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The hair styling market has regained its bounce and lustre. It’s worth an extra £21.8m, having grown value 13.5% and volumes 7.1%. All but four of the top 20 brands sold more packs in the past 12 months, as pre-pandemic behaviour returned.

“Styling saw a huge dip in performance during Covid as shoppers moved away from wanting their tresses to look styled,” says NielsenIQ senior analytics executive Sara Timms. “The resurgence of the category has been phenomenal as social occasions increase and looking good is back on trend.”

Within the buoyant styling market, the most eye-catching brands are challengers with natural credentials. Take Eco Styler, which uses olive oil and claims to be gentler on hair. Its value is up 37.7%. Camille Rose and The Curl Company are also surging – by 47% and 17.4% respectively. Both tap “the clean trend, using ingredients such as rice milk and macadamia oil”, Timms explains.

While styling is the standout performer, shampoo and conditioner also have something to shout about. They’ve both clawed back significant volumes. Shampoo, the category’s largest sector, is almost flat – marking a considerable improvement on the 5.3% decline in 2021’s report. A 4.4% rise in average pack price has added an extra £16.4m.

Its big star is number three brand Batiste, which has grown volumes of its dry shampoo by 23%. As in the hair styling segment, shoppers have been attracted by a “use of natural ingredients and fewer chemicals”, Timms says.

Other brands have turned to offering skincare-style benefits to drive growth. Elvive, for example, is up £6m across shampoo and conditioner after unveiling a range containing popular skincare ingredient hyaluronic acid.

Consumers should expect to see more such innovation in future, says Emma Fishwick, account manager for The NPD Group. “The ‘skinification’ of haircare is here to stay.”

The mults are “moving away from general ranges to brands that experience lucrative growth from NPD”, she says. So big brands may have to work hard to keep their shine. 

Top Launch 2022

Elvive Hydra Hyaluronic | L’Oréal


Hyaluronic acid has been a popular skincare ingredient for a while, thanks to its moisturising properties. No surprise, then, L’Oréal spotted its potential to treat dry and damaged tresses. The beauty giant launched its Elvive quartet in February, featuring the likes of Moisture Boosting Shampoo and Moisture Locking Conditioner (rsps: £3.50-£12.99/150ml-400ml). All four lines are formulated to “plump the fibre for hair that looks full, bouncy, shiny, and feels weightlessly hydrated for up to 72 hours”.

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