Yes, consumers are fascinating, but they are also equally puzzling. One minute they like their beauty routines one way, and the next they like them another. The continuous ebb and flow of differing opinions and views can make it a challenge for beauty brands to get things just right. But that’s why we’re here. As experts in all things beauty, we’ve separated out the latest fads from the meaningful shifts in consumer demand to bring you an overview of the top 5 haircare trends you really need to know about. So, if you’re a formulator, manufacturer, or new-on-the-block beauty brand searching for success in the haircare market, take note.
1. Natural Formulas
Perceived as safer for people and the planet, natural products have long reigned supreme in the skincare space. But now consumers are keen to bid farewell to sulfates, silicones, and other synthetics in their haircare routines too. Instead, they’re opting for simple formulations made with honestly natural ingredients. And this isn’t just down to the sensitivity and eco/ethical concerns which are driving interest in ‘safety’. In reality, it’s largely because consumers feel that natural beauty products are more effective than their synthetic counterparts. They believe that the results are bigger, better, and more worthy of their investment. This confluence of factors has made naturalness a must-have for haircare users worldwide – a truth which beauty brands cannot afford to ignore.
If there’s one trend that’s set to define the modern beauty landscape, it’s sustainability. Aligned with growing interest in naturals and propelled further into the mainstream by the COVID-19 crisis, sustainable beauty is the new standard. The European haircare space is a prime example of this, with eco claims amongst the fastest growing over the last 5 years. What used to be a market filled with plastic bottles and water-heavy formulas is now one of packaging-free tablets, solid shampoos, and anhydrous powders. But it doesn’t stop there. Today, consumers are demanding sustainability right down to the ingredient level. This is accelerating development of sustainable raw materials such as our family-farmed Virgin Poppy Seed Oil: good news for the 53% of US haircare consumers who are positively influenced by the ‘made with sustainable ingredients’ claim.
3. Blurring with Skincare
The haircare market has evolved significantly in recent years. Long gone are the days of tedious shampoo launches thanks to a blurring line between haircare and skincare. In fact, the two categories are fast becoming one and the same, with key skincare ingredients rapidly transforming into multifunctional haircare heroes. Why? Well, consumers are taking their new-found ‘skintelligence’ and applying the same knowledge and confidence to their haircare routines. This is driving demand for shampoos and conditioners featuring the hero ingredients typically found in skincare. Expect to see vitamin C, niacinamide, and powerhouse moisturisers like oat beta-glucan become commonplace in tress-taming formulas.
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4. Scalp Care
With the line between haircare and skincare fast blurring, it’s little surprise that interest in scalp health is soaring. The scalp is now widely viewed as an extension of body skin, and greater understanding of its impact on hair health is contributing to heightened demand for products which care for the scalp. Indeed, recent research has shown that a healthy scalp not only minimises dandruff and sensitivity – as proven by the effects of Oat COM – but also promotes stronger, healthier-looking hair. An unwavering, universal desire for the latter means that consumers will always be willing to invest in promising solutions. And right now, their focus is evidently on those which target the scalp, with 90% of haircare consumers in China agreeing that scalp care can improve hair health.
Convenience-focussed claims have long been a feature of the haircare market. There’s the products which promise long-lasting results, those which offer a no-rinse alternative, and those which make on-the-go touch-ups easy. Yet it’s the convenience claims that tap into speed and ease-of-use which are most appealing to today’s consumer. Research by Mintel, for instance, shows that no less than half of UK haircare users agree that being quick is a top priority. Essentially, this is because people are time poor; they need products that match up to the demands of a fast-paced modern lifestyle. The solution? Multifunctional, customisable products powered by natural ingredients such as Oat Lipid e – a unique oat oil which enhances hair shine whilst detangling knotted strands for ultimate convenience.
From natural formulas to soothing scalp care, sustainable products to skincare-inspired INCI lists, there’s lots of trends at play in the modern haircare space. Understanding such trends and their drivers can make all the difference between a sell-out product launch and a fast-forgotten flop. But even then, trend-driven innovation needs to start from the ingredient level – a half-hearted go at it in the product execution stage simply won’t work. And that’s why we recommend Oat Hair. Developed with the latest market trends in mind, Oat Hair is a range of oat-derived ingredients that allow you to create trend-driven products which tick all the right boxes. It’s natural, expert haircare at its very best.
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