They can cover grey hair, drastically change one’s look or simply enhance natural hues – there is a hair color for every Brazilian woman. Or many. According to Nielsen’s latest report, Brazil is one of the top five largest markets for hair color across the globe. These products can currently be found in 51.4% of households in the country, and despite the industry’s recent rebound, forecasts for the coming years are optimistic.
In 2016, the hair coloring market remained stable (-0.1%) – following a decline of 11% in 2015 – and recorded revenues of R$ 4.49 billion as per recent data from Euromonitor International. Sales are expected to resume growth and exceed R$ 4.5 billion on 2017, heading towards R$ 4.97 billion in 2020. "This is a rapidly expanding market. Brazilian women are very open to transformation and changes to their hair color," says Fernanda Ubatuba, group marketing manager at L’Oréal Professionnel.
Consumers aged 45 years and over prefer permanent colors designed to cover grey hair and last up to 28 washes. Research released by Mintel in 2016 revealed that 46% of women aged 45 to 54 used a permanent hair color in the 12 months prior to interview. On the other hand, young Brazilians are more inclined to use semi-permanent or temporary colors, which are often ammonia and peroxide-free. They preserve the hair structure but usually wash off in 20 to 25 shampoos.
When it comes to hair color, lighter hues prevail. "The Brazilian hair color market is all about blonde tones,” says Ubatuba. In partnership with Google, L’Oréal conducted a survey that found that 65% of 15- to 30-year-olds are in the quest for the perfect blonde. The study also showed that online searches for hair color trends increased by 24% in the last year. "The market for blonde and highlighted hair will continue to grow, but the amount of choice and trends are limitless,” she says.
Mintel data shows that 30% of total sales in the beauty and personal care industry comes from new product launches, which is why innovation is no longer a choice, but a necessity. "Innovation is one of the key drivers of the L’Oréal group. We strive to understand the needs and expectations of our consumers so we can provide the market with the best solutions,” says Ubatuba.
Multifunctional hair color is one of the categories that have hit the ground running. These products claim to reduce hair damage caused during the coloring process by using ingredients such as keratin, argan oil and UV filters to add moisture and shine as well as helping achieve an even tone all over.
Among the latest color trends, Ubatuba highlights copper tones, chocolate-mauve (a mix of dark brown and soft purple) and blorange, a blonde-orange hybrid hue. The so-called fantasy colors, including vibrant blue, green, yellow, pink and purple shades, will remain popular with the younger crowds wanting to achieve a whimsical, multicolored ‘mermaid hair’ or ‘unicorn hair’ look.
Temporary root touch-up sprays that “work like makeup for the hair” have also hit the Brazilian market lately. They contain pigments that help hide grey hair between color appointments and wash out with shampoo. L’Oréal has recently entered this market in Brazil with the launch of Hair Touch Up. "Roots grow out and hair color fades with time, so this is a temporary solution we found to conceal greying roots and ensure consumers look and feel beautiful in between salon visits,” says Ubatuba.