The hair care distribution can be divided in two different categories:
The high-end professional hair care segment.
The premium retailers and the mass-market retailers segment
Selling your cosmetics to hair care professionals (hairdressers, independent hair salons, and hair salon chains) guarantees a certain quality and reputation. This is why it can be attractive to sell exclusively to and through these professionals.
But you must keep an eye on your distribution chain because it will be tough to protect your products from the mass-market retailers. Even the well-known and upscale brands fell for it. Recently, Paul Mitchell (a hair care product’s line exclusively sold to professionals) found his products on retailers’ shelves and dangerous counterfeited products. (Find more about this here)
Selling to retailers offers more visibility and allows you to reach a larger number of customers, but your product’s image will be affected. Mass-market retailers usually give a cheap image of cosmetics but premium distributors (Target, CVS …) allow you to position your brand between the mass-market segment and the professional hair care channel.