Salons traditionally have held a negative attitude toward the home hair color market, believing it takes business away from them. Now, new consumer research from P&G Beauty clearly reveals that the psychographic (personality) and demographic (financial and lifestyle) differences between exclusively salon and exclusively home color users make it unlikely that either would switch their coloring regimen.

According to a 2005 P&G Beauty Survey among 2,000 women aged 15-75, 65 percent had colored their hair in the past 12 months. Of that 65 percent, 52 percent said they exclusively color their hair at home; 28 percent exclusively have their hair colored in a salon; and 20 percent fall into an interesting category P&G Beauty calls the "Dualist," women who get their hair colored in the salon and also color their hair at home.

Color User Overview

Salon Color Users fall into a higher socio-economic profile than either Home Color or Dualists. They are more likely to be married and employed full time. Almost half of Salon Users are suburbanites vs. fewer than a third of Home Users, who are more likely to live either in an urban or a rural area.

Salon Users also tend to be older and wealthier. More than two-thirds are ages 35-75. They look to their salon colorist for more than gray coverage, as they see themselves as self-confident, trend-setting leaders. With more disposable income, more likely to be career-minded and to view hair color as part of their professional look, these are loyal and dedicated salon clients.

Facts on Hair Color Users

Salon User Carolyn with her colorist Mike.

The Salon User appears to be committed to coloring at a salon. On average, she has done so for more than four years. Attitudinally, the Salon user sees herself as being very different from a Home User. She describes herself as fashionable, successful, career-minded. Her view of Home Color Users includes such descriptions as "homebody," "old-fashioned," "natural/down-to-earth" and "younger."

The Salon User wants the "3 Cs"-Convenience, Customization and Consistency of results-in exchange for her loyalty patronage. She's not concerned about what brand her colorist uses, as she trusts her professional expertise. They see themselves as well-groomed, sophisticated and stylish. Appealing to these traits and adding a little more pampering will create positive results in a salon's color revenue.

Home Users are more likely to be younger (about 40 percent are ages 15-34); after 59 years of age, home color usage tends to decline. At-home color usage is higher among Latinas and lower among African-Americans.

These women describe themselves as price-conscious (67 percent) and believe salon color is too expensive (75 percent) for them. They are more casual fashion-wise, less career-minded and likely to have young children at home who leave them little time for themselves. Less "hair involved" and preferring "comfortable" over "stylish," most Home Users just want to cover the gray without the time commitment of getting "just right" salon hair color.

Facts on Hair Color Users

Home User Janet gets a blow-out from her stylist, Armando.

The Home User colors her hair to feel more confident and better about herself. She appreciates the control that home hair color gives her over the process-she can decide when she wants to color, without worrying about appointment scheduling. She also likes knowing exactly what she is putting on her hair-something the Salon User trusts to the professional colorist to decide.

Of great importance to every salon is the fact that the Home Color User still enjoys the time she spends in the salon and frequents a salon on average five times a year-for hair cuts, styling, spa or nail services. These visits offer salons the opportunity to recommend additional services and add home hair care product sales for these clients' home-colored hair.

By understanding the Home Color User's financial and lifestyle limitations and by being familiar with home color options to recommend to this client, the salon can become a trusted source of advice…and gain her loyalty.



These are very different women who are NOT likely to change their hair color regimen.



Home Only (52%)

Salon Only (28%)

Household Income

Majority less than $75,000 (79%)

Majority more than $50,000

(71%); 64% between $50-150,000


41% under 35

59% over 35

Average age: 39

31% under 35

69% over 35

Average age: 43


Some full & part time

Majority Full time

Color Frequency

Average every 9 weeks

Average every 11 weeks


Type of Color

Base color only; no highlights (83%)

Highlights (71%) with or without base color


Gray Coverage is Most Common Reason to Color Hair.

Anti-Aging (revitalize lifeless, color of youth)

Enhance color (slightly lighter, subtle tones highlights)


After Healthy, Natural, and Shiny, She Describes the Type of Hair Color She Wants as…

"No one can tell." 






Concern About Damage

Worried about health of hair

Less worried about damage


Would Color More Except:

Damage to hair



Gray Coverage

Obsessed, has to color the day after she sees roots

Less worried about gray (but still an issue)


Won't Change Color Habits from Home to Salon or Vice Versa Because…

1. Likes control of getting gray/root coverage as soon as it's visible

2. Doesn't think she needs stylist; color "looks fine."

  1. A stylist can do it better than me!
  2. Coloring hair too tedious to do at home.


Hair Color Dualists can increase a salon's color business by increasing the frequency of their visits. They have a higher household income than the Home Color User though not as high as the exclusive Salon Color User. They trust the salon professional's skill and choose in-salon color when they want a dramatic color change or a special process (especially highlights).

Facts on Hair Color Users

Color Dualist Jennifer talks with her stylist, Renata.

They also choose to come for salon color to be pampered and for the convenience of combining cut-and-color appointments. Salons can encourage Dualists to come in more often by stressing the lack of mess and the lack of worry about results, both benefits available from their salon professional. Both factors are often on the minds of Hair Color Dualists when they consider coloring their hair at home.

The Hair Color Dualist is more likely interested in giving her hair a more dramatic and vibrant look than either the Salon Only User or Home Only User. She comes to the salon to change her look, express her individuality, experiment with her hair and have fun. Salons should how her they know the latest color techniques, can mix a special formula just for her and have photos of more fashion-forward color looks to entice her to come to the salon, rather than experimenting to get the results she wants at home.

Offering special dual-service promotions, making recommendations on better base colors for their skin tone, hosting special events that appeal to their lifestyle, providing information in newsletters or emails about the latest high-fashion looks in hair color and advertising in media that appeal to this group can all benefit the salon's business.


P&G Beauty further divides the Hair Color Dualists into three categories: 1) those who mostly color hair at home, occasionally at a salon; 2) those who color equally at home and at a salon and 3) those who mostly have their hair colored at a salon, occasionally at home.  Most of these users prefer either coloring at the salon or at home; few divide their hair color usage between home and salon evenly.

Hair Color Dualists are not likely to change their habits due to product technology, but rather by salons and individual stylists/colorists who appeal to their financial and lifestyle needs.



Mostly home

Evenly home/salon

Mostly salon


% of Dualists





Income (Family)

Less than $75k

More than $50k














Some full & part time



Some full & part time



Majority employed full time



Color Frequency

Average every 10 weeks

Average every 9 weeks

Average every 11 weeks



Type of Color

No high/lowlights (61%)

High/lowlights (58%) with or without base color

High/lowlights (59%) with or without base color




Why Go to Salon

Going to the salon is about being pampered occasionally.

Stylist can be more creative (highlights, brighter colors).


I find it too tedious to do it myself.


I like being pampered in salon.


I trust the colorist's application skills. 




It's too tedious to do it myself.



Why Do at Home

Salon hair color is expensive

They don't feel they "need" the stylist's skill as much as other dualists.

Home color is fine/ok for their needs.


Salon hair color is expensive.


Couldn't get into my stylist; had an event and needed roots done.



There is lots of room for recommendation by a stylist/colorist to all of these hair color users that can lead to building additional salon revenue. Just one-fourth of Salon Color Users color their hair because their stylist recommended it. The numbers of recommendations fall dramatically for Dualist or Home Color Users. Just 12 percent of Hair Color Dualists started a hair color routine based on the recommendation of their hair stylist. And, only 5 percent of Home Color Users received any hair color advice or recommendations from a hair stylist.

By appealing to the Hair Color Dualist-stressing convenience, professional skill and creativity, giving advice, and recommending and offering promotional events that meet their specific needs, salons can build their business most easily among Dualists.

Analysis by Dr. Frauke Neuser, senior scientist, P&G Beauty, from the following data sources:

P&G Beauty 2002 Study among 5,000 women age 15-75

P&G Beauty 2005 Survey among 2,000 women aged 15-75

P&G Beauty 2006 U.S. Survey among 1,500 women ages 18-65


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