Indian and international brands are making a beeline towards premium hair styling products. There seems to be space for everyone – a Rs 30,000-plus brand, as well as a sub-Rs 2,000 brand
A recent study by global market research firm Nielsen, revealed that the size of the Indian hair care industry stands at more than $3 billion. A substantial chunk of this is divided between salon as well as home products. Brands are carefully curating devices to target this market and drive growth.
Basic tool: Hair dryer
While monthly, sometimes weekly spa rituals are commonplace in most urban homes, there is one product which is a prerequisite for any home – the hair dryer. If you casually search for hair dryers on any e-commerce site or offline stores, you will see a range of products from the ‘usual suspects’ – Nova, Philips, Panasonic, Vega etc.
For decades, the tech inside a hair dryer hasn’t changed and an increasing number of brands entering the space only means a lot of clutter and low prices with compromise on quality. Two brands – one international and the other Indian, have decided to differentiate themselves by bringing another spa product to urban Indian homes – the hair curler. Both these brands have incorporated different technologies in their devices to provide choice of pricing and experience.
For serious hair enthusiasts
Dyson, is an ultra-premium brand, that is backed by R&D and minimalistic motor technology. The company recently launched in India, a hair curler that is priced upwards of Rs. 30,000, clearly targeted at those who really love their hair. The company has leveraged its noiseless yet powerful motor and air flow technology, and also its proprietary Coanda effect to ensure the right proportions of air flow and heat.
The Dyson AirWrap styler range allows you to choose between add-ons for different types of styling. The company claims that its product takes care of humidity, frizz and dryness of hair, ensuring that hair doesn’t burn. It also allows the user to choose a variety of parameters such as activating a blast of cold hair, fan speed and rate of curling. All the attachments, including the barrels, the pre-styling dryers, and the brushes, come with a special coating that prevents the gadget from heating too much. This in turn prevents the burns (in the hair and in the hands) that are otherwise common while using the hair styling products
Introducing heat-resistant curlers
At the other end of the spectrum is Syska which recently launched the HC700 Hair Curler, positioning it as a portable and fast device that heats up within seconds and provides a salon-like styling experience. The biggest challenge for hair curlers is excess heat and hence the HC700 claims to come with a heat-resistant ceramic coated tong to avoid hair damage. It is also one of the few hair curlers in the market that houses an LED indicator which indicates the temperature of the tong.
Along with a 1.8 m long cord, the product also has safety stents, providing a dock when not in use. The device is priced at Rs. 1699, (fuller details were carried by ACE here) and at this price, Syska hopes to make the hair curler a must-have dressing table accessory.
When Dyson entered the beauty and grooming market in India, industry soothsayers had almost written off the brand as an unnecessarily expensive and premium brand. Interestingly, its hair dryers and now the curler are proving to be the brand’s top-selling products, even overtaking its core offerings; air purifiers and vacuum cleaners. This goes on to show that urban India is willing to spend on hair, beyond salons, to ensure salon-style self styling.
Clearly, there is space for everyone – a Rs 30,000-plus brand, as well as a sub-Rs 2,000 brand.
This story has been submitted by Vishnu Anand. He is working as a technology and business journalist under the guidance of veteran journalist Anand Parthasarathy (Ex-The Hindu).