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Hair colour purchasing falls, most bought in supermarkets

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), April 2018 – March 2019 (n=14,722). Base: Australians 14+.
New research from Roy Morgan shows the number of Australians buying hair colour has been on the decline with only 15.4% of Australians purchasing hair colour in an average six months in the year to March 2019, down 2ppts from four years ago.

As a result, the frequency of purchasing has dropped as well, with the number of customers who purchased monthly or more frequently falling by 1.1ppts to 2.2%, and those purchasing every 2-3 month down 1ppt to 5.1% compared to four years earlier.

Women more than three times more likely to buy hair colour than men

Women represent over three-quarters (76.4%) of hair colour customers with 23.2% of women buying a hair colour product in an average six months compared to only 7.4% of men.

Hair colour customers also skew towards middle-aged consumers, with 19.9% of 35-49 year olds purchasing a hair colour product in an average six months – the highest incidence of any age group, totalling almost 1 million customers and representing 31% of the total hair colour market.

An additional 38.3% of the hair colour market is comprised of customers aged over 50 years old, with 14.4% of 50+ customers buying a hair colour product in an average 6 months.

Hair colour customer breakdown by age – 12 months to March 2019

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), April 2018 – March 2019 (n=14,722). Base: Australians 14+.

Supermarkets the outlet of choice for hair colour products

The leading places Australians purchase hair colour products have seen drops in demand for the product consistent with the general drop in the category compared to four years ago.

Supermarkets remain easily the most popular location for Australians to buy hair colour products and over the last four years have consistently maintained between 8-9% of Australians buying their hair colour products in supermarkets which represents roughly 52% of total hair colour purchases.

Chemists and pharmacies such as Chemist Warehouse and Priceline are the other big players in the market with between 4-5% of Australians buying hair colour products at chemists or pharmacies representing just over a quarter (26%) of the market for hair products.

The remainder of the market is split between Department stores, Discount Department stores and newer online retail channels such as Amazon which comprise around a fifth of hair colour purchases.

Michele Levine, CEO of Roy Morgan, says:

“Hair colour products have seen a gradual decline in recent years, with only 15.4% of Australians now buying a hair colour product in an average 6 months. This represents a decrease of 0.2ppts from the same time last year, and 1.9ppts from four years ago.

“This downturn is also reflected in a decrease in the number of customers who frequently purchase hair colour products every month, or every 2-3 months, while seeing slight growth in the less frequent purchasing segments. Women comprise more than three quarters of the market, and middle-aged customers aged 35-49 years old are the most likely of any age segment to buy hair colour products and comprise nearly a third of the market (31%).

“Although purchasing of hair colour products has declined in recent years it remains a significant part of the experience for Australians visiting hairdressers and salons for a ‘new do’. Nearly a third of Australians visit hairdressers in an average four weeks making a visit to the local salon one of the leading personal services purchased by Australians and something we will be looking at more closely next week.

“Supermarkets are also the most prominent place of purchase for hair colour products, representing over half the hair colour purchasing locations for Australian buyers. Chemists and pharmacies have remained relatively steady over the last few years with around a quarter of the market while department and discount stores struggle to make the same headway in the market.

“Understanding the industry you operate in is important, but understanding your customers is even more important. To uncover the important information critical to your industry, speak to Roy Morgan about our data, and how we can add colour and depth to your next marketing strategy.”

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About Roy Morgan

Roy Morgan is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices throughout Australia, as well as in Indonesia, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate


25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%