Jane Jang
Jane is Mintel’s Global Beauty Analyst based in Seoul. She provides insightful in-depth analysis of beauty, retail, and consumer trends in South Korea and wider Asia.

Men’s haircare trends in Asia take inspiration from Western markets, and the current popularity of scalp care, hipster barbershops and the undercut hair style is sweeping across the East. However, Asian men’s hair tends to be thick, stiff and straight, so achieving a ‘trendy’ style can be a drain on time as well as effort. As the trend for managing side hair-styles grows, there is a strong case for brands to take Asian-specific hair needs into consideration.


That’s where the ‘volume-down’ trend comes into play, as the style promises to tame and straighten messy hair. Hair salons in Japan first picked up on this, offering ‘down perm’ procedures to help flatten hair using a super-slim iron to avoid getting the perm formula on the scalp.

Successively, brands saw an opportunity to target the lower-maintenance customers by introducing specific at-home treatments. These offer huge potential, especially among Millennials. In fact, smaller Korean brands are already taking the lead by targeting Millennials who are keen to save money and time.


For instance, Black Monster’s at-home volume down perm is spurring young males to share its online video through a unique ‘Video e-Commerce’ strategy, which effectively promotes the product’s efficacy and consumers’ satisfaction. Though at-home volume-down treatments are still in their infancy in South Korea, brands can tap into their potential in other regions, with natural ingredients, single-use packs, and safety-related claims being of particular interest.

A good example is Premium Dashu for Men Fast Down Perm 10, which is said to give the result of a natural down perm in the desired parts of the hair in just ten minutes. Enriched with baobab seed oil and more than ten different kinds of natural extracts, it gives protection to damaged parts of the hair and adds a natural shine.



4171135-0_dcddb75469b4173983-0_dcddb75469bWhile a volume down perm satisfies men’s needs for well-managed side hair, its semi-permanent functionality means it fails to meet expectations in terms of longer-lasting, consistent results. Indeed, it often provides results for less than a month. Brands should therefore encourage consumers to incorporate a volume down function as part of their daily haircare routine.

In light of this, Kao Success launched its volume down shampoo in Japan, which claims to soften coarse, messy hair, while Missha’s volume down spray focuses on the issue of side hair. Both products are positioned as a replacement for volume down perms. Brands can develop this further by offering launches which work to enhance at-home treatments, such as waxes, sprays, or accessories.


Jane is a Beauty Analyst at Mintel based in the dynamic city of Seoul, which has become the epicenter for beauty innovation. Jane provides insightful in-depth analysis of beauty, retail, and consumer trends in Korea and the wider Asian market based on 10 years’ experience acquired as a marketing and brand manager for major beauty and FMCG marketers.