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Chinese Consumers are Increasingly Enthusiastic about DIY Hair Dyes

In 2019, Procter & Gamble said that there was a lot of development room for the Chinese hairdressing market and also predicted high growth in China’s hairdressing demand over the next three years [1]

As people have higher expectations on their image, the hairdressing industry is undergoing a flourishing period, among which the hair dyeing is a prominent part. Data from iiMedia shows that the China's hair dye market was on a significant rise from 2017 to 2019. In 2019, China's hair dye market was 13.5 billion yuan, and it is expected to reach 18.2 billion yuan in 2020 [2].

Despite barbershop dyeing service, an increasing number of consumers are looking to DIY hair dyes to enhance their looks. CBNData's "High-end Hair Care Industry Consumer Insight Report" released in 2019 showed that compared with other hairdressing categories (hair cleaning, hair care/scalp care and hair styling), hair dyeing had the fastest-growing number of products in e-commerce platforms.

The most significant appealing point of DIY hair dye is the lower price and bigger convenience compared with barbershop dyeing service. For example, mainstream hair dye brands Schwarzkopf's products are priced at 60-90 yuan, L'Oreal Hairdressing's products are priced at 80-158 yuan, and KAO's products are about 60-90 yuan. However, barbershop hair dye services usually cost hundreds to thousands of yuan and are time-consuming.

Popularity of hair dye products is further enhanced under COVID-19

Chinese consumers are more interested in hair coloring than haircuts. For example, the topic of "hair dyeing" on Sina Weibo (one of the top social media platforms in China, Chinese version of Twitter) has a total of 220 million readings and 351,000 discussions. In contrast, the topic of "haircut" only attracted 6.913 million readings and 8387 discussions [3].

During this year's COVID-19 epidemic, Chinese people have experienced nearly three months of home self-isolation, which led to the booming “stay-at-home economy” involving a number of DIY industries, among which, DIY hair dying has seen soaring sales growth in major e-commerce platforms. According to CBNData data, from March 1 to 31, searches on Tmall for hair dyes were up 62% year-on-year, product sales were up 84%, and the number of users placing orders was up 83% year-on-year. Suning platform witnessed a similar trend. From March 1 to 15, Suning Global hair dye sales increased by 118.09% month-on-month. In addition to hair dyes, sales of relevant products such as hair dye kits, conditioners, and shampoos soared.

One important reason for the sales growth of DIY hair dyes during the epidemic is that DIY hair dyes can help people kill boring time at home.

Hair dye pens and bubble hair dyes are sought-after

Starting from Double 11 Shopping Festival in 2018, hair dyes in the forms of pens or bars have become popular on Tmall Global due to the convenience in covering gray hair whenever and wherever possible. This market segment’s growth potential has attracted brands from all over the world to enter the Chinese market. Brands gaining significant growth include Rishiri Kombu and Aderans of Japan, Sanotint of Italy, and Nice of Chinese Taiwan. Japanese professional salon hair dye and hair care brand Aderans launched its “Point Hair Color” on Tmall Global in May 2018. From January to July 2019, the product search and transaction volume increased 40 times and 60 times, respectively, and even faced out of stock several times [4]. 


Bubble/Foam hair colorant is also gaining increasing traction, especially among the young consumer group because of varied color choice and easy shampoo style. According to Tmall Global hair dye sales ranking data in April [5], the TOP3 brands/products were Amore MISE EN SCENE Hello Bubble Foam Color Hair Dye Series endorsed by BLACKPINK (a South Korean girl group), Japanese KAO Liese Prettia Creamy Bubble Hair Color and Les 3 Chênes Color & Soin Permanent Hair Dye from France, with foam hair colorants occupying two positions. On the Tmall platform, the top-selling bubble hair dye brands include Amore, Schwarzkopf, and KAO.


Consumer preference differs between different age groups

The post-95s

Tmall Global data shows that the post-1995 generation has accounted for nearly 30% of the hair dye product sales [4]. As the young generation becomes a major consumer group, hair dye products tend to develop towards funny, voguish and socialized. 

In recent years, idol groups (girls/boys) represented by BLACKPINK from South Korea have been popular among young generations, and young people also see the group memebers’ bold and stylish hair color as a trend to follow. Therefore, the post-1995 generation is keen on colorful hair styles, with the color ranges up to 30, and bright colors are more preferred, such as gold, pink, and blue. Popular products include KAO Liese Prettia Creamy Bubble Hair Color, EZN Shaking Pudding Hair Color, Amore MISE EN SCENE Hello Bubble Foam Color Hair Dye Series, and Schwarzkopf Freshlight Foam Color, with an average price of no more than 100 yuan.


They are also fond of novel and funny ways to color their hair, with the forms of foam, mousse, pudding, lipstick, and mascara drawing the most attention. These products go viral on the social media due to the sharing of KOLs and KOCs. Taking Little Red Book, a beauty community, for example, more than 710,000 hair coloring related notes have been posted [5], among which, “girl group,” “plant-based,” “high-cost performance,” and “colorful,” are the high-frequency words.


The post-95s also focus on the integration of hair dye and hair care. The frequent change of hair color makes them more concerned about hair health and color maintenance. In addition to choosing herbal-based hair dyes that would not bring any damage, hair dyes with extra functions of restoring and stabilizing hair color also gain popularity.

The post-80s

Major demands of post-80s for hair dye products are natural plants, safety (ammonia-free), and gray hair covering. Fast-paced life pressure and habitually staying up late make the trend of gray hair much younger, making covering gray hair the most important demand of this age group. Popular products include Les 3 Chênes Color & Soin Permanent Hair Dye, Rishiri Kombu Hair Color Treatment, Sanotint Permanent Hair Dyes, with an average price of 100-200 yuan.

***Disclaimer: All images used in this article are from the internet.

Tags : ChinaBusiness
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