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Besides looking for products with added functionality, consumers are becoming more educated about what ingredients are used in formulating hair care products. Surfachem technical development team discusses latest trends and implications that consumer awareness has on NPD in this mature market segment.

Hair care is a mature market, where product manufacturers really need to stretch themselves in terms of new product formats and functionality to remain competitive. According to Euromonitor, the forecast by value for global hair care categories for 2014 is 30% for shampoos, 53% for conditioners and treatments, 8% for dyeing, 5% for styling and 3% for perms and relaxers.


Cleaning and then conditioning the hair are the traditional demands from hair care consumers. More recently the trend has been to incorporate additional materials that can provide a broader range of benefits including heat protection, environmental protection, scalp treatment and hair loss prevention to name but a few.

This shift has seen a range of new ingredients introduced into the market by manufacturers. Complexity in hair care is often attributed to the diversity of the hair substrate, environmental impacts, consumer habits and product attributes. Producing a hair care base that is versatile enough to incorporate this broad range of speciality ingredients is becoming more difficult. A formulator needs to simultaneously tackle a number of challenges, such as labelling claims, viscosity and other issues of compatibility of ingredients, cost- while differentiating a product as addressing key consumer concerns. The demand for sulphate-free and mild surfactant cleansers remains strong, while we see the share of emollients within conditioning ingredients increasing.

Anti-ageing  is a fast-growing property in hair care. Manufacturers respond to demands for anti-ageing hair products targeting concerns such as thinning, colouring, breakage and drying. The market sees boost in conditioning agents, sunscreen and moisturisers, as launches of shampoos and conditioners incorporating serums and treatments often found in skin care are on the rise. Anti-ageing formulations are being added to products ranging from shampoos and conditioners to volumisers and shiners to meet this growing demand. Caring for the scalp has become an essential part of shampoo technology. Tego Cosmo C100 (Creatine) is an active material from Evonik Industries AG that is widely used in the hair care industry due to its ability to reduce the damage to hair caused by regular combing and styling.

For hair styling consistency and strong hold are some of the key attributes consumers are looking for when choosing a product. High humidity resistance is typically sought by female consumers to preserve their styles, while teenage customers seek extreme hold and sweat and party-proof formulas to suit their lifestyles. To achieve softness, flow, shine, or style retention formulators are looking for versatile ingredients with good compatibility and efficiency. Fixate Design Polymer from Lubrizol generates the hardness and hold demanded by young consumers without having the drawbacks of excessive flaking, tackiness and poor resistance to humidity that is common with more traditional resins. Fixate Design Polymer can be used in conjunction with Carbopol rheology modifiers to create a variety of applications from clear gel and pump spray to hair glaze, serum, paste, puttee or pudding.

Hair loss and improvement in hair thickness have particularly come to the fore. Traditionally very topical with men and baldness this is an area that has started to move across to older women also. Innovative active ingredients such as Sphingony (Sphinganine) from Evonik as well as natural oils are particular drivers in this area. Sphingony is a naturally occurring, skin-identical sphingolipid that addresses hair loss by balancing the hair life cycle, strengthening the hair follicle and improving scalp health.

Oils are renowned for aiding hair growth, prolonging freshness and providing additional shine. Suppliers are venturing further afield to bring novel oils to markets, as focus on sustainability and ethical sourcing remains strong. Global nature of oils sourcing also aids innovation, as consumers learn of new beauty routines to find the magic product in pursuit of hair youth and vitality. Botanical and herbal ingredients are gaining further popularity, as they are incorporated into formulations to provide benefits more tangible than just an interesting marketing story. Ubuntu Mongongo oil (Schinziophyton Rautanenii kernel oil) from Aldivia for example has the ability to reduce the stress on the hair by forming a film around its fibres protecting against damage from exposure to heat and UV. Whilst the modified Viatenza range from Aldivia sees polyglyceryl bonded to natural oils to achieve hydrophilic properties commonly not seen with oils including water solubility, foaming and viscosity building.

Full article is available on  and is courtesy of SPC.

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