Thursday, August 8th, 2013 - Roy Morgan Research

Either more New Zealanders are choosing to go grey as nature intended or they’re wearing hats to hide the evidence, because sales of home hair-colouring products have fallen over the last decade or so, according to the latest findings by Roy Morgan Research. In the 12 months to June 2013, 13% of Kiwis bought home hair-colouring products in an average six-month period — down from 18% in the year to June 2002.

Not surprisingly, the vast majority (92%) of those who purchased home hair-colouring products were women, the traditional market for this kind of item. Just over one in three (34%) of them were aged between 35 and 49, a time in many women’s lives when their first silver strands reveal themselves, while almost a quarter (24%) were aged 50–64.

Places of purchase

Of those women who bought home hair-colouring products in the last six months, 59% did so in a supermarket, suggesting that convenience is more important to them than a wide-ranging choice of brands. Department stores (12%) were the second most popular place of purchase, followed by ‘other’ channels (9%) and chemists (8%).

Source (chart 1): Roy Morgan Single Source (New Zealand), July 2001 – June 2013 (n = 149,133).

Source (chart 2): Roy Morgan Single Source (New Zealand), July 2012 – June 2013 (n = 1,634).

Pip Elliott, General Manager, Roy Morgan Research NZ, says:

“Over the last decade, sales of home hair colour products have declined noticeably in New Zealand. Factors contributing to this may include tightening economic conditions and a general consumer trend towards buying fewer ‘luxuries’; the introduction of colour-extend shampoos and conditioners that reduce the need for regular colouring; and adverse publicity about hair dyes’ possible carcinogenic qualities. The number of Kiwis getting their hair professionally done in salons has also dropped steadily over the last ten years, suggesting that we’re tightening our belts when it comes to non-essential expenses.

“It’s surprising to note that supermarkets are the most popular place of purchase for these products: rather than browsing a large selection of colours and brands, it seems that women just want to pick up their hair dye with the rest of their groceries and be done with it — something for hair-colour manufacturers to bear in mind.

“This decline in demand for home hair-colouring products reflects a similar, albeit more gradual, trend in Australia. It will be interesting to see if it continues, and the ‘natural look’ becomes the norm…”

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Roy Morgan Research


Roy Morgan Research is Australia's best known and longest established market research and public opinion survey company. Roy Morgan Single Source is thorough, accurate, and provides comprehensive, directly applicable information about current and future customers. It is unique in that it directs all the questions to each individual from a base survey sample of around 55,000 interviews in Australia and 15,000 interviews in New Zealand annually - the largest Single Source databases in the world. The questions asked relate to lifestyle and attitudes, media consumption habits (including TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, cinema, catalogues, pay TV and the Internet), brand and product usage, purchase intentions, retail visitations, service provider preferences, financial information and recreation and leisure activities. This lead product is supported by a nationally networked, consultancy-orientated market research capability.
Samantha Wilson
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ome hair-colouring products

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