Pastel hair color trend creates need for alternative home haircare products

September 8, 2015
3 min read

From Madonna’s dip-dyed pink tips to Katy Perry’s ever-changing rainbow hues, pastel and pink hair colors are on trend right now. Some consumers choose to color their tips or simply add streaks of unusual color, while others apply it all over. Whatever shades consumers pick and however permanent (or not), haircare products that help maintain these unusual colors are few and far between.

No less than 38% of American users of at-home hair colorants express interest in bold hair color (i.e. pink, purple, blue, etc.), with 24% having tried these already and willing to try them again, according to Mintel’s Home Hair Color US 2015 report.

Men who use hair colorants are actually more likely than women to use bold colors, with 47% being interested, compared to 33% of women who use at-home hair color. Age is also an important factor, with younger demographics generally more likely to follow the latest fashions and more interested in bolder hair color.

Maintaining pastel hues not so easy at home

Most hair colorants that give consumers pastel shades are temporary chalks or sprays that can easily be washed off and allow consumers to experiment with bolder colors without making a long-term commitment. More permanent or semi-permanent products have also come onto the market recently, including launches from L’Oréal Féria by Préférence and Schwarzkopf Live Color Ultra Brights. Generally, however, to apply pastel hair colors such as pink, consumers need to first carefully bleach their hair and use a toner to erase yellow undertones, something not easily achieved at home by the amateur hair colorist. This is why many turn to professionals to get pastel locks.

22% of Americans who use at-home hair color say it’s socially acceptable to wear bold or unexpected colors

For those who opt for a more permanent pastel hair color, whether it is done at home or at the salon, few haircare products are actually designed to help maintain these unusual colors. Furthermore, 22% of American consumers who use at-home hair color agree that it is becoming more socially acceptable to wear bold or unexpected colors (i.e. pink, purple) in your hair. This research indicates that even if the hues change slightly with the seasons – or the celebrities sporting them – unusual hair colors are not just for the stage, but also for everyday consumers. Therefore, there is a need for products to help support them.

Although the specific hues of bold hair colors are likely to change with the latest fashion (today pink, tomorrow orange?), data shows that bolder, unusual hair colors are becoming more socially acceptable and many consumers who already use home hair colorants like to use them. The lack of haircare products that consumers can use at home to maintain these colors offers lots of opportunity for companies and allows them to continue to target consumers individually.

Shannon Romanowski is the Category Manager of Health, Household, Beauty & Personal Care Reports at Mintel. She brings a unique background that combines technical knowledge along with a strong understanding of consumer and sensory research, as well as a passion for the beauty industry.

Shannon Romanowski
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