According to Mintel, China’s hair care category has seen a stable moderate increase in sales value in the past four to five years.
As one of the biggest categories in beauty and personal care space, the category is showing a slowdown in the pace of value growth due to the high penetration of basic products like shampoo.
As such, senior analyst Yali Jiang suggested that companies may want to shift their focus to target Gen Z consumers with hair care products.
“Gen Z, young consumers aged 20 to 24 are seen to be more actively participating in the beauty category. They have increased their usage of beauty products and services from August 2018 to 2019 and the percentages are higher than those belonging to the older cohorts.”
According to the firm, the market penetration of dry shampoo increased 11% in 2019 and is quickly catching up with rinse-off shampoo.
Jiang said this statistic reflected the consumer need for more convenient solutions in the market.
“Many hair care products launched in 2019 with on-the-go benefit claims, indicating that consumers, especially women’s, demand for flexible haircare solutions.”
Jiang noted that this demand is also increasing for male consumers, but more so in the cleansing category.
“Driven by the need for basic cleansing and convenience, the usage for male consumers is mainly focused on shampoos, like rinse-off shampoo and 2-in-1 shampoo as well as conditioner,” she said.
On the other hand, Jiang added that women seemed to have more sophisticated hair care concerns.
“Women are seen actively participating in the hair care category, which is reflected in their wide usage range across different segments including shampoo, hair conditioner as well as hair treatments.”
Across the board, however, Gen Z consumers were noted to have a wide variety of hair care concerns.
“Overall, 18 to24-year-olds’ top hair concerns concentrate on dandruff, greasiness, itchy scalp, split ends, frizz and hair loss,” said Jiang.
She noted that consumers were beginning to pay more attention to scalp care recently, highlighting opportunities in the category brands can look into.
Jiang concluded that she expected to see more of such products touting convenience as a key benefit to become more available in the marketplace.
“Consumers’ need for convenient hair care solutions and their increasing attention to scalp care have together contributed to the increase in hair care usage in 2019. They are predicted to further grow in the coming years. So, convenience and on-the-go can be key claims and messages for brands to deliver on.”
Jiang highlighted that companies need to pay attention to their product pricing when it comes to Gen Z shoppers, as they can be more price sensitive.
“Given the limitation of their disposable income, young consumers are looking for ‘good value for money’,” she said.
One brand that does this effectively is local brand Adolph, which Jiang says provides “innovative products at an acceptable price.”
She suggested that hair care companies can engage Gen Z consumers better on live streaming sites as it is the go-to place to seek special promotions and pricing.
“Live streaming can provide more discounts during streaming, which allows young consumers to get what they want at a more reasonable price. Furthermore, they are more inclined to seek out the latest products. More than 20% of these consumers have bought new products that they have never seen before through live streaming.”