One-third of US Consumers Style Their Hair Once a Week, or Less Often, Says NPD

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Products that help keep hair clean and well-maintained are most used by consumers, with shampoo, conditioner, and hair spray rounding out the top three list

It should come as no surprise that, while washing our hair is nearly universal, hair styling is a much less common behavior. In the U.S., 80% of women wash their hair two to three days a week, or more often. However, when it comes to using hair-styling products or tools, one-third style their hair once a week or less often, according to The NPD Group.

“The Hair Consumer Untangled,” a new report on women’s hair product usage from NPD, also reveals that products that help keep hair clean and well-maintained are used most by consumers. The top-three hair products consumers report using in the past year are traditional shampoo, conditioner, and hair spray.

“Hair-product consumers are engaged and diverse and, while nearly all women use hair products, there are white-space opportunities for brands and retailers to reach new consumers,” said Larissa Jensen, beauty industry advisor at NPD. “It is particularly interesting that hair spray ranks among the top used products. But while a high percentage of women use this product, frequency of use is low. The opportunity lies in boosting these usage occasions.”

Getting to the root of the problem

In terms of additional opportunities for the market, NPD data illustrates a growing popularity for targeted care. In fact, 34% of women use hair treatments and revenues are growing. Hair masks and scalp treatments, in particular, have doubled their revenues in 2021 versus 2019.

“In the beauty industry, the movement in recent years to a more natural look, with healthy skin at the foundation, is making its mark on hair care,” added Jensen. “As we have seen consumers do with their skin, today they are becoming increasingly invested in hair health and addressing specific concerns.”

The hair market has been resilient throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, fueled by self-care trends and consumers taking hair coloring and other salon treatments in-house. Overall hair-care category revenue grew by 8% in 2020, versus 2019 — while the rest of the U.S. prestige beauty market declined. From January through August 2021, hair product sales increased by 55%, versus last year. “Hair care continues to perform well,” Jensen said. “In 2021 hair styling returned to growth, as consumers began to reemerge into society and get back to some aspects of normal life.”

About The NPD Group, Inc.
NPD offers data, industry expertise, and prescriptive analytics to help our clients grow their businesses in a changing world. Over 2,000 companies worldwide rely on us to help them measure, predict, and improve performance across all channels, including brick-and-mortar, e-commerce, and B2B. We have services in 19 countries worldwide, with operations spanning the Americas, Europe, and APAC. Practice areas include apparel, appliances, automotive, beauty, books, B2B technology, consumer technology, e-commerce, fashion accessories, food consumption, foodservice, footwear, home, home improvement, juvenile products, media entertainment, mobile, office supplies, retail, sports, toys, and video games. For more information, visit Follow us on Twitter: @npdgroup.

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