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Translating Trends for Hair Care Product Development
By: Feifei Lin and Kevin Murphy
Posted: February 11, 2013, from the March 2013 issue of GCI Magazine.
- Hair care product development is deeply influenced by the growing, changing global marketplace, and beauty brands looking to innovate such products need to survey what trends are behind market growth.
- Consumers continue to want solutions “customized” to their hair, as well as products that give hair a healthy sensory feel and provide a feeling of increased well-being for the user.
- It’s imperative to base hair care product development on changing demographics, the growth of emerging markets and their rising, aspirational middle classes.
Today’s hair care market is large and mature, and yet it remains dynamic because of its need to satisfy grooming needs, as well as its need to address continually changing lifestyle, demographic and even economic considerations. How else to explain the estimated 10,000-plus hair care products that were launched in 2012, a remarkable number that will help propel the global hair care market to reach a value above $57 million in 2015?
To help achieve this growth, the use of silicones has become a common denominator; approximately 60% of new hair care products will contain at least one silicone material, and often more in the case of conditioners. With their unique set of chemical and physical properties, silicones are recognized as multifunctional ingredients that, in addition to conditioning hair, can be used to add shine, make combing easier, provide color protection, help guard against damage from heat styling, enhance hair strength, repair damaged hair, moisturize, define and hold curls, control frizz, and add volume. And with the continued growth of this beauty segment, knowing the versatility of ingredients used to develop such hair care products is key in moving ahead in an innovative, engaging way.
Evolving Consumers Shape Hair Care Trends
Scientifically, hair care product developers need to create products that satisfy the needs of diverse hair types, ethnicities, cultures and regions. But culturally, they also need to accommodate emerging economies, a media- and pop culture-influenced youth market, and an expanding group of fashion-forward shoppers.
Top consumer trends and how they influence hair care solutions include:
Individualism. Because consumers want to portray their individuality—as well as manage specific grooming challenges based on their hair type, its condition and desired style—the concept of products tailored “just for me” has taken hold. Hair care product ingredients such as silicones can offer solutions to the individual variety of wants and needs associated with the ideal hair care regimens of consumers.
Products are increasingly designed for dry, fine, curly or tangled hair; colored or damaged tresses; and styles ranging from short to long, sleek to voluminous. In Asia, for example, the simple, straight bob is giving way to curled looks, exotic cuts and vibrant color—even in the ranges of reds and blond.
Colored hair has become a common statement of individuality, youth and fashion. An estimated 50% of American women above the age of 25 color their hair, and the market for hair coloring is expected to continue to grow. Shining, lustrous hair color needs protection from repeated washing and UV exposure, and silicones can offer an answer by helping color last longer, retain its vibrant look, protect and enhance color brilliance, and revive color and shine.
To achieve their look of choice, consumers also are using heating appliances such as curling irons and hair dryers that can damage hair. Silicones are thermally stable and spread easily on the hair, forming a protective film to help prevent water loss from the hair shaft caused by the heat of appliances.
Products that enhance body and volume also help hair keep its desired look and style. Thanks to the versatility of silicones and other hair care ingredients, as well as the creativity of product developers, consumers can select more volume or less, depending on their hair type.
Sensory expectations. Another hair care priority for consumers is the “sensation” from a product—the emotional benefits and experience often expressed in terms such as “pleasure,” “intensity,” “delight” or a “pampered feel.”
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