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The Mexican Professional Haircare Market

Hair colouring services sustain salon sales in recession-hit Mexican salons

Economic downturn has concentrated minds on the price/quality ratio for both consumers (services) and salons (products)

Pressure for lower prices may alter the brand status quo. Demand for lower priced but quality haircare products in salons helps some gain market share

High growth rates, which had characterised the Mexican professional haircare market for almost a decade, abruptly ended with the recession of 2008. With no improvement in consumer spending expected for a few years, salons in Mexico must improve their hair and beauty service offerings in order to maintain or increase sales.

The economic downturn has made consumers become more demanding over the past two years. Mexican women who use upmarket salons now expect to receive above average haircare services when they pay above average prices. The salon sector in Mexico expects a general shake-out and has identified investment in staff training as key to meeting consumers' higher standards.

Colour services were the main growth driver in the Mexican salon channel in the decade up to 2007/08. Given the sharpness of the downturn, salons have been pleasantly surprised by the resilient demand for hair colouring compared, for example, to sales of beauty treatments which have suffered more.

Hair colouring remains the single largest salon category in Mexico. Colouring consumers buy not only the most expensive salon service (colour), but they are the core consumers of retail lines, particularly the more expensive shampoos, conditioners, and styling products in salons. As one salon manager in Mexico explained, “Clients spend up to five times more on some colouring services and products than on one haircut “

Best performing salons maintain demand and client loyalty by offering quality colouring treatments that clients are not able to do for themselves at home. A salon manager in Mexico city interviewed by Diagonal Reports noted, “Colour has been constant because colour clients are the most fashion conscious”

The haircolouring market has been the preserve of a handful of companies which traditionally dominated the colour category, accounting for almost all sales. These established but higher priced market leaders are now more vulnerable in an economic environment, where the rules have changed. Salon managers and their clients have never been as price conscious and these companies could lose out to other brands that offer a better quality / price ratio.

Demand for lower priced but quality professional lines has benefited smaller operators at both the top and budget end of the professional haircare market. A product supplier with significant market share in segment C type salons in Mexico reported “The recession has been a positive for us as salons turned to less expensive brands”

In this new report Professional Hair Care Market Mexico 2009, Diagonal Reports quantifies the value of the salon haircare market (in Mexican pesos) and the number of salons operating in Mexico. It determines demand for styling and colouring services in hair salons in Mexico. The research also focused on salon segmentation, company and brand share in this fragmented market. Findings are based on in-depth discussions conducted with salon experts in Mexico DF, Jalisco and Verocruz

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