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Hair industry statistics

Hair Care Industry Statistics of 2021 in the UK & Worldwide


Here at Gee Hair, we understand just how important it can be to find that signature hairstyle that makes you feel fierce. And for most of us, hair is far easier to control than other aspects of our appearance like our weight or our skin. But even if we’re not changing our look, maintaining it can still take some effort, whether we’re making sure we have a salon perfect blowout or keeping our hair in place throughout a busy work day.

The global hair care industry is absolutely massive, reaching a value of £68.3 billion in 2020*. With so much money being spent on keeping our locks looking their best, how much time do we actually spend on our hair each day?

In order to find out, we ran a survey of 2,000 adults worldwide and asked how much time they spent each day on things like washing, drying and styling their hair, as well as touch ups throughout the day.

Hair Care Industry Statistics 2021: Key Findings

Our main findings were:

  • Overall, men spend an average of almost 37 minutes per day on their hair, while women spend an average of almost 52 minutes per day on theirs.

  • Young people aged 16-24 spend an average of 9 hours and 26 minutes on their hair every single week!
  • A typical UK adult spends 5 hours and 10 minutes a week on their hair.

  • During the first UK lockdown of 2020, the hair product that became most searched for in the UK was hair clippers, whose searches went up almost 700%.

  • Women dedicate an average of almost 6 and a half hours every week to taking care of and beautifying their hair.

  • The most searched for hair care brand in the UK is The Ordinary, with an average of 259,000 searches every month.

  • The most popular hair care brand in the world is Rituals, with an average of 1,890,000 searches worldwide every single month.

*This was worked out by converting the figures on the source from USD to GBP.

How much time do we spend on our hair?

Even just maintaining our regular hairstyles and making sure we’re ready for the outside world can take time, whether we wake up early to fix every flyaway strand or just spend a minute or two running a brush through our manes a couple of times a day.

In October 2021, we used Censuswide to conduct a survey of 2,000 people to find out just how much of our days we dedicate to our luscious locks. We asked:

Thinking about your hair, how much time do you spend on the following in a typical day?

  • Washing
  • Styling
  • Drying
  • Touch ups throughout the day

We asked our participants ‘please provide the average time you spend per day on each of the below tasks. If you do one or more of the below tasks less frequently than daily, we ask that you calculate an estimate of your daily time i.e. if you wash your hair every 3 days and this takes 30 mins then you would enter 6-10 mins.’

And provided them with the following answer options:

  • I don't do this
  • 1-5 minutes
  • 6-10 minutes
  • 11-15 minutes
  • 16-30 minutes
  • 31-45 minutes
  • 46 minutes up to 1 hour
  • Over 1 hour up to 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Over 1 hour 15 minutes up to 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Over 1 hour 30 minutes up to 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Over 1 hour 45 minutes up to 2 hours
  • Over 2 hours



Here are our results:

Our survey found that:

  • Overall, men spend an average of almost 37 minutes per day on their hair, while women spend an average of almost 52 minutes per day on theirs.

  • 16-24 year olds spend the most time washing and drying their hair, though (45 minutes a day).

  • 55+ year olds spend the least time on their hair of any other age group (21 minutes a day).
  • Over half of men (54.5%) don’t style their hair at all.


Do women really spend more time on their hair than men?

It might be easily assumed that women spend more time on their hair than men, but we know there are plenty of guys out there who have glorious manes in need of daily maintenance. It’s certainly not a crime to want to look good!

The results of our survey found that:

  • Women dedicate an average of almost 6 and a half hours every week to taking care of their hair.

  • Men on the other hand commit around 4 hours and 18 minutes each week to hair maintenance.

  • Over half of men (54.5%) don’t style their hair at all.

  • On average, men spend almost 2 whole hours each week styling and touching up their hair, spending slightly more time on touch ups than they do styling.

  • Over 58% of men and over 35% of women claimed they don’t touch up their hair at all during the day.



Which age group spends the most time on their hair?

Do we spend more time on our hair when we’re younger, with more energy and going out every weekend? Or are we more likely to be spending time on our appearance when we’re older and have more free time for such things?

The results of our survey found that:

  • Those of us in younger age groups tend to spend longer washing and drying our hair, with 16-24 year olds spending an average of almost 5 and a half hours each week just washing and drying their hair!

  • When it comes to drying, the 25-34 year age group isn’t far behind the youngest age group, spending an average of 20.57 minutes each day on drying their hair, whereas the 16-24s spend approximately 21.88 minutes each day making sure they have the perfect blowout.

  • Whether it’s due to hair loss, having shorter hairstyles, or just having better things to do, over half (57.9%) of the 55+ age group admitted to not spending any time at all styling their hair each day.

  • The older age groups typically spend less time drying their hair than their younger counterparts, with well over 1 in 4 (38.4%) people over the age of 55 claiming that they don’t dry their hair at all.

  • … Meanwhile, only 15.3% of those aged 16-24 admitted to not drying their hair at all, though 14.5% of that age group spend 16-30 minutes on drying their hair, which is the most time of all the age groups.



Which hair care brand is the most popular in the world in 2021?

We all have our favourites when it comes to the products and brands we use when looking after and maintaining our hair. But which brands are the most loved worldwide? We wanted to know. So we went on over to the Keyword Finder tool to discover which hair care brands are the most searched for online each month.

Hair Care Brand

Average Monthly Searches (Worldwide)

Rituals

1,890,000

Simple

1,000,000

L’Oreal

827,000

Dove

560,000

The Ordinary

559,000

Vichy

550,000

Palmers

500,000

Clarins

466,000

Shea Moisture

407,000

Schwartzkopf

312,000

We found that:

  • The most popular hair care brand in the world is Dutch cosmetics company Rituals, which sells a wide range of beauty and hygiene products, including shampoos, conditioners and hair sprays. On average every month, Rituals is searched for online 1.9 million times a month worldwide.

  • The second most-loved hair care brand when it comes to the number of searches for them is Simple, a brand with a focus providing “clean, uncomplicated products that downright love your skin and the planet too”, and they offer gentle and replenishing shampoo and conditioner products. They are trusted sensitive skin experts, as well as a cruelty-free brand. They receive an average of one million monthly searches worldwide.

On a smaller scale, we were curious about the brands loved most specifically by those of us in the UK and whether or not the results would be similar to our worldwide research. So we decided to use the trustyKeyword Finder tool to have a nosey about which hair care brands are most searched for each month in the UK.

Hair Care Brand

Average Monthly Searches (UK)

The Ordinary

259,000

Liz Earle

119,000

Clarins

79,000

Rituals

77,200

Toni & Guy

54,200

L’Oreal

42,200

Dove

33,900

Shea Moisture

33,200

Bleach London

33,000

Schwartzkopf

28,200

The figures in these tables were taken using the Keyword Finder tool to look at the average monthly searches both worldwide and in the UK of the brands sold and listed on Boots’ website dropdown menu here.

  • The Ordinary is way out in the lead in terms of how many of us are searching for it each month compared to other brands, with over 250 thousand searches each month. Although their range of hair products is limited, their hair oils are very well-reviewed products, so it’s not surprising that so many of us are searching for it.
  • Liz Earle has the second highest number of monthly searches in the UK, with their range of nourishing shampoos, conditioners and hair oils with naturally active ingredients. They have 119,000 searches per month.
  • The other brands, while popular, didn’t quite break 100,000 searches per month like the top two, with Clarins and Rituals getting close to 80k, Toni & Guy having just over 50k searches monthly, and the rest resulting in under 50k monthly searches from the UK.

What kind of hair products are we buying in the UK?

When we’re searching for products online, especially if we’re not quite sure what it is we want just yet, we’re much more likely to search things like ‘shampoo’ into Google, rather than a specific brand. We wondered how many people in the UK were searching for products or equipment to help them achieve their perfect style, or at least to maintain their current one, from the comfort of their homes over the last 12 months.

Product

Average UK searches in 2019

Average UK searches in 2020

Average UK searches in 2021

Hair clippers

45,883

308,833

72,444

Hair extensions

66,125

72,000

68,000

Hair dye

31,333

84,250

49,844

Purple shampoo

22,692

35,567

26,800

Hair bleach

12,042

31,392

20,278

Hairdressing scissors

9,300

38,542

17,011

Tweezers

10,850

15,175

14,867

Sugar wax

5,683

8,442

16,289

Leave in conditioner

7,500

11,467

10,878

Thinning scissors

2,933

16,636

6,778

We used the Keyword Finder tool to find the average UK searches for each month in the year, then added these together and divided them by 12 to find the average searches overall for each year.

As expected, every product goes up in average search volume year by year. This is relatively normal, but what’s interesting is how we can see the effect that lockdown has had on how often we’ve searched for certain products, especially hairdressing equipment and items needed to keep our hair looking presentable from the comfort of our own homes.

The three products with the biggest jumps in average yearly searches were:

  • ‘Hair clippers’—many men in the UK have short hair, which requires more maintenance and regular cutting than longer hair. It is recommended by barbers that men with short hair get it cut every few weeks, so when lockdown came there was a nationwide panic as men everywhere looked online for hair clippers to stop their hair from growing out too much. This saw the average searches jump from a modest 45k in 2019, up well over 255k to a very impressive 308k searches in 2020, before going back down to around 72k average searches in 2021.

  • ‘Hair dye’—with a jump of over 50k searches between 2019 and 2020, clearly a lot of us wanted a change of colour, possibly because not needing to go into the workplace gave us a lot more freedom of expression for a little while, and as we didn’t need to worry about being seen, it was the perfect time to experiment.

  • ‘Hairdressing scissors’—this search term grew over 29k in popularity between 2019 and 2020 as we took over our own household’s hairdressing duties. Whether it was for ourselves or for our families, it’s probably a good thing so many of us took the time to get the proper tools for the job, rather than relying on our kitchen or craft scissors.

Google Trends patterns in our searches during lockdown

With many products, including hair care products, the effects of the COVID19 pandemic is clear to see when we look at the volume of searches at the beginning of 2020. From February to April of 2020, many products experienced a huge boost in searches, from people trying to prepare themselves for the lockdown.

And if there were any doubts that these spikes really were from the lockdown and not just part of the natural progression of searches over time, take a look at these Google Trends charts. As seen in this example, searches for ‘hair dye’ went up exponentially between March and April 2020, as reflected by our keyword data research.

Google searches over time for the term ‘hair dye’

As did searches for ‘hair clippers’. It’s clear to see when people started worrying about missing their barbers appointments just from the graph:

Google searches over time for the term ‘hair clippers’



When it comes to ‘hairdressing scissors’, the Google Trends graph shows the spike in UK adults searching for them during the 2020 lockdown. Looking at the trends in searches in the rest of the graph, it’s obvious that the spike in March/April 2020 isn’t just the natural progression of web searches, and that something specific triggered this spike, that ‘something’ being the first UK lockdown.

Google searches over time for the term ‘hairdressing scissors’

Certain items, like ‘purple shampoo’ for instance, aren’t quite as dramatic in their search volumes over time, though there are still clear jumps in searches at the time of the first UK lockdown.

Google searches over time for the term ‘purple shampoo’



The main items that do have this massive jump are ones that are simple to use (like hair dye), will last a while (like hairdressing scissors or clippers), or aren’t something that many people use themselves on a regular basis (like hair bleach). Most likely, the people who already used purple shampoo didn’t stop searching for it after the lockdown, but with the uptick of us searching for (and assumedly buying) hair bleach, it’s not a stretch to guess that those people will have also searched for a way to get rid of those brassy, yellow tones that often come with bleached hair.

UK hair care industry data

Our Methodology

Brands we analysed

The list of brands we analysed searches for was found on the Boots website here under the ‘brands’ dropdown menu on the left hand side of the screen. We used Boots’ list of hair care brands as we knew they stocked a wide range of hair and beauty products and that they shipped to customers both in the UK and around the world.

Things to note

It’s important to note that the search volumes obtained using the Keyword Finder tool may not accurately reflect the brand’s popularity in all instances. This is because people may conduct product-specific searches when shopping for items from each specific brand. For instance, someone may search for ‘hair serum’ which is what The Ordinary is most known for in terms of their hair care products, but this search does not contain the keyword ‘The Ordinary’.

It’s also possible for some individuals to have varying intent when searching for some of the above keywords. For instance, someone searching for ‘Dove’ may actually be searching for the species of bird. However to combat this, we made sure to only include keywords whose top ranking results pages were relevant to the brand itself. This means that it’s highly likely that the majority of searches for the keywords mentioned above were genuine brand searches.



We hope this roundup of all the latest statistics and facts on the hair care industry in 2021 has proved useful in bringing you up to date with everything you need to know about the industry!



If you enjoyed this piece, check out our piece on Hair and Beauty Industry Statistics for the UK and Worldwide in 2021 here for all the latest facts and figures in the wonderful world of beauty and hair care.

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