they decided to try selling on Amazon. In the first year on Amazon, both items became top 100 beauty and personal care items sold.

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Pure Do'r Hair Thinning Therapy shampoo and conditioner

Both products continued to perform well, and line extensions were added in 2014 and 2015. In 2015, Pura d’or co-founders were presented with the Amazon Beauty Vendor of the Year award.

The company’s success on Amazon helped it get into CVS, Rite Aid, Kroger, H-E-B and other retailers. Pura d’or is also available through online-only retailers, can be purchased direct, and continues to be available on Amazon.

David Horwitz, vice president retail sales at Vital’s International Group, the manufacturers of Pura d’or, stated that the company decided to focus on their therapeutic hair products for retail shelves, specifically those for hair thinning and hair loss. “We have a niche and fill white space in the therapeutic category with our natural products which contain mostly certified-organic ingredients and no drug ingredients.” All four products in the hair-thinning regimen — shampoo, conditioner, scalp serum and hair mask — have gone through clinical testing, as have the other Pura d’or shampoos.

When it comes to sustainability, Horwitz says the company uses recyclable plastic and has committed to planting 10,000 trees over the span of 10 months, and additionally will plant a tree for every bottle purchased from their online store.

Pura Do'r Vitamin E Oil

In addition to their hair care line, Pura d’or’s skin care line has grown significantly, and bath and body and aromatherapy lines have been added. While the hair care products are premium priced due to their therapeutic properties, the skin care line focuses on quality ingredients at a value price. The top items are the 20% Vitamin C Serum, Argan Oil, 100% Rosehip Seed Oil, 70,000 IU Certified Organic Vitamin E Oil and Castor Oil.

Stepping back to look at the larger hair care category as a whole, HRG merchandising analyst, Cat Renwick, provided trends she has seen holding steady the last few years. According to Renwick, one of the most exciting trends for mainstream hair care is the introduction of more items for the multi-cultural customer. “The footprint of options available for people with all types of hair has grown significantly. In conjunction with this, you can now find so many more items that are geared toward curly, wavy and textured hair that weren’t as readily available a few years ago,” Renwick commented. She continued, “This has even trickled into children’s hair care as well. ‘Textured’ and ‘curl’ are often categories now within hair care sections of HBW sites.”

[Read more: The inspiration for innovation]

Renwick said the personalization factor is also gaining traction. There are hair care lines that can be customized for an individual’s hair care needs. She provided this example on from the Function of Beauty brand, which offers base items and consumers can then get “shots” of beauty components based on their own hair goals.

The final trend Renwick included was the ongoing desire for salon-like treatments that can be performed at home, which was also mentioned as a trend in the article, Using data to monitor trends, consumer behavior and inventory. “Hair masks, styling tools and products, and hair color have seen large growth over the last few years,” she said.

Much like other beauty categories, hair care seems to be performing well amid inflation, supply chain challenges and other industry uncertainty. Understanding consumer needs, choosing the best go-to-market strategy and continuing to innovate is a strong path to success.

Megan Moyer is HRGs corporate marketing manager. HRG is in the details of retail, working with product manufacturers, distributors, retailers, technology partners, and other industry organizations to provide data & analysis, shopper experience, brand development, fixture coordination, and retail communications solutions. HRG reviews new health, beauty, and wellness (HBW) items every month and assesses their potential for longevity in the monthly Products to Watch feature in Drug Store News as well as the annual Future 50 list.

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