At first blush, the beauty industry could be thought to cater only to the glamorous, or perhaps the vain, or maybe just those in the spotlight. And it does – along with everyone else! The industry is built on the product and services that help us look our best, whatever that best maybe. It is more diverse than you think; it is certainly not just the makeup, hair color, and perfume – it is also the deodorant, toothpaste, and even the ear hair clippers. It is not just the salons – it is also the barbershops, waxing franchises, eyelash extensions, and nail technicians! It is every product and service dedicated to helping us look (and smell) the way we want or the way we believe we should for professional reasons. Our definition of beauty is malleable and ever-changing, providing never-ending opportunities for the industry to innovate.
The beauty industry is known to be resistant to economic downturns, even faring well during the Great Recession of 2008. Though consumers tend to be more price-conscious during those times, they do not stop spending. So, in today’s environment of rising per capita incomes, the beauty business is booming.
In 2015 the industry generated $56.2 billion in the United States. Hair care is the largest segment with 86,000 locations. Skin care is a close second and growing fast, expected to have revenue of almost $11 billion by 2019. This growth is being driven in part by a generally increasing awareness of the importance of skin care, but also specifically due to an increase in the market for men.