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From Global to Local and Back Again

By: Cara Eaton, Christophen Toumit and Regan Tillou
Posted: April 27, 2012, from the May 2012 issue of GCI Magazine.

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Multifunctional cleansers and conditioners are in the global marketplace in abundance. Croda’s formulation team in Asia developed “Detoxifying and Strengthening Shampoo,” which illustrates this multifunctionality well. It gently cleanses environmental pollution while strengthening the hair and protecting it from future aggressions. This formulation has an airy foam for great product feel in use, which can contribute to supporting the product benefits. Products claiming to detoxify and protect the hair are launching around the world, and formulations such as this tap into this trend.

In addition, sulfate-free shampoos are proving to be more ubiquitous around the globe. Many multinational brands have sulfate-free lines, offering solutions for consumers seeking gentler products. And there are shampoo prototypes that utilize mild detergents for gentle cleansing with excellent foaming, natural solubilizers and protein co-polymers to protect the hair from everyday grooming damage, such as that sustained from blow-drying, while still offering full, rich lather and creating a luxurious, satiny sheen on the hair.


One mega trend in the beauty market is that of control, which encompasses a variety of things, depending on the consumer. It can range from consumer influence over ingredient choice in their products, where consumers may seek natural ingredients or “free-from” claims, to influencing one’s personal style through styling agents or chemical hair treatments. It also addresses the growing power of the consumer through exercising her voice in social media circles. The consumer is an active participant in her shopping experience, and she is in the driver’s seat.

There are many types of styling products on the market, with forms ranging from sprays to serums to creams. All these allow the consumer to control her hairstyle and improve her appearance. An extremely popular product on the market is flat iron heat protection serums, as these protect against the high heat from styling appliances. Serums are interesting forms in hair care, having appeared often in skin care or salon hair care, yet they are now more mainstream and globally available.

Beyond day-to-day styling, more permanent treatments such as hair relaxers and hair color remain strong in the market with consumers seeking to control their hair in a more dramatic way. In this area, performance and convenience play a more important role as treatments need to work better, faster and be easier to use, especially in the case of at-home treatments. Convenience is considered to be a huge consumer benefit, as simple, “user-friendly” products are extremely appealing. An example, developed by the North American formulating team, the “Vibrance Infused Rapid Hair Color” creates faster, richer, more vibrant and longer-lasting color, with the color depositing on the hair in just 10 minutes.