Young males of Britain are star-struck by celebrities and social media personalities that inspire the next go-to hairstyles, causing the usage of in-home hair colorants to soar. According to the latest research from Mintel, the number of 16-24-year-old men using hair colorants has grown from 38% in 2018 to a colorful 46% in 2019.
Celebrities and social media personalities seem to be playing a significant part in their choice of hair color: 19% of male in-home dye users say they took inspiration from social media personalities for their latest hair color choice, while a further 14% drew inspiration from celebrities/models. This compares to the mere 7% of female users who say the same. Showing a more adventurous side, just a quarter of men use the same color they have always used since the last time they dyed their hair.
“Major celebrities like Zac Efron and Zayn Malik, and 2019 Love Island contestant Jordan Hames have debuted bleached or vibrant colored hair recently, which has resulted in young men feeling encouraged to express their individualism through their hair color,” says Alex Fisher, associate director for Beauty & Personal Care at Mintel.
While Britain’s young men are experimenting with their locks, the nation’s older women are choosing to keep their hair natural. Usage of in-home colorants among women aged 65 and over reduced from 36% in 2018 to just 27% in 2019.
“At the other end of the age-scale, dissatisfaction with the anti-ageing rhetoric has meant fewer older women are now using colorants, instead, accepting their naturally grey hair,” says Fisher. “This movement gained momentum in the summer of 2017 when Allure magazine announced it would no longer use the term ‘anti-aging’. Since then, a number of celebrities have spoken out about embracing ageing including Salma Hayek, Helen Mirren and Daniel Craig.”
Natural vs vibrant
Overall sales of in-home colorants are far from bright. In 2018, the market declined in value by 2% falling to £311 million. The market value of semi-permanent color grew by 1% from 2017-18 to reach £13.2 million, while permanent color fell by 2% to £218 million.
“The growth of temporary color has not outweighed the decline of permanent colorants. The trend towards ageing naturally means permanent colorants must seek a new heartland, while younger consumers’ expectations for exciting and changeable looks give brands the opportunity to become the experts of at-home techniques,” says Fisher.
Natural versus vibrant continues to be an issue as 71% of adults think hair colorant brands should use natural ingredients wherever possible, while 27% think a vibrant result is important, rising to 43% of 16-24-year-olds.
In response, beauty brands are moving towards natural ingredients to replace chemicals that cause concern for their users. However, to create consumer satisfaction, formulation is important and can be difficult to change without affecting efficacy.
“While semi-permanent dyes can seem less damaging, many consumers are bleaching their hair underneath to get these vibrant results, causing a lot of damage by itself. Many colorants brands are incorporating natural claims where possible, without interfering with the basic chemical reactions that create the vibrant results people want,” says Fisher.