Colour run

Home hair colour may be on the decline, but pharmacies are still a big player

New research from Roy Morgan shows the number of Australians buying hair colour has been dropping, with only 15.4% of Australians purchasing these products in an average six months, in the year to March 2019.

This is a drop of two percentage points from four years ago, Roy Morgan says.

As a result, the frequency of purchasing has also dropped, with the number of customers who purchased monthly or more frequently falling by 1.1 points to 2.2%, and those purchasing every two or three months down 1 point to 5.1%, compared to four years earlier.

Women represent over three-quarters (76.4%) of hair colour customers with 23.2% of women buying a hair colour product in an average six months compared to only 7.4% of men.

Hair colour customers also skew towards middle-aged consumers, with 19.9% of 35-49 year olds purchasing a hair colour product in an average six months – the highest incidence of any age group, totalling almost 1 million customers and representing 31% of the total hair colour market.

An additional 38.3% of the hair colour market is comprised of customers aged over 50 years old, with 14.4% of 50+ customers buying a hair colour product in an average six months.

The leading channels from which Australians purchase hair colour products have seen drops in demand for the products, consistent with the general drop in the category compared to four years ago.

Supermarkets remain easily the most popular location for Australians to buy hair colour products, and over the last four years have consistently maintained between 8-9% of Australians buying their hair colour products in supermarkets.

This represents roughly 52% of total home hair colour purchases.

Pharmacies such as Chemist Warehouse and Priceline are the other big players in the market, with between 4-5% of Australians buying hair colour products at chemists or pharmacies representing, just over a quarter (26%) of the market for hair products.

The remainder of the market is split between department stores, discount department stores and newer online retail channels such as Amazon which comprise around a fifth of hair colour purchases.

“Hair colour products have seen a gradual decline in recent years,” observed Michele Levine, CEO of Roy Morgan.

“This downturn is also reflected in a decrease in the number of customers who frequently purchase hair colour products every month, or every 2-3 months, while seeing slight growth in the less frequent purchasing segments.

“Although purchasing of hair colour products has declined in recent years it remains a significant part of the experience for Australians visiting hairdressers and salons for a ‘new do’. Nearly a third of Australians visit hairdressers in an average four weeks making a visit to the local salon one of the leading personal services purchased by Australians.

“Supermarkets are also the most prominent place of purchase for hair colour products, representing over half the hair colour purchasing locations for Australian buyers.

“Chemists and pharmacies have remained relatively steady over the last few years with around a quarter of the market while department and discount stores struggle to make the same headway in the market.”

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