Forward Thinking: Hair Flair, Fragrance and Care


Hair care is a large market segment that includes shampoos, conditioners, colorants and styling products. According to Persistence Market Research1, the global shampoo market is slated to reach $31,900 million by 2022, growing at a 4.0% CAGR during the period. In the U.S. alone, sales of shampoo totaled more than $3.08 billion for the 52 weeks ending December 3, 2017, a 3.1% increase across all U.S. multi-outlets, which includes grocery, drug, mass, military and select club and dollar retailers, according to IRI2. Additionally, the global professional hair care market is expected to grow at a CAGR of nearly 4% through 2020, according to Technavio3.

Hair colorants and customized hair products are gaining mass appeal as consumers embrace individuality, while innovative hair care applications inspired by skin care such as masks, scrubs, wipes and micellar water formulas are offering new spaces for fragrance, while attracting consumers looking for holistic products. Consumers’ quest for natural hair care continues, while targeted male hair care and products that address thinning hair and loss are driving new launches. High tech, innovative hair brushes and straightening tools are also hitting the shelves to help consumers analyze their personal hair care needs.

Consumer Insights

Hair impacts how women feel about themselves regardless of age according to research from ProfilePro LLC, the parent company of Cloud 10 and HairRx brands, which formulate customized shampoos and conditioners. Cloud 104 surveyed 1,000 millennial women 18-35 years old and found that 59% of women polled wish they had someone else’s hair. Additionally, when having a bad hair day, 30% opted for a bun while 29% chose a ponytail. HairRx5 conducted similar research with 1,000 women between the ages of 30 to 60 years old. The brand’s findings suggest most women ages 30 to 60 are not happy with their hair, with nearly 80% indicating that their hair can influence the way they feel about themselves.

Scent is also important in hair care among both age groups. 88% of millennials say scent plays a factor in purchasing shampoos and conditioners and within that group, about half say it’s “very important” while about 83% of women 30+ state that scent is either “somewhat important” or “very important” to them.

In terms of hair care usage, according to data from Euromonitor6, millennials are out using all other generational groups on every major product category in hair care. A third of millennials are using shampoo above frequency, compared with 31.8% of Generation X and 28% of Baby Boomers. Shy of a quarter of millennials are using conditioner or treatment compared with 20.5% of Generation X and 14.8% of Baby Boomers. 13% of millennials use hair styling products compared with 12.2% of Generation X and 9% of Baby Boomers.

Hair Care Collections

Stores shelves are full and brands continue to launch new product collections to gain market share. Here a few, recent noteworthy hair care launches.

In January 2018, L’Oréal Paris introduced Elvive Total Repair 5, a hair care line designed for damaged, dry and color-treated hair, to the U.S. market. According to L’Oreal, the Total Repair 5 Protein Recharge Leave-In Conditioner “offers 450-degree heat protection and recharges the hair fiber to help prevent damage and strengthen hair. Hair is left 15 times stronger with 97% percent less breakage.” In February 2018, French luxury skincare, makeup and fragrance brand Sisley debuted Hair Rituel by Sisley, a new six-piece product collection for hair and scalp. According to the brand, the fragrance blends citrus and woody notes of verbena, lemon, peach blossom and amber and “contains an ‘active core’ of natural ingredients composed of mimosa absolute and hinoki and Bay Saint-Thomas essential oils.” The collection includes: Revitalizing Volumizing Shampoo with Camellia Oil; Revitalizing Smoothing Shampoo with Macadamia Oil; Restructuring Conditioner with Cotton Protein; Regenerating Hair Mask with Four Botanical Oils; Revitalizing Fortifying Serum; and Precious Hair Care Oil. Luxury Swiss hair care brand Kèrluxe also launched a collection of six targeted hair care lines: Aquavol, Caviar4, Crystalisse, Luminage, Reactivisse and Resplendisse.Each collection contains a shampoo, conditioner, mask and leave-in treatment designed to target specific hair concerns and is formulated with skin care ingredients such as marine collagen, peptides, antioxidants and hyaluronic acid. The fragrances for each collection were created by an Italian fragrance house. TheAquavol features citrus cologne notes with a warm, earthy base while the Caviar4 highlights a white floral bouquet blended with warm woods and musk. Crystalisse contains white florals with musk and vanilla accords and Luminage is described as a “sensual warm floral bouquet resting on a base of creamy amber and woods.” Reactivisse is a chypre with florals, warm woods and earthy musks while Resplendisse is a richly spiced floral with earthy woods and musk. In the spring of 2018, hairstylist Kristin Ess rolled out 11 new products exclusively at Target. Products range from shampoos and conditioners such as Purple Shampoo and Purple Conditioner to styling products like Anytime Anywhere Recovery Balm, Signature Hair Water and Weightless Shine Air Dry Crème. Atlanta-based hairstylist Maya Smith dropped The Doux, a multi-ethnic five SKU hair care line inspired by hip-hop culture. The Doux Sucka Free Moisturizing Shampoo features soy proteins and natural humectants while the Fresh Rinse Moisturizing Conditioner is formulated with shea butter and sea silk. Additional products include Bonita Afro Balm Texture Cream, Light Weightless Shine Mist and Mousse Def Texture Foam.

A novel shampoo and conditioner launch is Einstein Bros.® Bagels Cheesy Shampoo and Wakin’ Bacon Conditioner. The duo was launched in March 2018 to promote the bagel brand’s new limited-time Cheesy Wakin’ Bacon sandwich menu offering.

The Colors are a Changin’

At one time bright colored, dyed hair was reserved for celebrities, artists, musicians, actors and alternative individuals. From silver and gray to rainbow mermaid hair, and everything in between, color has mass appeal for people of all ages. Balayage (French word meaning ‘to sweep’ or ‘to paint’), ombré (‘shaded,’ the seamless gradation from darker to lighter) and opal (ashy, platinum blonde hair with a touch of purple, pink and peach), started by Ross Michaels Salon, are a few examples of popular color techniques individuals are experimenting with for new hairstyles. This hair color craze is best exemplified by Scruples January 2018 Hair Care challenge, which tasked 10 hair stylists to create looks based on different Halo Top ice cream flavors using the brand’s colorful dyes.

According to Fact.MR7, North America is expected to remain dominant in the global hair color market. By the end of 2022, the North America hair color market is estimated to reach nearly $800 million in revenue. To address consumers’ pursuit of colored hair, there has been a surge in permanent, semi-permanent and temporary hair color innovation. Coty’s Clairol Brand entered a new color category with the launch of its Color Crave Hair Makeup. The washable hair makeup is designed with 3-D crystals that allow users of all hair colors and textures to play with metallic color looks. It is available in six shades: Amethyst, Bronze, Copper, Platinum, Rose Gold, and Ruby and is free of ammonia, peroxide and parabens. Users apply the makeup with a sponge applicator and set it with a blow dryer. Clairol Professional’s latest development is the FLARE Me permanent collection, which offers an array of seven vivid colors that last up to five weeks. Rose Gold Temporary Tint by Ess is a new in-shower watercolor spray best used on blondes or pre-lightened hair. Hush is a new hair care brand by Mana Brands, the private label manufacturer. The debut collection includes the Prism Airbrush Spray, a cruelty-free formula free of peroxide, ammonia and harsh permanent dyes available in seven wash-out colors and Fill Seeker Hair Plumping Fibers, which targets flat or sparse hair, ‘hugging’ every strand with magnetically charged micro-fibers for a fuller, plumped-up look.

Josh Wood, the renowned colorist and Redken’s global color creative director, launched the at home Josh Wood Colour system. The permanent color formula is paraphenylenediamine (PPD) and ammonia-free. The system includes a dye, a color activator, salon-grade gloves, a protective barrier cream, a stain removing wipe and a conditioning treatment. Additional products offered include root touch-up tools, shampoo and conditioner. In May 2018, L’Oreal rolled out Botanea, a wholly plant-based vegan hair dye range sourced from three plants found in India and aimed at professionals for use in salons across Europe. The three variants are Pure Cassia, Pure Henna, and Pure Indigo. Lauren Bowker is the founder of The Unseen, whose flagship Fire semi-permanent hair dye changes color based on temperature. It is not a standard hair dye; once it is on hair, it repeatedly changes from one color to another based on the surrounding environment. It is based on thermochromic ink and when cold, dyed hair appears dark and the hotter it gets, the lighter and more vibrant it becomes. Variations include black to red, black to white, silver to powder blue, blue to white and black to yellow.

Unique Applications

Like other consumer packaged goods, the hair care market is inundated with products. To get consumers’ attention, brands have been innovating and creating unique hair care applications such as fine mists, foams, masks, scrubs, wipes and micellar water formulas. Many of the new applications have been inspired by current skin care trends. A notable product is celebrity stylist Jen Atkin’s Ouai line of ingestible hair supplements, which launched in March 2017. The hair supplements focus on the three most popular hair issues: Dry Hair, Oily Scalp, and Thinning Hair andare designed to be taken once daily. The line was developed in collaboration with Dubai skincare expert Lamees Hamdan, founder of skincare line Shiffa and is formulated with a mix of vitamins, minerals and natural extracts. Another novel product is new hair care brand OWA’s (Out of this World Amazing) Moondust Hair Wash, which is a dry shampoo powder, expected in the fall. Packaged in a 4 oz. bottle made from recyclable material, there is enough product for up to 65 washes. Consumers apply one gram of shampoo powder to wet hands and lather into hair. The formula contains minerals and plant-based ingredients and is free of artificial colors, silicones, sulfates or parabens. Future products in the pipeline include a conditioner, a hair mask and a styling lotion, and all products will be delivered as a powder formula. In July, Jo Malone debuted a multi-purpose hair and body oil to moisturize, protect, soften and delicately fragrance hair using the brand’s cult-favorite Lime Basil & Mandarin fragrance. The formula contains a blend of sweet almond and macadamia seed oils.

Spray It

Spray formulas are popular in hair styling applications, and they are trickling into other forms such as conditioners and dry shampoos. In early 2018, Ouai reformulated and renamed its Smooth Spray. Now known as Leave In Conditioner, the leave-in hair mist contains an amino acid blend, tamarind seed extract, panthenol and vitamin E. Ouai is known for the brand’s signature scents and the Leave In Conditioner uses Ouai N°٢, a floral fragrance with notes of bergamot, Italian lemon, Rose de Mai, magnolia, lily, blackberry, violet, cedar-wood, amber, patchouli, sandalwood, and white musk. In May 2018, Ouai debuted Sun of a Beach Ombré Spray. The hair-lightening spray is formulated with pineapple and lemon juice as well as coconut water and can be used in natural sunlight or with a blow dryer. Tresemmé launched a Compressed Micro Mist Hairspray, which is a superfine mist “that delivers a weightless mist, ensuring lasting hold while maintaining natural movement” offered in four different levels of hold. In late April, professional hair line Verb announced the launch of two new spray versions of the brand’s cult-followed original Dry Shampoo Powder. According to an April 20, 2018, articlea, the brand had a 2,000+ person waitlist for the products that were launching on May 1, 2018. Dry Shampoo Light is a purple formula for blondes and Dry Shampoo Dark is a tinted version for brunettes and darker hair.

Foam Up

Foam applications are not new in hair care. However, next generation foam formulas fordry shampoo are appearing. According to Transparency Market Research8, the global dry shampoo market is expected to reach U.S. $4,110.6 million by 2022 while NPD’s U.S. data9 shows there has been a 66% sales increase in dry shampoos due to the rise of wellness and the athleisure-centric trend.

Drybar Detox Whipped Dry Shampoo Foam is an ultra-light, powderless whipped dry shampoo foam with a lighter texture than a traditional dry shampoo with notes of coconut, vanilla and amber. In 2018, Ouai Air Dry Foam and Dry Texture Foam joined the brand’s portfolio. The Air Dry Foam is formulated with panthenol, kale and carrot protein while Dry Texture Foam contains rice protein and is free of parabens and sodium chloride. In May 2018, Amika launched Phantom Hydrating Dry Shampoo Foam, which uses a rice, tapioca and corn starch-infused formula that is free of sulfates, parabens, phthalates, gluten, mineral oil, sodium chloride, petrochemicals and artificial colors.

Mask It

Thanks to Korean beauty, there has been a spike in face masks and hair masks. According to Transparency Market Research10, the global face sheet mask market is expected to reach a value of U.S. $551.3 million by 2026 with an estimated CAGR of 8.7%. IGK Prenup Instant Spray Mask is an in-shower micro-emulsion treatment with a 360 aerosol spray to ensure an easy, even and convenient application. The product packs the effectiveness of a traditional, heavy emollient cream mask in a lightweight liquid that works under a minute and contains cupuacu butter, amla oil, also known as Indian Gooseberry, and apple cider vinegar. IGK Prenup Instant Spray Mask’s fragrance “features a refreshingly bright arrangement of bergamot, lemon zest, mimosa, heliotrope, and black amber.” Garnier Fructis introduced the Wonder Mask, which is a two-step hair mask that hydrates and strengthens the hair with coconut oil and amla extract. According to the brand, the product nourishes hair for up to four washes. Redken launched the All Soft Mega Sheet Hair Mask which “quenches and revives puffy, very dry, hair.”

Scrub It

Similar to facial scrubs, scalp scrubs are exfoliators for the head to remove dead skin and buildup. Briogeo’s Scalp Revival Charcoal + Tea Tree Scalp Treatment received the2017Allure Best of Beauty award and combines cooling peppermint, spearmint and tea tree oils. R+Co offers a Crown Scalp Scrub formulated with salicylic acid, Ecuadorian ivory palm seed powder and kaolin and a fragrance designed with Sicilian lemon, tangerine, eucalyptus, green tea, tree moss, and amber. Japanese head spas are coming to the U.S. and offering scalp “facials” from spas like Pierre Michel Salon in New York City and Blow Me Away Organic Salon and Head Spa in Los Angeles, California.

In February 2018, Oribe debuted the Serene Scalp collection with an Anti-Dandruff Shampoo, Balancing Conditioner and Leave-On Treatment. All the products are vegan, cruelty-free, and gluten-free and contain Oribe’s Signature Complex (watermelon, lychee and Edelweiss flower extracts) as well as caffeine.

Wipe It Away

Wipes are convenient and portable for a quick cleanse or refresh when water is not accessible. There has been some interesting activity in hair care applications that address a variety of concerns.

Rekze Laboratories has created the Wipes 28, the first wipes designed specifically to cleanse the scalp and create the right conditions to encourage hair regrowth. The brand name is based on the 28 key ingredients used in the formula to help counteract thinning hair. At the end of 2017, Ouai debuted biodegradable Anti-Frizz Sheets with signature notes of violet, gardenia, ylang ylang, and white musk, which are “purse-portable” and free of parabens and sodium chloride. IGK Swipe Up Charcoal Dry Shampoo Hair Blotting Tissues are portable charcoal powder- and kaolin clay-infused sheets that absorb oil and refresh hair. New entrant Recess by Jackie Stauffer is a line of grab-and-go products designed with clean, active ingredients and biodegradable packaging. The products are offered in cleansing wipes, deodorant wipes and hair-blotting sheets meant to be used after a workout as an alternative to a shower or in between. The Hair 101: Hair Blotters are formulated with charcoal, which absorbs sweat and oil while the blotter is made from hemp, an eco-friendly, nontoxic paper alternative. In addition, the product is “free from 10 harmful ingredients that cause skin irritation - aluminum, parabens, sulfates, phthalates, triethanolamine, sulfate-based surfactants, triclosan, mineral oil, propylene glycol and DEA.”

Micellar Water Formulas

Inspired by skin care, micellar water is trickling into hair care. According to a July 15, 2015, articleb, “micellar water is made up of micelles (tiny balls of cleansing oil molecules) suspended in soft water.” Micellar water has been popular in facial washes and makeup removers; now it’s appearing in shampoos. For example, Herbal Essences offers the Refresh Blue Ginger & Micellar Water Shampoo with “refreshing notes of fresh ginger blossom, floral bouquets and clean musk” while Redken carries the Clean Maniac Clean Touch Micellar Shampoo, which uses a “neutralizing scent [that] repels odors like cigarette smoke, car exhaust and other environmental pollutants to keep your hair feeling and smelling fresh all day long.” Pantene features Pro-V Micellar Shampoo Gentle Cleansing Water, Micellar Conditioner Gentle Moisturizing Milk and Micellar Revitalize Foam Conditioner. The Tresemmé Pro Collection Thick & Full Shampoo callout reads “with micellar technology” and the formula contains glycerol.

Although not a direct hair care product, the newest trend is lash shampoos made specifically for eyelashes and eyelash extensions. For example, RevitaLash offers a Micellar Water Lash Wash. Other interesting lash shampoos available are Lash Box Bubble Lash Shampoo and Beauty Garde Lash + Brow Shampoo.

Natural Hair

Trendincite’s Perfumer & Flavorist “Forward Thinking: Natural Evolution” article, which appeared in April 2018, explored natural skincare, deodorant, hair care and fine fragrance. The quest for natural hair care continues. Riding the coattails of Procter & Gamble’s successful 2017 Gold Series launch, designed for African American hair, the brand added Gold Series Sulfate-Free Shampoo to the line. It is free of parabens and silicones and contains argan oil. Creme of Nature has been expanding its product portfolio with the launch of Certified Natural Coconut Milk and Pure Honey collections. The Certified Natural Coconut Milk line is available in seven products infused with coconut oil to provide nourishment from the roots to ends while aiding in detangling dry hair and the Pure Honey collection features eight products formulated with vitamins and honey for dry and dehydrated hair. The Grandpa Soap Company unveiled a new collection of hair care products in eight SKUs using natural ingredients such as buttermilk, pine tar, rose clay, rosemary and witch hazel. All of the formulas are free from sulfates, parabens, phthalates, silicones, petroleum, artificial flavors and colors, while the packaging is fully recyclable.

A hair care productHair 101: Hair Blotters are formulated with charcoal, which absorbs sweat and oil while the blotter is made from hemp, an eco-friendly, nontoxic paper alternative. Photo courtesy of Recess.

Hair Care Gets Personal

Driven by millennials and the younger generations, customized hair care products are emerging. Function of Beauty formulates custom shampoos and conditioners. On Function of Beauty’s website consumers craft a personal hair profile with details like their hair texture and preferred hair fragrance, as well as the problems that they would like to address such as fixing split ends or adding curl definition, and then the site will make a customized formula. For the fragrance selection, customers choose between Cucumber Mint, Grapefruit Hibiscus, Sandalwood Violet or Essential Oils and then select the intensity of the scent in light, medium or strong options. In March 2018, Function of Beauty opened its New York City lab in Soho to the public. The shop is by appointment only and for $36 customers can have an 8 oz shampoo and conditioner set formulated to meet their hair care needs.

Similarly, Cloud 10 Hair Care offers a customizable line of hair products that target the burgeoning custom hair care market and millennials in particular. Customers engage in a whimsical online experience that guides them through a series of questions to help them identify their specific hair care needs. Individual profiles are matched to recommended shampoos and conditioners drawn from a comprehensive inventory of 165 stability-certified formulas. Customers can choose from five signature scents: Citrus, Coconut, Jasmine, Lavender or Vanilla, a light or luxurious lather, and a selection of label designs, each of which can be personalized with their names. HairRx Advanced Hair Care is a very similar concept by the same company but the brand is targeted to women ages 30 and up. Founded by a team of former L’Oréal and Phyto executives, Prose, is the latest to join the custom-made hair care trend, which uses AI to identify hair and scalp needs and allows hair stylists to co-create products. According to the brand, Prose’s in-house team of chemists and engineers have sourced 76 highly effective natural ingredients and developed a proprietary algorithm that evaluates 85 data points to create exclusive, custom-made formulas with more than 50 billion combinations. Prose offers seven “exclusive” fragrances and the brand’s Signature scent is a blend of violet leaf, peony and blue iris while Elixir is a sweet aromatic blend of freesia, jasmine, and vanilla. Botanica “is a refreshing blend of 100% essential oils from eucalyptus, lavender, and rosemary” and Frutissime includes notes of pineapple, coconut, and vanilla. All formulas are cruelty-free, non-toxic and free of sulfates, parabens, dyes, phthalates and GMOs. Shea Moisture Beauty Hack available at Ulta, is a three-step system that allows consumers to customize their hair, body and facial care routines. The Beauty Hack system starts with a fragrance-free base combined with a pure oil and finished with a fragrance oil. Fresh ingredients such as banana, green tea or basil leaves can be added for more nourishment. The products are free of sulfates, parabens, mineral oil, petroleum, phthalates or propylene glycol, and the company sources its organic shea butter from 15 women’s cooperatives.

Male Call

According to Euromonitor11, the global market for male grooming products is projected to reach $60.7 billion by 2020, valued at $17.5 billion in 2015. Male toiletries, which includes men’s bath and shower, deodorant, skin and hair care products are driving the growth and are expected to reach U.S. $23.9 billion by 2020 with a 39% increase of total sales.

A hair care productGold Series Sulfate-Free Shampoo joins Procter & Gamble’s successful 2017 launch designed for African American hair. The product was co-created with a team of Black scientists, stylists and dermatologists and is free of parabens and silicones and contains argan oil. Photo courtesy of Procter & Gamble.

Bröö, the brand known for “craft beer hair products,” added two new shampoo bars to its line: Bröö Energizing Craft Beer Bar with Cactus Lime & Ginger and Bröö Hydrating Craft Beer Bar with Sea Salt & Bergamot, which are vegan, brewed without harmful chemicals and cruelty-free. The Bröö Energizing Craft Beer Bar with Cactus Lime & Ginger is formulated with B vitamins, proteins and minerals in malted barley, hops flower essential oil, caffeine, green coffee extract and BRÖÖLuxe, an alternative to silicone. The Bröö Hydrating Craft Beer Bar with Sea Salt & Bergamot contains B vitamins, proteins and minerals in malted barley, coconut oil and BRÖÖLuxe. William Leonard Roberts II, also known as the rapper Rick Ross, partnered with Rich Hair Care to introduce his own line of Rich by Rick Ross products. The line features nine SKUs including hair, styling and beard products.

In May 2018, Target announced plans to invest in 600+ new products and services that elevate the men’s grooming aisle with brands such as Harry’s, Beardbrand, BYRD, Cremo, Maestro’s Classic and Pacinos. Target will introduce a new in-store experience in the men’s grooming section across 11 of its locations, with plans to update the department in 80 more locations by the end of the year.

Hair Care on the Horizon

Emerging opportunities in fragranced hair products lie in customization, hair colorants and new applications influenced by skin care trends. These trends will continue to drive the hair care market, with an emphasis on ingredients, natural formulas, male-focused products and targeted solutions for thinning hair and hair loss. The crowded yet growing hair care market will provide new opportunities and challenges for fragrance houses and consumer packaged goods manufacturers.

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