From the long locks of Harry Styles to Brooklyn Beckham’s braids, it seems men are steering clear of the short back and sides. New research from Mintel reveals that whilst the men’s haircare market remained stable in the UK at £85 million between 2014 and 2015, it is forecast to grow 11% over the next five years to reach £94 million by 2020. Notably, sales of treatments in this market reached £14.9 million in 2015, up from £14.7 million in 2014.

Mintel research indicates that men today are keeping their haircare products close at hand for whatever the day throws at them. Indeed, one fifth (20%) of men who use haircare products keep styling products with them for on-the-go fixes, and the same proportion (20%) say they use styling products throughout the day. What’s more, many men turn to the professionals when they need to have their hair dressed to impress: 30% of men who use haircare products say that on special occasions they prefer to visit a barber or hairdresser to have their hair styled.

22% of 16-24 year olds who use haircare products say they use heated styling appliances

When it comes to achieving the perfect look it seems younger men are a cut above the rest, with as many as one third (33%) of 16-24 year olds who use haircare products taking time to style their hair in the morning, compared to an average of 23% of men overall. Additionally, over one fifth (22%) of the same group say they use heated styling appliances, up from an average of 12% of men overall.

Charlotte Libby, Senior Beauty Analyst at Mintel, said:

“The majority of men prefer to spend as little time as possible styling their hair in the morning; however, younger generations remain more focused on crafting their hair style and are willing to put in the time and effort to achieve their desired look. This, alongside the fashion for men to have longer hair has seen treatment sales grow at a faster pace, as men take more pride in their appearance and hair condition.”

Women’s haircare market lacklustre

Whilst men’s haircare is going from strength to strength, Mintel research reveals that the women’s haircare market is losing its bounce, with sales declining from £1.4 billion in 2014 to £1.39 billion in 2015. Failing to make waves, conditioner and treatments are suffering in the women’s haircare market, declining 4.7% from £300 million in 2014 to £286 million in 2015. The future does look bright, however, as women’s haircare product sales are forecast to grow 9% to reach £1.51 billion by 2020.

The drop in the market comes as women seem to be moving away from complex haircare routines, with 40% of female haircare product users saying they have styled their hair less frequently in the last 12 months*. What’s more, half (51%) of women say they adapt their hairstyle for the day ahead depending on how clean their hair is.

Indeed, the nation’s women are taking a more lacklustre approach than men. Less women are carrying products with them for on-the-go fixes (18%), styling their hair (18%) and even on special occasions women are preferring to keep it simple, with 65% sticking to their usual haircare or styling products, and 55% preferring to keep their hair in its natural or usual style.

Roshida Khanom, Senior Personal Care Analyst at Mintel, said:

“The women’s haircare category has struggled to grow in value in recent years, as savvy shopping behaviours have women buying branded products at discount retailers. In addition, when it comes to daytime styling habits, most female haircare users prefer to spend as little time styling their hair as possible, as well as not use products to style their hair during the day.”

Damage is a hair-raising issue for many

Today, 22% of men who use haircare products worry about hair loss from styling products, and one fifth (20%) worry about their hair falling out when they wash it.

Yet it’s not just men who are wary of the damages haircare products can cause, as Mintel research reveals that half (50%) of women who use haircare products have limited their use of heat appliances in the last 12 months, 34% wash their hair less frequently and 22% have bought or used a hairdryer, straightener or curling iron that claims to be less damaging to hair.

And whilst young men are focusing on their hairstyle, it seems young women are focusing on their haircare. Just over three fifths (61%) of female 16-24 year olds who use haircare products are limiting their use of heat appliances, 44% are washing their hair less frequently and 34% have bought a hairdryer, straightener or curling iron that claims to be less damaging to hair. In addition, women are showing interest in products that can limit damage, such as shampoos with different levels of cleansing (41%), as well as scalp protecting products (25%).

Women are now showing awareness of the potentially negative impact of certain haircare routines on their hair and are taking measures to prevent longer term damage by washing and styling their hair less frequently. With high interest in shampoos with different levels of cleansing, as well a scalp protecting products, innovations in these areas could encourage usage of haircare products amongst women.” Roshida concludes.

* January 2016

Press review copies of both the Men’s Haircare and Women’s Haircare reports and interviews with Senior Beauty Analyst Charlotte Libby and Senior Personal Care Analyst Roshida Khanom are available on request from the press office.

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