To provide consumers with an ideal hair care regimen, formulators are looking far beyond just hair type and ethnicity to consider age, cultural practices, climate, fashion trends and even economics as they develop new products.
“Today’s hair care market remains dynamic because of evolving trends and changing demographics,” said Feifei Lin, Dow Corning global Hair Care marketing manager. “Now more than ever, consumers are demanding individually tailored hair care products.”
The global hair care market reached $67.6 billion in 2010, and is forecast to reach $84.3 billion by 2015, led by shampoos and conditioners. Approximately 60 percent of the 10,000-plus new products each year will contain at least one silicone material, Lin said.
Silicones are recognized as multifunctional ingredients in a variety of hair care products. With their unique set of chemical and physical properties, silicones not only condition hair, but they 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, aid curl retention, control frizz, add volume—or even reduce volume.
“The market today thrives on the growing and changing needs of consumers,” said Kevin Murphy, global product market manager for Dow Corning’s XIAMETER? brand, which offers standard silicone products online. “Clearly, the continued presence of silicones shows that the materials fulfill a range of formulating needs, influenced by trends in the hair care marketplace.”
Those trends 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. In Asia, for example, with increasing disposable income and more women in the workplace, the simple, straight bob is giving way to curled looks, exotic cuts and vibrant color—even in the ranges of reds and blond. In addition, 50 percent of women in Western countries use hair colorants, which have become a common statement of individuality, youth and fashion.
Health and well-being -- Consumers are increasingly focused on hair products that help convey an attitude of vitality and healthful living. Because hair is one of the first impressions the world sees, products that express well-being stand out among buyers. Lustrous hair communicates health, while dull and dry hair can signal poor habits and even malnutrition.
Rising prosperity -- While per capita spending on hair care products is strong and steady in mature countries, developing economies will be the main engine for growth in the hair care segment as those countries experience growth in their middle class due to rising prosperity.
Aging population -- As the population ages, a new set of criteria for hair care needs may join those similarly emerging for skin care. Hair thinning, loss of volume, and dryness due to less oil production are typically associated with the aging process. Yet, the overall objective for consumers may remain the same: while more people may be using colorants to hide gray hair, they still seek shine, softness and added volume.
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