Sun care category continues shift towards niche

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Hair care products, Ultraviolet

With 450 sun tan products launched in Europe so far this year, we take a look at developments in more niche products in the category, including sun hair care and self tanners.

The sun care segment has evolved enormously in recent years, mainly because of increasing consumer awareness of the dangers from over exposure to the sun ray’s and the increasing desire to look for products that provide good protection.

But sun protection has not been limited to the skin, evinced by the continued growth of sunscreen products for the hair. According to Mintel’s GNPD more than 400 hair care products were launched in Europe last year with UV protection.

UV + hair care = busy category

And the growth continues, with Mintel revealing that so far this year some 220 hair care products have been launched with UV filters.

Consumers awareness of the damage that sun can do to the hair – leading to dryness, split ends and premature ageing – is the main reason for the increasing popularity of this kind of product, which many holidaymakers are adopting in conjunction with their sun care regimes for the skin.

Mintel says that one particularly sophisticated example is L’Oreal’s The Bain Après-Soleil Shampooing, which is an anti-damage shampoo for colour-treated hair marketed under the Kérastase Soleil brand.

Tackling beach holiday issues

As well as containing comprehensive UV protection for the hair, it also tackles an age old problem associated with beach holidays – the build up of both sand and salt in the scalp.

Similarly, Juicy Couture has launched a Deluxe Detangling Conditioner, which counts sea water and sunflower seed oil as a means of keeping hair in shape during the summer.

At the other end of the spectrum, increasing awareness of the dangers of sun exposure has also led to renewed interest in self-tanners.

Gradual tanners still growing

"The popularity of gradual tanners is a result of a growing awareness of the damage the sun can do as well as the fact that we have had a couple of poor summers just recently here in the UK,”​ said Mintel analyst Alexandra Richmond.

As summer weather is often unpredictable in the UK, self-tanning launches have proved popular, illustrated by the 60 products that were launched during the course of last year.

But this pattern has also been evident in Europe as a whole, where a total of more than 300 ‘fake tan’ products were launched during the course of 2007.

“These products are now also becoming more sophisticated as many offer benefits such as firming, which will make them appeal to more people,"​ Richmond added.

Related topics: Market Trends

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