Social media has impacted the beauty industry in more ways than anyone could write about. While makeup and skincare have thus far been changed to the greatest extent because of social media, the hair care market is joining in.
Prestige hair care is the smallest piece of the total U.S. beauty market. Though small, the hair segment is increasing at 2.5X the rate of overall prestige, according to NPD.* And in the first half of 2018, the main drivers of hair have been the distribution expansion of top selling salon brands, as well as the emergence of a new brand, Olaplex.
Olaplex burst onto the scene in 2014 as a salon treatment added to color services in order to prevent damage. Dr. Eric Pressly and Dr. Craig Hawker invented a single-ingredient chemistry, free of silicones and oils, that links broken bonds in the hair before, during, and after chemical services. The brand used social media platforms such as Instagram to recruit brand ambassadors like well-known colorists Guy Tang, Chris Appleton, and Justin Anderson to promote their three-step process. Earlier this year, the brand opened up distribution of their take home treatment Olaplex No. 3 to several prestige retailers and consumers responded. The brand, though still in its infancy, is the third fastest growing brand in overall hair care when ranking on incremental dollar gain. Additionally, their Olaplex No. 3 take home treatment is the number one ranked hair item across all segments.*
But Olaplex is not the only brand forgoing unwanted ingredients within hair care and using social media to garner fans. Smaller hair care brands that have very focused distribution are creating products that are ready for their “shelfie” and help keep hair healthy without the use of parabens and sulfates. These smaller, more independent brands are also highlighting their cruelty-free or vegan nature.
Natural hair care brand Playa is not only forgoing harmful ingredients, but the brand claims to have formulated each product so the consumer can obtain amazing results with fewer products. Like natural brands currently winning in skincare, the Venice Beach, California-based brand highlights ingredients such as honey and coconut oil and is sure to explain what they use to replace filler ingredients such as silicone, so that the consumer feels more connected. The independent brand is also newly available at Sephora as part of the retailer’s clean initiative.
These are two examples of how prestige hair care is currently utilizing social media and moving towards trends that have marked skincare for some time now. Clean ingredients and transparency perhaps started as a trend, but they are becoming expectations among our consumers.
*Source: The NPD Group/ U.S. Prestige Beauty Total Measured Market, January-June 2018