Styling Aids and Accessories Drive Hair Category Growth

Hair styling aids and accessories are driving growth in the $7.2 billion U.S. hair care category, which is expected to increase 18 percent to $8.5 billion by 2010, according to a new report from Packaged Facts.

Sales of hair gels, mousses and sprays, and accessories--barrettes, combs, hairpieces and weaves--will increase the most, projects Packaged Facts. These categories collectively accounted for $2.33 billion of hair care sales in 2005, the report states, using IRI sales data from food, drug and mass chains, but excluding Wal-Mart.

The trend started to emerge last year, with sales of styling aids up 7.3 percent in 2005. Don Montuori, publisher of Packaged Facts, attributes total hair care category growth to such new technologies as color-protecting products, and new product delivery forms.

So far this year, mid-size packaged goods company Alberto-Culver has been responsible for the biggest boost in the styling aids segment. Alberto-Culver, the leader in the spray and spritz category, saw sales increase 14 percent to $53 million for the year ended Oct. 8, reports IRI.

In addition, while L'Oreal and John Frieda saw sales drop in the gel/mousse segment, Alberto-Culver's sales in that category were up a whopping 35 percent. Tresemme is Alberto-Culver's biggest spray and spritz and gel/mousse brand. In mid 2004, Alberto-Culver took Tresemme back to its salon positioning with an ongoing ad campaign from Campbell Mithun, Minneapolis, that uses a salon as its backdrop.

Meanwhile, Procter & Gamble's top-selling shampoo brand Pantene, saw its Pro-V and Pro-V Classic sales drop 12 and 18 percent to $17 and $15 million, respectively, for the year ended Oct. 8, reports IRI.

Hair accessory sales slumped from 2002 to 2004, but an upswing started last year in part due to a resurgence in stylish hairpieces such as faux ponytails. Like falls, which were most popular in the 1960s and 1970s, these hairpieces are being used by females of all ages--young and old.

The study suggests two more reasons for the shift in popularity to styling aids and accessories: the aging female demographic and a growing number of Hispanic consumers in the U.S.

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