Our hair has a decisive influence on how we are perceived by others. We perceive full, shiny hair as well-groomed and an indication of health. To care for hair and keep it clean and healthy is a basic step of body care. But consumers are also increasingly aware that the health and balance of the scalp is essential for healthy hair. The condition of our scalp is affected by stress, hormonal imbalances, diet and external aggressions such as pollution or excessive hairstyling. These factors can influence the scalp microbiome and lead to an imbalance resulting in scalp irritation, discomfort and dandruff.
Worldwide, scalp care is booming. Over the last five years, the year-on-year growth in the number of products which have been launched onto the personal care market, with a focus on providing care for the scalp, has been 32%. Consumers associate healthy scalp with healthy hair. Much more so than in the past, consumers have concerns about their scalp being sensitive or dry.
The interest in and market for scalp care products is a challenge for the cosmetic scientist. It is difficult enough to develop an effective scalp care product, but the demand for ‘natural’ and ‘clean’ cosmetics does not make this task any easier. Most consumers are interested in convenience when it comes to how they want to use their cosmetic products, especially men. ‘Leave-on’ formulations will lead to better efficacy from a cosmetic formulation, but most people are more inclined to use ‘rinse-off’ products like shampoos and conditioners. They expect these products to not just work for their hair, but for their scalp as well.
Skinification of hair care
The scalp care boom is also related to the ‘skinification’ of the hair care segment. Hair care products, nowadays, are increasingly marketed as having ‘skincare-like’ benefits. This trend also encouraged brands and formulators to come up with innovative product formulations for hair and scalp care, adapted from or inspired by skin care formats.
Solid formulations have been on the rise due to their convenience and environmental benefits and over the last year many hair care brands launched shampoo and conditioner bars.
But we also see more traditional skin care formulations being reinterpreted for hair and scalp care, e.g. serums, toners, oils, micellar foams or scrubs and peelings. This is a great opportunity for brands to not only offer solutions to common hair and scalp concerns but also to reinvent the product category. Modern scalp care products are no longer just problem solvers but a part of self-care and well-being for the consumer.
Goal-oriented solutions for a healthy scalp:
- Acts on the core problems of skin dysbiosis
- Potently acts against dandruff and scalp sensitivity
- Actively supports the scalp microbiome to return to a healthy state
- Soothes the scalp and reduces itching
- Reduces scalp oiliness and makes scalp less flaky
- Perceivably improves scalp health and overall scalp condition