Starting from its first Tokyo edition in 1998, Beautyworld Japan, organised by Messe Frankfurt Japan Ltd, has grown steadily across four venues in the country. Today, it is the main event in the hair & beauty industry for domestic and international participants in Japan. The coming Tokyo edition will be held from May 13th–15th 2024 at Tokyo Big Sight.

Estetica Export has interviewed Miyuki Oida, Show Director of Beautyworld Japan.

How did your exhibition start?
“Beautyworld Japan started in 1998 in Tokyo. The reason Messe Frankfurt Japan Ltd decided to organise this fair was because there was no Japanese trade fair specialising in this industry, so it could be a great business opportunity. For the first edition, at Beautyworld Japan mainly beauty and nail-related products were exhibited and 186 exhibitors joined the fair altogether. Since then, Beautyworld Japan expanded its size and increased the number of locations. In 2006 we expanded to Osaka, in 2014 started in Fukuoka and just last year the Nagoya edition was added. Exhibitors and visitors numbers grew year after year. Most salons found it more convenient to visit a trade fair near their residence and that encouraged more exhibitors to join local fairs to promote their products and services.
In 2023, Beautyworld Japan Tokyo had 831 exhibitors from 11 countries and regions and 71,461 visitors from 44 countries and regions. The 25th edition saw, thus, an increase of 21% in visitor numbers compared to the previous year (2022: 59,047 visitors). 690 exhibitors came from Japan, and 141 from 11 countries and regions including France, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Poland, Thailand, and Hong Kong, as well as pavilions from China, Korea, and Taiwan. This number surpassed the previous record with a 24% increase in comparison to the previous year (2022: 672 exhibitors). Beautyworld Japan Tokyo is recognised as the largest hair & beauty-related trade fair in Japan. About 8% of the total visitor number are from the hair salon industry. Adding this number about 70% of all visitors are owners or technicians from aesthetic, nail, and eyelash salons”.

Beautyworld Japan
Miyuki Oida, Show Director of Beautyworld Japan.

Are there any special features planned for 2024 edition?
“In 2024, Beautyworld Japan Tokyo will be held from May 13th – 15th and we expect to welcome 800 exhibitors. After the pandemic, exhibitors from the nail industry are back and this year we have expanded their dedicated area to display more products and services.
The applications we receive for all Beautyworld Japan trade fairs are increasing, especially from domestic companies. Main exhibitors are still from the beauty, beauty equipment and cosmetics segment, but in recent years there has been an increase in products that focus not only on external beauty but also inner beauty. These include enzyme drinks, supplements, tasty health foods and products specific to women’s wellbeing”.

What about hair companies?
“Over the past few years, Beautyworld Japan trade fairs created Hair Zone which displays products and services that address specifically hair salon owners. Through our promotional activities, the number of exhibitors including newcomers is increasing steadily and expanding also in floor space. One third of our exhibitors are new to the fair, therefore, we have observed that quite a few companies chose our trade fair to develop new sales channels. Furthermore, salons selling hair straightening agents and private brands as well as styling experts showing the latest cutting techniques are constantly increasing their participation at our fair”.

From your point of view, can you tell us how the Japanese market is doing right now?
“Currently, beauty salons are struggling because they are losing customers to clinics, especially for depilation services. In an ageing society – the average age in Japan is now 50 – beauty salons adapt themselves a bit more to the changing customer requirements. They need to add new items to their service portfolio to cater to all the women in the market who work, and to new, younger target groups. In addition, diversity is recognised and accepted socially and at the same time men’s attitude toward beauty is changing. Men’s grooming, such as make-up and nail care, is getting more attention and expanding its share in the beauty market. There are business opportunities for the industry to be seized.”

And what about the professional hair & beauty industry in particular? Are there any new trends emerging?
“Around 15 years ago, with the spread of online bookings, beauty salons changed ways to attract customers. Using the Internet has become normal. SNS, especially Instagram, made it possible for salon staff to share information not only officially but also personally. To differentiate themselves from others, each salon began to post their own offers and advantages, as well as personalized Internet campaigns to attract a targeted demographic group of customers.

Many hairdressers are trying to attract targeted customers promoting new services about hair colour and hair care. Hairdressers use SNS to send messages like ‘We will meet your needs’ to attract new customers with images of beautiful hair colour designs or hair care in combination with hair colour design.
Similarly, for professional hair manufacturers, the main source of sales is hair dye and hair treatments. In the colour category, companies are working on building brands with transparent colouring or introducing new colours regularly into the markets. In the hair care area as a high-profile area, manufacturers are focusing on developing treatment agents and professional-use treatments for bleached and heavily damaged hair”.

What opportunities do you see in the Japanese market for new importers of professional hair products?
Japan is the second most populous and the second largest GDP market in East Asia after China. Japanese tend to be concerned about how other people look and judge personal appearance. Consequently, ‘beauty consciousness’ including hair, is quite high compared to other nationalities.

Although its population is declining, the number of beauty salons has been increasing steadily over the decades. In 2022, the number is just under 270,000, which means beauty salons are opening new shops at a rate of 41 per day.

Talking about distribution, the spread and development of online sales systems and the purchase of beauty products through the internet are changing the industry’s landscape to make it easier for new entrants. Thus, new brands not having to rely only on the existing agency system when entering the Japanese hair industry.
Compared to the Chinese market, one advantage is that foreign companies can engage in free economic activity and there is less risk. With the size of the market several times larger than that of South Korea and Taiwan, Japan should be the first target for companies aiming at East Asia.

Hair extension and hair loss products might have a good opportunity to enter Japanese markets. On the other hand, thinking about Japanese skin texture, I believe it is hard for foreign companies to export their products as they are. They need to adjust components and fragrances according to what Japanese people prefer to use”.

What do you see in the future of Beautyworld Japan?
“Japanese people have a very highly developed sense of beauty, so I believe interest in beauty and health will continue to grow. I want Beautyworld Japan to be recognised as the place to display high-profile products from around the world and to attract visitors, not only from Japan but also from other Asian countries and regions and, simply, the rest of the world”.

Other Editions of Beautyworld Japan
Osaka, The key trade fair for western Japan’s beauty industry
from October 21st – 23rd 2024 at INTEX Osaka

Nagoya The gateway to the Chubu region’s beauty market
from July 29th – 31st 2024 at Portmesse Nagoya

Fukuoka Leading beauty event in the Kyushu region
from February 3rd – 5th 2025 at Marine Messe Fukuoka

More info about Beautyworld Japan Tokyo