Dry shampoo: how to optimise innovation for a better product

Dry shampoo has been going strong for the last few years and is expected to retain its popularity in future. A recent industry report suggests that the global dry shampoo market will grow at a CAGR of 6.10% over 2018-2024. We ran a steer to gauge the current UK market, asking our panel whether they buy dry shampoo. The results showed a high level of interest, skewed towards the 18–34 age range.

Consumers buy dry shampoo for different reasons. Understanding consumer motivation could help brands perform better in an increasingly competitive environment. In the last few years hair care experts have been highlighting that daily shampooing could damage hair, which resulted in an increased dry shampoo uptake. Additionally, consumers with eco-friendly mindsets realise that this waterless product supports preserving water. To make the most out of a product launch, brands have to make a decision how to balance such factors in formulation and positioning. We ran a multi-answer steer in an attempt to determine the level of influence of potential benefits that dry shampoo provides:

Time scarcity seems to be the leading factor, with almost 45% of consumers selecting ‘saves time’ as a top benefit. Busy lifestyles have indeed justified the trend, as dry shampoo application only takes a few minutes as opposed to a full hair washing and styling session. Dry shampoo has evolved over the last few years, with newer formulas also containing styling ingredients that add volume, thickness, and texture. As a result, 17% of UK consumer see dry shampoo as a hair styling agent, an added functionality that could potentially allow for premiumisation. 

Long lasting scent is important to another 17% of consumers, with men slightly less interested in this benefit. Diversifying scents is a relatively straightforward approach to dry shampoo NPD, therefore we decided to explore what scents are currently on the market and whether they make a difference for consumers. We ran a multi-answer steer to determine which scent types, from a choice of 10, are currently favoured by consumers:

Nearly 38% of consumers expect a ‘clean’ scent from dry shampoo, and nearly 29% are attracted to ‘fresh’, which suggests that functionality, rather than scent, matters most. Consumers want their hair to look and feel clean and fresh after dry shampoo application. Beyond this, ‘tropical (e.g. coconut)’ attracted a substantial subset of consumers, which is a fragrance associated with beach and summer, potentially inspiring seasonal innovation.

Standard shampoo choices are usually influenced by hair type. In order to determine whether dry shampoo choices reflect this, we selected eight hair type references, seen on existing dry shampoo products, and tested buying intention for each in a multi-answer steer: 

‘All hair types’ was the only claim attracting over 30% of consumers, which shows that the one-size-fits-all approach is still relevant in dry shampoo. However, the fact that ‘volume enhancing’, ‘smoothing’ and ‘coloured hair’ have managed to score over 20% each, suggesting that the segment is moving towards more specificity. These three claims proved to be sought after mostly by women, each scoring roughly 10 percentage points more with female consumers than male consumers. 

Finally, we ran a multi-option steer to figure out how likely consumers are to buy dry shampoo in view of its format – spray, powder, gel or paste:

The spray format has been most widespread and likely to remain most popular in future, as almost 80% of consumers would currently buy into it. ‘Powder’ is also established, being the original and simplest form of dry shampoo. Gel and paste are novel forms of dry shampoo, which consumers are less familiar with. Interestingly, male consumers are more inclined to buy gel and paste by 4-5 percentage points when compared to women. This is likely due to a resemblance of these products to popular male styling cosmetics, such as hair gel and hair paste. 

Dry shampoo is an established trend in personal care, with strong staying power. The market is currently saturated with plenty of options, offering various benefits. While innovation is possible in several aspects, it is recommended that decisions are made in line with a product’s target group of consumers. Women increasingly require functionalities that match their hair type, while some men are attracted to dry shampoos with styling properties and innovative formats. Figuring out how to position new products best could help brands not only sell more, but also market at higher prices.

Design, test, learn. Vypr helps supercharge your product innovation, getting you better products, faster.

© 2018 Vypr Validation Technologies Ltd | Registered No. 8589377 England & Wales | Privacy Policy