Top Importers of Hair Care Products Ranked by Dollar Value

Hair care depends upon hygiene and cosmetology factors ranging from an individual’s culture to the unique physical characteristics of each person’s hair. Most products focus on scalp hair although there are also items that target facial and other body hair.

There is a myriad of hair care products that serve many distinct purposes. Examples include hair shampoos and conditioners, goods for hair styling, chemical straightening and perms, coloring, treatment of hair damage or general hair loss, as well as hair nutrition items.

Imports of hair care products around the globe were worth a total US$14.1 billion in 2020.

The dollar amount spent on globally imported hair care products in 2020 reflects a 10.5% increase from the $12.8 billion for hair care products imported during 2016.

Year over year, sales of hair care products imported on international markets dropped by -5% since 2019.

The 5 most lucrative consumer markets for hair care products are the United States, China, Germany, United Kingdom and Canada. Combined, those 5 leading markets generated 29.6% of the overall spending on globally imported hair preparations.

China posted the fastest year-over-year gain among the top 5 markets via a 23% uptick.

The following analysis focuses on metrics measuring consumer demand in the top 100 global markets for buying imported hair care products.

By comparing changes in consumer demand for these imported commodities by country, we can uncover the most attractive opportunities for international sales of hair care items and related products and services.

Hair Care Goods Are Consumer Convenience Products

Hair care products meet the criteria of a consumer good (also called an end product) created by businesses for consumers to buy in its final form. In contrast, products like turbojets are usually purchased by companies or government entities rather than individuals.

Economists classify hair care products as convenience products, a technical classification for goods that are easily accessed and purchased relatively often. Many consumers buy hair care products on trips to their local malls, beauty shops and even pharmacies monthly or more frequently.

Generally, unopened hair care goods will last on the store shelf for 36 months depending on product ingredients. Organic hair preparations may not last as long.

Once opened, most hair care products are usable for 12 to 24 months.

Hair Care Imports by Product Type

There are 4 major subcategories of imported hair care products.

  1. Catch-all for hair preparations: US$7.9 billion in 2020 (55.8% of total)
  2. Shampoos: $5.6 billion (40%)
  3. Hair lacquers: $439.4 million (3.1%)
  4. Preparations for hair perming or straightening: $143 million (1%).

The fastest-growing hair care product subcategories over the 5-year period from 2016 to 2020 are shampoos (up 13.9%) and catch-all for hair preparations (up 11%).

Imported Hair Care Goods Bought by Country

The sortable table below showcases marketing intelligence for the top 100 buyers of hair care products, ranked in ascending order starting with the greatest annual sales amount. 4-digit Harmonized System (HS) code level. For preparations for use on the hair, the HS code is 3305.

Also shown is the percentage of the world’s total purchases of imported hair care products in 2020, as well as the change in those sales from 2019 to 2020.

RankImporterUS$%Total2019-20
1United States$1,324,480,0009.4%+1.9%
2China$868,462,0006.2%+23%
3Germany$724,821,0005.1%+2.5%
4United Kingdom$713,820,0005.1%-4.5%
5Canada$546,654,0003.9%+0.8%
6Netherlands$451,399,0003.2%+12.1%
7Japan$448,626,0003.2%-13%
8France$447,945,0003.2%+0.7%
9Russia$432,349,0003.1%-8.2%
10Poland$404,066,0002.9%+3.8%
11Spain$384,431,0002.7%+1.7%
12Saudi Arabia$301,326,0002.1%-10.8%
13Italy$275,326,0002%-3.6%
14Belgium$272,715,0001.9%-7.6%
15Australia$271,267,0001.9%+1.9%
16Czech Republic$233,596,0001.7%+2.8%
17Hong Kong$220,980,0001.6%-19.1%
18South Korea$203,956,0001.4%-8.3%
19UAE$189,945,0001.3%-42%
20Taiwan$180,497,0001.3%+1.2%
21Philippines$174,434,0001.2%-1.9%
22Sweden$171,091,0001.2%+12.2%
23Turkey$166,565,0001.2%+4.4%
24Switzerland$149,778,0001.1%-5.8%
25Ukraine$149,165,0001.1%+4.5%
26Chile$143,712,0001%-6.1%
27Singapore$143,418,0001%-2.9%
28Austria$141,864,0001%-4.8%
29Peru$127,381,0000.9%-15.3%
30Denmark$123,576,0000.9%+4%
31Romania$120,222,0000.9%-1.4%
32Norway$118,775,0000.8%+11%
33Ireland$117,053,0000.8%+15.5%
34Mexico$113,058,0000.8%-22.4%
35Malaysia$110,593,0000.8%-12.1%
36Iraq$106,562,0000.8%-15.7%
37Portugal$103,510,0000.7%-1.5%
38Israel$100,001,0000.7%+7.3%
39Vietnam$97,250,0000.7%-6.4%
40Colombia$95,028,0000.7%-9%
41Hungary$89,024,0000.6%-6.7%
42Morocco$84,652,0000.6%+18.7%
43New Zealand$80,941,0000.6%+7.6%
44Argentina$79,468,0000.6%-24.8%
45Greece$79,376,0000.6%-12.6%
46Belarus$77,436,0000.5%-11.9%
47Kazakhstan$73,935,0000.5%-10.6%
48Ecuador$67,462,0000.5%-11.5%
49Indonesia$65,580,0000.5%-6.4%
50Finland$63,214,0000.4%-7.1%
51Thailand$62,442,0000.4%-12.3%
52Lithuania$59,178,0000.4%+1.3%
53Slovakia$57,210,0000.4%-18%
54Croatia$55,769,0000.4%-6.4%
55Jordan$52,608,0000.4%-16.5%
56Qatar$52,151,0000.4%-18.5%
57South Africa$50,095,0000.4%-19.5%
58Guatemala$49,814,0000.4%-11.8%
59Macao$46,723,0000.3%-11.2%
60Algeria$46,407,0000.3%-12.4%
61El Salvador$43,152,0000.3%-3.1%
62Bulgaria$42,782,0000.3%+5%
63Azerbaijan$41,782,0000.3%+5.3%
64Slovenia$40,628,0000.3%+0.3%
65India$39,052,0000.3%-39.9%
66Costa Rica$38,878,0000.3%-11.9%
67Brazil$35,842,0000.3%-14.1%
68Panama$35,676,0000.3%-18.4%
69Serbia$34,607,0000.2%-2.6%
70Uzbekistan$31,463,0000.2%+2.2%
71Paraguay$31,108,0000.2%-22.9%
72Egypt$30,985,0000.2%-21.2%
73Honduras$29,151,0000.2%-16%
74Laos$28,861,0000.2%+162.3%
75Kuwait$28,776,0000.2%-72.1%
76Nicaragua$28,493,0000.2%-12.6%
77Myanmar$28,050,0000.2%-27.2%
78Estonia$27,827,0000.2%+4%
79Dominican Republic$26,987,0000.2%-7.4%
80Cambodia$26,592,0000.2%-9.7%
81Lebanon$26,237,0000.2%-44.5%
82Bolivia$25,956,0000.2%-16.3%
83Georgia$25,939,0000.2%-10.6%
84Libya$25,784,0000.2%-46.5%
85Latvia$24,581,0000.2%-4.2%
86Uruguay$24,024,0000.2%-11.9%
87Bosnia/Herzegovina$22,970,0000.2%-12.9%
88Albania$21,092,0000.1%+65.4%
89Nepal$19,146,0000.1%-37.9%
90Tunisia$18,540,0000.1%-16.1%
91Luxembourg$18,176,0000.1%+1.3%
92Pakistan$18,158,0000.1%-19.4%
93Cyprus$16,008,0000.1%-26.4%
94Moldova$15,970,0000.1%-2.3%
95Iran$14,583,0000.1%-60.9%
96Armenia$13,758,0000.1%-18%
97North Macedonia$13,602,0000.1%-5.5%
98Tanzania$12,383,0000.1%-0.2%
99Trinidad/Tobago$12,154,0000.1%-21.2%
100Yemen$11,562,0000.1%-52.8%

Among the above 100 key global markets, 29 countries increased their purchases of imported hair care products. The 5 leading buying increases were Laos (up 162.3%), Albania (up 65.4%), China (up 23%), Morocco (up 18.7%) and Ireland (up 15.5%).

Leading the 71 decliners year over year were Kuwait (down -72.1%), Iran (down -60.9%), Yemen (down -52.8%), Libya (down -46.5%), Lebanon (down -44.5%), United Arab Emirates (down -42%) and India (down -39.9%).

Richest Global Markets for Imported Hair Care Goods

Shown below is the market demand for hair care products imported during 2020 by 30 of world’s richest countries in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per person, according to RichestCountryReports.com.

Countries are listed in descending order starting with the wealthiest economy in terms of GDP per capita.

  1. Luxembourg: US$18.2 million (Up 1.3% from 2019)
  2. Singapore: $143.4 million (Down -2.9%)
  3. Ireland: $117.1 million (Up 15.5%)
  4. Qatar: $52.2 million (Down -18.5%)
  5. Macao: $46.7 million (Down -11.2%)
  6. Switzerland: $149.8 million (Down -5.8%)
  7. Norway: $118.8 million (Up 11%)
  8. United States: $1.3 billion (Up 1.9%)
  9. Brunei Darussalam: $6.1 million (Up 57.8%)
  10. Hong Kong: $221 million (Down -19.1%)
  11. Denmark: $123.6 million (Up 4%)
  12. Netherlands: $451.4 million (Up 12.1%)
  13. United Arab Emirates: $189.9 million (Down -42%)
  14. Taiwan: $180.5 million (Up 1.2%)
  15. Iceland: $10.1 million (Up 4.9%)
  16. Austria: $141.9 million (Down -4.8%)
  17. Germany: $724.8 million (Up 2.5%)
  18. Sweden: $171.1 million (Up 12.2%)
  19. Australia: $271.3 million (Up 1.9%)
  20. Belgium: $272.7 million (Down -7.6%)
  21. Finland: $63.2 million (Down -7.1%)
  22. Canada: $546.7 million (Up 0.8%)
  23. Bahrain: $6.8 million (Down -78.2%)
  24. France: $447.9 million (Up 0.7%)
  25. Saudi Arabia: $301.3 million (Down -10.8%)
  26. United Kingdom: $713.8 million (Down -4.5%)
  27. South Korea: $204 million (Down -8.3%)
  28. Malta: $7.4 million (Down -8.8%)
  29. Japan: $448.6 million (Down -13%)
  30. New Zealand: $80.9 million (Up 7.6%)

Fifteen among the above richest countries increased their spending on imported hair care products from 2019 to 2020. The fastest increases belong to Brunei Darussalam (up 57.8%), Ireland (up 15.5%), Sweden (up 12.2%), Netherlands (up 12.1%) and Norway (up 11%).

Posting double-digit declines for imported hair care products from 2019 to 2020 were Bahrain (down -78.2%), United Arab Emirates (down -42%), Hong Kong (down -19.1%), Qatar (down -18.5%), Japan (down -13%), Macao (down -11.2%) and Saudi Arabia (down -10.8%).

Top 10 Suppliers for US Hair Care Imports

United States of America is the world’s biggest market for imported hair care products as measured by total sales. Remarkably, its top 2 suppliers are its North American trading partners (Canada, Mexico) accounted for 61.5% of America’s purchases of imported hair care products for 2020.

The following countries benefited the most from selling imported hair care products into the US in 2020.

  1. Canada: $387.7 million (29.3% of US total)
  2. Mexico: $291.7 million (22%)
  3. Italy: $135 million (10.2%)
  4. Israel: $78.5 million (5.9%)
  5. Germany: $57.8 million (4.4%)
  6. China: $51 million (3.9%)
  7. France: $49 million (3.7%)
  8. Spain: $40.6 million (3.1%)
  9. South Korea: $32.7 million (2.5%)
  10. United Kingdom: $32.1 million (2.4%)

Half the above major suppliers of hair care products increased their sales to America from 2019 to 2020: South Korea (up 28.3%), France (up 16.5%), Israel (up 12.6%), Italy (up 11.5%) and Canada (up 6.3%).

The severest decreases among America’s key hair care products sources were endured by Spain (down -23.6%), China (down -22.6%) and Germany (down -17.4%).

Comparative Metrics for US Hair Care Imports

In terms of product quantity, the United States imported a total 237,107 tons in hair care products during 2020.

The average unit value that American importers paid for foreign-made hair care products in 2020 was $5,586.

In comparison, buyers in Canada were paid a lower average price of $5,050 per ton for hair care products imported by the US. Suppliers in Mexico received an even lower average $3,901 per ton providing for their hair care products.

Listed below are the average unit values per ton received for the top 10 providers of hair care products imported by the US in 2020.

  1. Canada: US$5,050 per ton of hair care products
  2. Mexico: $3,901
  3. Italy: $8,119
  4. Israel: $13,584
  5. Germany: $7,455
  6. China: $3,047
  7. France: $12,937
  8. Spain: $8,225
  9. South Korea: $8,613
  10. United Kingdom: $9,036

The highest unit costs for hair care products shipped to America in 2020 were $13,584 per ton for suppliers in Israel and $12,937 for France. The lowest unit costs were paid to hair care product providers in China ($3,047 per ton) and Mexico ($3,901 per ton).

World’s Leading Shampoo Brands

Below you will find the top 10 of the strongest multinational brands for hair care products. The list is ranked in descending order as assessed by the Head Curve website.

  1. Head & Shoulders (Procter & Gamble: Cincinnati, USA)
  2. Dove (Unilever: London, England)
  3. Head & Shoulders (Procter & Gamble: Cincinnati, USA)
  4. John Frieda (Kao Brands: Tokyo, Japan)
  5. Paul Mitchell (John Paul Mitchell Systems: Beverly Hills, USA)
  6. Clairol Herbal Essences (Procter & Gamble: Cincinnati, USA)
  7. Shea Moisture (Sundial Brands: Amityville, USA)
  8. L’Oréal (L’Oréal Group: Clichy, France)
  9. Biolage (Matrix: New York, USA)
  10. Aussie (Procter & Gamble: Cincinnati, USA)

Shown within brackets is the manufacturer for each major hair care brand, with the city where each company’s global headquarters is located.

Note that 4 of the strongest global hair product brands are owned by Procter & Gamble.

See also

More great research: Top Global Markets for Buying Imported Potato Chips, World’s 200 Most Valuable Imported Consumer Products, Best Global Consumer Markets for Selling Imported Wine, Best Global Consumer Markets for Selling Imported Cellphones

References

Independent insights and analysis presented in this article are based on researched facts and statistics sourced from the following educational portals.

BoyceWire, Consumer Goods Definition.

Curl Centric, Do Hair Products Expire?

Forbes, The Forbes Global 2000 List.

Headcurve.com, 13 Top Shampoo Brands.

International Trade Centre, Trade Map.

Investopedia, Consumer Goods, Consumer Staples Definition, Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG).

Richest Country Reports, Top 50 Richest Countries by GDP per Capita.

United States Census Bureau, Foreign Trade State Data.

World’s Top Exports, Top Human Hair Exporters by Country.

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