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Things To keep In Mind While Entering the Haircare Market The urban population spends as much as three times on haircare compared with the rural population

By Praver Kachroo

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An average Indian is more concerned about their looks than ever before. From the times when hair oils were the only haircare products available, Indian beauty and personal care industry have come a long way with products such as serums, hair masks and different shampoos and conditioners for different hair types. Ever since we've gained access to international fashion and beauty trends, the haircare market in the country is evolving rapidly. People are open to trying out new looks, as well as new hair colors. When it comes to looking like the best version of yourself, hair plays a very important role.

The haircare industry has evolved to a base of INR 22,500 crore, according to a 2019 report by Nielsen India titled 'The beauty market is letting its hair down'. The urban population spends as much as three times on haircare compared with the rural population. People in urban areas opt for more problem-solving and styling products, while the rural population opts for general entry-level haircare products.

What to keep in mind?

Due to increased advertising and the influence of the film industry, people are paying more attention to personal grooming and haircare. Styling products are getting more and more popular among both men and women, with gender-specific styling products entering the market. Consumers are always looking for more natural and nature-based products after becoming aware of the various side effects that beauty and cosmetic products can have.

Today, the hair industry makes use of science to create specialized products to treat specific hair conditions and types which calls for proper education and knowledge in the sector. 'One size fits all' approach doesn't work in this era of personalization. The haircare industry has become a professional arena under which there are multiple specializations such as hair technicians, hair colorists, esthetician and hairstylists, among others. The competition among brands is fierce, and having an edge over the other is important.

Know your audience

Any company/brand must know the needs and desires of their target audience before launching a product or service in the market. India being a diverse country has people of different ethnicities and regions, which results in them having vastly different hair types. Haircare brands must have products in their quiver to cater to all the different types of hair.

Due to the worsening pollution problem in India, people are experiencing problems such as loss of hair volume, thinning of hair and dandruff, among others, at a very early age. Moreover, the majority of Indian consumers, especially in metropolitan cities, belong to the corporate crowd. Between long hours of work, the stress of corporate life and the high levels of pollution, protecting and caring for one's hair is more important than ever. With people's jobs taking up most of their time, daily hair remedies aren't always possible to follow. This is where the plethora of haircare products such as shampoos, conditioners, serums and hair dyes, among others, come in.

Global trends

With increased attention to hair and scalp health, people are opting for more sophisticated products and haircare regimes according to their individual needs and goals. Another key trend that is driving innovation within the haircare sector is that of customization, both active and passive. Active customization refers to the 'create-your-own' approach gaining traction within the haircare space. There has been a rise in color-based hair products as consumers are looking for active customization and creating their own looks as a way of self-expression. Brands have been capitalizing on this trend by providing hair coloring treatments that strengthen the hair instead of damaging them.

These trends have made their way to India as well, with Indian consumers stepping away from the conventional and opting for color-based treatments, hair masks and are actively experimenting with their hairstyles.

Why invest?

The haircare market in India is showing promising growth, and is a great opportunity for individuals and businesses to invest in. Categories operating in the business have experienced a 9.6 per cent compounded annual growth rate in value (as per the Nielsen India 2019 report).

Praver Kachroo

Founder, Evolvere Salon Solutions

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