In hair care, clean means more than just cleansing.
Wellness has moved to the forefront of everyone’s lives, with hair care joining the movement as consumers seek better ingredients, sustainable packaging and eco-friendly positioning, mirroring what’s been seen in the food industry.
A recent Bazaarvoice survey found that 80% out of 8,000 consumers said they feel it’s at least “somewhat important” that beauty brands are either green, eco-friendly and/or sustainable. Many (86% of participants) also said they would buy a product from a new brand that claims to be sustainable instead of their usual brand, which may not have a sustainable positioning.
In 2020, prestige hair care was one of the strongest performers in the beauty category, growing 7% year-over-year, according to data by The NPD Group. And momentum continues to build: in the first quarter of 2021, NPD reported hair product sales soared 48%.
Even brighter news is that 2021 is delivering growth in the styling segment. “That’s noteworthy because it can move the needle in market growth,” says Larissa Jensen, Beauty Industry Advisor for NPD. “A return to these products is indicative of consumers having the occasion to use them.”
Hair color is also booming, prompted by consumers who have grown accustomed to processing their hair at home, as well as by people who are still hesitant to return to the salon. “Sales are explosive,” according to Kline & Co.
Ingredient stories are more important than ever in hair products, resembling trends in skin care. Shoppers are on a quest for products free of toxic ingredients and unproven synthetics. Demand for cruelty-free products is escalating (cruelty-free brands gained almost four points of market share last year, per NPD) along with interest in vegan formulas, CBD, more ingredient transparency, and a focus on scalp care.
Hair Care Brands Deliver on Wellness Proposition
Professional hair care brands Better Natured and Wellphoria™ are among the brands from global hair care leader, Henkel, aligning with consumers looking for “better for you” products, that can also deliver desired results.
Consumers are looking for brands with clear definitions of clean.
Better Natured™, a color care and styling brand in both salons and DTC, is a prime example. The synergistic blend of naturally-derived* and science-based ingredients combine for healthy-looking hair. Formulas range from 86% to 99% naturally-derived* and from 1% to 14% purely science synthetics.
Better Natured™ aims to be completely transparent with consumers by posting ingredient percentages on the front of its bottles. “We take it one step further by color coding each ingredient on the back label so a consumer can clearly see the difference,” says Michelle Ryan, Vice President of Marketing, Zotos Professional. “We see this as our duty to clear up misconceptions about controversial ingredients, whether they be of natural or synthetic origins. For us, clean means products have been rigorously tested for efficacy, and are compliant with European and North American regulatory standards.”
Hair care formulas contain a proprietary Triple Plant Milk blend, comprised of coconut, Tahitian palm and white orchid for high performance conditioning. The hair color range is built to provide impeccable coverage—even for gray—for up to eight weeks. People can customize their own color, mixing various shades to create a shade unique to them.
One hundred percent of women who tried the hair color in a salon panel test agreed that Better Natured™ Liqui-Crème Hair Color delivers salon-quality, radiant color. And, 94% validated it had impeccable gray coverage.
Better Natured™ garnered support from top L.A.-based stylists including #BetterNaturedPartner Jennifer MacDougal and #BetterNaturedPartner Amanda George from Roil Salon, as well as #BetterNaturedPartner Marcus Francis and The Mane Addicts community. With inclusivity at the core, Better Natured commits to using models to represent the brand without regard to gender, size, background or belief. The company believes everyone deserves to have professional brands with salon-worthy results.
Aligned with consumer demand for brands to do better for the earth, Better Natured™ meets global ISO standards and puts sustainability in packaging at the forefront. Packaging is also FSC-certified (Forest Stewardship Council) and Better Natured™ and TerraCycle® partnered to create a national recycling program for Better Natured™ hair care packaging.
Also new from Henkel’s professional hair care portfolio is Wellphoria™, a five-product hair care range. Created to be part of a wellness-based lifestyle, Wellphoria™ uses a vegan formula, is not tested on animals, is non-intoxicating and is third-party tested. It is also made without SLS/SLES Sulfates **, parabens, artificial dyes, mineral oil and gluten.
Infused with a plant-based blend of 99% pure CBD and hemp seed oil, formulas are proven to address all five dimensions of hair wellness. Wellphoria™ products deliver strength, conditioning and softness while maintaining a balanced scalp and vivid shine. True Hairvana!
The timing is right: CBD is getting more attention from consumers looking for plant-based products with NielsenIQ marking a 21% uptick in sales of CBD products in 2020.
Trust and transparency are also mission critical for Wellphoria™. Products are tested by a third-party facility that verifies that every formula contains at least 50 ppm of high-quality, authentic CBD. The CBD isolate used is sourced from farms that grow non-GMO hemp plants and utilize pesticide and chemical fertilizer-free farming practices. Customers track the batch by locating the batch number of their Wellphoria™ products on the bottom of each container, then visiting the website to view the batch report.
Both Better Natured™ and Wellphoria™ were launched direct to consumer, a strategy that was especially fortuitous at a time when salons and specialty doors were closed—or consumers preferred to stay at home. The distribution strategy also allowed the brands to be in close contact with consumers to learn more about their needs on their wellness quests.
“We’ve seen curiosity shift to experimentation, leading to the adoption of new habits directly connected to the world we’re living in. With people focused on wellness and self-care more than ever before, Wellphoria™ and Better Natured™ have an opportunity to highlight marketplace differentiation and show how healthy hair can be an intrinsic part of a holistic wellness regimen,” says Michelle.
* Better Natured™ holds itself to high standards and uses the Global ISO Standard 16128 which defines ‘naturally-derived’ as a plant- or mineral-derived material, and water which is found in nature and has undergone limited processing. In the Better Natured™ line, the percent naturally-derived varies from product to product, and ranges from 86% to 99%.