Arctic white, ice blue and platinum are not diamond variants, but the latest hair colours in vogue. With consumers becoming global trend-spotters, hair colour is growing popular and believe it or not, men are the growth drivers.
From being just a solution for greying hair to a fashion statement, the way we look at hair colour has changed drastically. Over the years, with more and more people getting cued into international trends, the hair colour segment has seen immense growth. According to AC Nielsen statistics, today the hair colour market is pegged at Rs 492 crore.
It is 11% of the total hair care market and has a Y-o-Y growth rate of 25.6%. For the period October 2004 to September 2005, colour creams contributed 24% to the total hair colour market.
Chunmun Khurana, GM of Juice, one of the leading salons in the city, says that there has been a 70% increase in the hair colour business in the past two years.
The brands that are being used extensively in salons are L'oreal, Schwarzkopf and Wella. While L'oreal is the most popular in most salons, for some of the more high-end ones such as Bounce in Chennai and Bangalore, Schwarzkopf seems to be generating more business.
“L'oreal is the largest in this segment as they have made hair colours available at the micro level, whereas other companies have not spread their tentacles so widely,” says Mr Khurana.
On shelves, the leader is L'oreal's Excellence Creame priced between Rs 399-410. Among others available are L'oreal's Nutrisse, which is priced between Rs 100-200, Palette at Rs 110 and Revlon at Rs 200-250 Schwarzkopf, which is fairly new on retail shelves is currently priced at Rs 399 and offers four shades. They plan to reduce the price to Rs 350 and introduce four new shades.
Godrej which was present only in the traditional hair dye segment has ventured into the creams category six years ago with brands, Renew and Colour Soft that comprise 5% of their total market share (Godrej claims that their market share in the hair colour segment is 40%) and a Y-o-Y a growth of 20%. The other companies refused to comment on their market share and growth.
Godrej has plans to ride this growth by segmenting both products where Colour Soft with no ammonia will have a slightly older target group, while through Renew, they will introduce more radical shades targeting the younger population. They also plan to increase promotions for this category.
Today there is unprecedented growth coming from the male section through hair salons. Around 50% of the men that come to Juice for a haircut today do opt for a hair colouring session and that figure for women is 70%. “Since men have shorter hair, they experiment with it more than women do and in certain cases opt for a new colour every three weeks,” cites Mr Khurana.
Take for instance, Mehol Vora, a Mumbai-based sound consultant who has coloured his hair more than 25 times in the past four years. “I have tried every colour possible, shades of reds, blues, browns and blonde. Whenever I have to get my hair cut and the colour is fading, I go in for a new shade,” he says.
About 40-50% of their clients are repeat clients. Though still dominated by haircuts, 25-30% of their revenues come from hair colour sessions. They see women in the age group of 20-25 years getting their hair coloured, whereas the bracket for men is much wider between 18-40.
Among the hottest icons driving trends in this market are Saif Ali Khan, Malaika Arora-Khan and Jennifer Aniston. Bounce hair colour as a more seasonal revenue driver.