While China’s second-largest e-commerce shopping festival “618” just concluded with lacklustre growth in sales from major e-commerce platforms including Tmall, JD.com and Pinduoduo amounting to 582.6 billion RMB ($86.8 billion) as of 18 June – a year-on-year increase of just 0.7%. In contrast, toiletries, in particular, hair care products have seen a surge in demand by 33.1%, with those providing solutions to treat hair loss being the most sought after by China’s young consumers.
Transactions for high-end shampoo have locked an overall 10-fold increase on JD.com along with brands such as Kérastase, a French luxury hair and scalp care maker, and René Furterer who saw a 50-time rise in demand for two of their shampoos. Moreover, it was reported that a total sale of 13.6 billion RMB ($2.03 billion) had been recorded for the toiletry category over the one-month promotional season, making it the number one top 10 fastest growing in terms of sales.
In the meantime, the anti-hair loss has emerged as the function drawing in the most consumer interest in those products. Recommendations on what products can treat hair loss are one of the most frequently asked questions by consumers who had tuned in to brands’ live streaming sessions during the shopping season.
The growing appetite for such products is believed to be partly due to “appearance anxiety” amongst the younger generations, where thick and healthy hair is considered one of the most important components of one’s beauty. Adding to the concern is the fact that hair loss is one of the problems being observed in China’s young people, with 50% of the total 250 million troubled by thin hair are people aged between 20 and 30 years old, according to statistics from the National Health Commission last year.
As a result, young Chinese are more willing to spend their money on their hair, leading to more than 600,000 searches for “hair loss” solutions and other relevant words on China’s biggest lifestyle-sharing platform Xiaohongshu. This consumer trend has also propelled the growth of the emerging market, with categories such as premium anti-hair loss and hair repair expected to see online traffic increase by 65% and doubled growth in the consumer base in 2022.