Haircare Top Products

Retailers have designated more shelf space to colour-protect lines this year as shoppers couldn’t get to salons

The events of the past year have been enough to turn your hair grey. In fact, that’s just what happened to some Brits.

With hairdressers shuttered over lockdown, silvery strands and unruly roots were a reality for many. It’s a hair-raising problem that led to specialist products receiving a boost from stores, in an effort to provide an at-home salon experience.

Retailers have designated more shelf space to colour-protect lines such as Pro:Voke’s Touch of Brunette and Touch of Blonde conditioner, notes Nielsen senior analyst Sara Timms. And brands such as John Frieda have cashed in with NPD designed to combat grey hair (see our Top Launch below).

Aside from dye, though, it was a bad hair day (or year) for the haircare sector. Shampoo, conditioner and styling products lost a combined £58.1m, as largely housebound Brits washed and styled their hair less often.

The few winners in the category largely spoke to the specific needs of the pandemic, such as promoting good hair health while hairdressers were closed. “Consumers are moving toward brands that nourish and maintain the condition of their hair and scalp,” says Nielsen’s Timms.

This is reflected in the performances of products such as dry scalp aid Neutrogena T-Gel, Shea Moisture and Maui Moisture – all up in both value and volume.

There has also been a greater desire for natural haircare this year. That’s been a focus for Garnier, whose Ultimate Blends range grew £200k after “tapping into growing appetite for natural origin ingredients and vegan, eco-designed formulas that really deliver”.

Such on-trend credentials have driven another successful year for many smaller and newer players, Timms says. “These brands are becoming more and more appealing to consumers because they can satisfy different, more specific needs and often.” She notes how sustainable brand Faith in Nature has grown significantly across both shampoo (126%) and conditioner (116%) thanks to NPD.

Within styling, smaller brand Eco Styler, which includes a 100% olive oil gel, has grown 121.8%. Now that’s natural beauty.


Top Products 2020

In association with Nielsen

Top 5 Shampoo
        £m £ change %
Total volume change: -5.1%   Total Category: 407.6 -14.5 -3.4
      Total Own Label: 11.3 -1.7 -13.0
This year’s rank Last year’s rank Brand Manufacturer £m change (£m) change (%)
1 1 Head & Shoulders P&G 65.3 1.7 2.7
2 2 Elvive L’Oreal 41.9 –2.2 –5.1
3 4 Tresemmé Unilever 27.1 –1.9 –6.4
4 6 Pantene Pro-V P&G 26.7 1.2 4.9
5 3 Batiste Church & Dwight 25.5 –3.6 –12.5
Top 5 Conditioner
        £m £ change %
Total volume change: 5.9%   Total Category: 196.6 –6.1 –3.0
      Total Own Label: 3.2 –0.7 –17.8
This year’s rank Last year’s rank Brand Manufacturer £m change (£m) change (%)
1 1 Elvive L’Oreal 31.4 –1.2 –3.8
2 3 Tresemmé Unilever 19.7 –1.5 –6.9
3 2 Aussie P&G 19.3 –1.9 –9.0
4 4 Herbal Essences P&G 18.0 –0.7 –3.9
5 5 John Freida Kao 16.1 –0.7 –4.0
Top 5 Hair Styling
        £m £ change %
Total volume change: -17.9%   Total Category: 176.7 -37.5 -17.5
      Total Own Label: 7.7 -2.1 -21.5
This year’s rank Last year’s rank Brand Manufacturer £m change (£m) change (%)
1 1 Vo5 Unilever 28.5 -7.5 -20.8
2 2 Elnett L’Oreal 25.0 -6.3 -20.2
3 3 Silvikrin Coty 19.0 -3.9 -17.0
4 4 Got2B Schwarzkopf & Henkel 16.4 -3.8 -18.8
5 5 Tresemme Unilever 15.9 -2.2 -12.0



The Grocer’s Top Launch

Screen Shot 2020-12-14 at 17.19.15

Defy Grey, John Frieda

Consumers of all ages are embracing their grey roots – or even choosing to dye their locks silver. For those not ready to take that plunge, there’s John Frieda’s Defy Grey range. It hit retailers in November 2019, aimed at brunettes who have discovered their first white strands. Available in shampoo, conditioner and blow-dry foam, it works “by infusing warm brunette tones into grey strands”. Covering all bases, Frieda also added Shimmering Silver, a range to “transform dull grey to bright silver”.

Top Products Survey 2020: How Food Came Home