May 15, 2023

Hair care trends & sustainability in France

Sustainability as a growth factor in hair care sector

French consumers assign great importance to the beauty and health of their hair: even after two lockdowns and salon closures, the hair care sector resisted the pandemic impact, showing an increase in retail constant value sales.

In 2021, hair care sales exceeded 1.5 billion euros, and are expected to keep growing in the next years. While the top seller hair care products are shampoos, followed by colouring products and conditioners, the most performing category was hair loss treatments, with a +5% in retail sales.

Among the growth factors of this sector, the effort to meet the French consumer's demand for natural, eco-friendly, sustainable products has led mass hair care brands to revise their offerings in order to appeal to the increasingly eco-conscious consumer expectations.

The path towards clean, sustainable, zero-waste hair care includes three areas of intervention:

1. Sustainable formulas

Eco-conscious consumers ask hair care companies for clean formulas, free from controversial compounds. Their purchase behavior tends to reward products positioned as organic, natural, plant-based, & sustainably sourced. With a growing number of small natural/organic indie brands entering the French hair care market, the mass brands have started to review their products, to align with consumer expectations. 

Inspiration: L'Oréal has launched the new Vivelle Dop styling wax, with 98% ingredients of natural origin, while Revlon launched a new sulfate, silicone, and mineral oil-free colourant.

2. Multiple uses

The increased awareness of the ecological footprint of hair products has led French consumers to demand multiple-use products: consumers expect a single product to provide multiple benefits. For example, leave-in treatments that can detangle and nourish; hydrating and scenting styling products; conditioners to be used on dry or damp hair with moisturizing and polishing effects.

Inspiration: Yves Rocher has launched Universal Botanical Balm, a silicone-free leave-in treatment composed of 98% natural ingredients promising four actions: nourishment, repair, frizz control, and styling support.

3. Solid formulations & refills

As plastic reduction is one of the most important goals for young French consumers, their purchase choices have started to revert to solid shampoos and conditioners. This trend has led to sustainable packaging spreading all over the mainstream hair care segment: eco-packs, 100% recycled PET plastic packaging, refillable bottles, recyclable metal boxes, cork box, refill cardboard packaging, and other bulk refill options. 

Inspiration: Léa Nature is transitioning to refillable packaging with a shower gel and shampoo bar, while Procter & Gamble and Garnier are switching to eco-refills for their bestselling brands.

Want to make the best out of these rising hair care trends? Ask us for help: we will be happy to assist you in creating the ideal product for French consumers, and not only!

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