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Hair & Beauty Australia Industry Association


Posted August 26, 2019

We have all seen them. The discount retailers who pop up out of nowhere one week and are flooding the market with cheap, imported hair and beauty products at an incredibly discounted rate. For the average consumer, it sounds incredibly attractive, right? The same products they buy in salon for less. But it’s not that simple.


“Parallel imports” is the umbrella term for products entering the Australian market that could include:

  • Overseas formulas or technologies
  • Outdated formulas
  • Expired product
  • Professional-level products being sold direct to consumer
  • Counterfeit products


These parallel products present a significant concern for salon owners. It goes without saying that salon owners should uphold industry standards and integrity and only apply genuine products to their clients in salon. Additionally, a flood in the market of parallel products can reduce in-salon revenue as customers flock to the cheaper option


Hairdressers and beauticians are aware of the issues around parallel import, with top brand L’Oreal being one of the loudest voices. But what is being done to encourage consumers to spend the extra money on the real-deal in salon? There’s plenty that salon owners can do to ensure that customers continue to spend in salon for retail products and ensure that your clients hair or skin returns to you in the condition you created it.

L’Oreal have launched their #DontRiskIt campaign and it’s definitely gaining traction. The risks of using parallel imports are great for clients – they could cause damage to their skin or hair, they could be made of ingredients that aren’t approved for use in Australia (because they aren’t tried and tested or approved by our standards body) and in the least they may not have the desired effect on the customers skin or hair. All you have to do is explain this to your customers when selling your retail product. Whether it’s you or your team, show them the product, explain what it does and talk to them about how there are plenty of knock offs in the market, but don’t be fooled. If you outline the risks to them as we have above, there is enough genuine fear created that they will certainly think twice before buying a parallel imported product.

We all need to do our part to protect our industry and protecting the sale price of the amazing products that our retailers produce is part of that. #DontRiskIt, buy authentic.

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