Emerging Trends in the Future of Hair Care Industry
What will be the next generation of hair care products category?
What role the ingredients science will play in this?
For most CPG product categories, I expect the next generation to continue to go in two directions. Both of these would be driven by ingredients. One is more technical with better performance for specific hair needs based on science. The other would be more "natural," simpler, safer, and more sustainable. Both can co-exist as for every trend there is a counter trend. And consumers will be looking for products that meet their own personal hair care needs.
From a material science perspective, the current hair care products mostly act on the hair outer surface and modify the surface properties which reflect onto consumer sensory (both visual and tactile). Major surface modification these products bring about is surface coating and surface lubrication that alters friction and stiffness of the hair. The next trend could be dealing with the sub structural components of the hair. A recent article discuss about the usage of Sol gel technology for providing hair strength by penetration of small reactive molecules.( Hallegot, P. et al. J Sol-Gel Sci Technol (2016) 79: 359. . https://doi.org/10.1007/s10971-016-3961-z). More emphasis would be given for structurally reversing the hair damage in a real sense not by superficial surface coatings.
Identification of suitable ingredients both natural and synthetic that could provide such modifications in sub structural components of hair would rule the Hair care segment.
Hair care and beauty are moving towards a more natural approach, a more sustainable production, and an interest in healthy rather than just beauty. On those lines, science will play a major role into attacking root cause of issue rather than just "symptoms", developing products for a larger variety of hair structures and external conditions, taking into account natural ingredients and less chemical ones.
Companies are finding that they not only need to have good quality, but also be environmental responsible and represent different hair structures and mixes.
As far as next generation of hair product category, I think hair color has still lot of potential to grow especially in developing world. I have noticed a significant increase in hair coloring trend in South Asian countries in last 4-5 years...and natural products are preferred over synthetic chemicals.
One of the trends in haircare is actually "haircare knowledge". Today, consumers can get a lot of information about their skin but not that much information concerning their hair. This is probably why a big company like L'Oréal came up with a connected comb with Withings (now called Nokia Health). The connected comb is supposed to analyse different aspects in the hair and push the consumer to the products that are best for their hair.
I think the next haircare brands will look into science to explain the different hair behaviours. The products will present better solutions for hair problems, with more scientific explanations.
The 'All Natural' trend is also an important one. Brands are searching for ways to include organic elements but still have a good and life-during product. L'Oréal created new 'natural' hair colors, based on natural henna elements without ammoniac or any chemical element in them. Unfortunately organic doesn't rhyme with longevity. Maybe there will be a new serie of efficient and natural products, put in small packages with a very short expiry date (2-3 days)...
The 'All Natural' trend is aligned with a 'Vintage' trend. There is a clear 'nostalgic' trend : going back to the basics, to home-made grandma recipes. Another direction for hair products would probably be DIY products where people combine their hair products themselves according to certain elements they are looking for (more camomile for blonder hair, more henna for a red/brown color and so on).
Do not hesitate in coming back to me if you have any questions. This is a great and inspiring topic.