Expanding the market for hair color – Brief Article – Statistical Data Included

Andrea M. Grossman

The importance of hair color to the personal and beauty care department did not diminish in 1999. In fact, 1999 was marked by more innovation in hair color than any other year of the past decade. But what really set 1999 apart from the prior year was the target audience of the hair color category. Teens, males and working women received most of the attention from suppliers, a shift from 1998’s focus on baby boomers. Another reason that made 1999 a stupendous year in hair color was its link to fashion, making hair the sexiest category in P&BC.

L’Oreal had the top three performing brands in the drug channel last year, with combined sales nearing $150 million. Its blockbuster brand Feria, which targets teens, captured nearly $50 million of that total–all in just over a year’s time. The fascination with Feria–and the reason that sales increased throughout the year–was L’Oreal’s first-to-market approach with a wildly different product that catered to an ethnically diverse, non-gender-specific market.

Soon to follow Feria’s launch were a number of products that tried to mimic its unique positioning. Laboratoires Garnier, the international personal and beauty care division of Cosmair, introduced Nutrisse Nutricolor Masque, a hair color in a fruit-rich formula that promises to deliver efficacious gray coverage in bright, bold hues. Nutrisse aimed to hit a young, fashion-forward audience. For the 52-week period ended Dec. 31, the brand garnered $13.4 million in sales for FDM. Clairol fought back with Ultress Custom Colour, which allows women to control the intensity of their chosen color shades. Revlon also took part in the teen frenzy. The company launched SuperLustrous at the end of 1998–a brand that targeted younger women with catchy packaging showing models wearing sunglasses with wind swept hair. SuperLustrous brought in $15.5 million for the year.

Looking forward, it’s important to remember why more women are looking to try the home coloring experience now than they were in prior years. For starters, suppliers are focusing on women’s hectic schedules, giving them an option to the 60-minute salon dye job. Products are also allowing women to experience the salon feel at home by offering high-quality gloves, silky conditioning treatments and custom color options. After all, 86 percent of women color their hair just to be noticed, 75 percent say hair color makes them feel more attractive and 71 percent say hair color lifts their spirits and self-esteem.

Top brands in drug channel:

hair coloring

1999 $ sales % change

Brand in thousands vs. 1998

L’Oreal $58,723 -2%


L’Oreal Feria 45,925 204

L’Oreal 45,322 1


Clairol 41,397 -4

Nice ‘n Easy

Just for Mcn 33,203 -7

Includes independent drug stores

Source: Information Resources Inc. for the 52 weeks ended Dec. 26, 1999

COPYRIGHT 2000 Lebhar-Friedman, Inc.

COPYRIGHT 2000 Gale Group

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