Today’s hair care market is huge and established. The hair care market comprises thousands of products, each claiming to have unique properties. Hence there is a need for the Hair care product developers to make products that satisfy the requirements of varied hair types, ethnicities, cultures and regions. Every consumer wants to reveal their uniqueness hence the concept of products customized “Just For Me” has taken hold. Hair care products are formulated to help nourish hair and prevent hair damage resulting from pollution, dryness, and other factors. They are increasingly designed for dry, frizzy, curly or tangled hair; colored or damaged hair; and styles ranging from short to long, limpy to voluminous and bouncy. A few products that are widely available in the global hair care market include: shampoos, conditioners, serums, hair styling gels, hair colorants, hair sprays and glazes, scalp nourishing products, hair masks, and hair accessories.
Colored hair has become a common statement of uniqueness, youth and fashion. To attain their look of choice, consumers also are using heating appliances such as curling irons and hair dryers that can damage hair. Products that enhance body and volume also help hair to keep its desired look and style. Another hair care priority for consumers is the “sensation” from a product that is the emotional benefits and experience often expressed in terms such as “pleasure,” “intensity,” “delight” or a “pampered feel.” Radiant lustrous hair communicates health, while dull, dry hair is a sign of poor habits and even malnutrition. Shine is one of the most identifiable and desirable sensory effects of hair care products, and shine is often associated with healthy hair. Silicones help meet the growing demand for hair care products that enhance hair luster and resist the dulling effect of age.
Elderly consumers present their own challenges as their hair thins, loses volume, grays and dries due to less sebum production. Yet, the overall objective for consumers may remain the same. For example, while more people may be using colorants to hide gray hair, they still seek shine, excellent sensory effects, added volume, and the other characteristics that can help associate healthy-looking hair and well-being. Volume also can be a key concern for aging consumers who may have thinning hair. At the same time, those who seek enhanced body and volume still expect a light feel that won’t weigh down hair. Where volume is concerned, the ideal conditioning and styling products add body, fullness and a perception of hair thickness.
Hair care products for men are now increasingly in demand too. Men’s grooming and styling preferences have changed drastically. Younger male consumers, especially, show a greater leaning toward styling and hair care products that are designed for specific end results. Thus, the men’s hair care market is on an upswing and has immense potential for innovation and new marketing strategies.
Manufacturers and formulators in the hair care market are actively engaged in conducting R&D to formulate new, more effective and safe products. The safety of these products is ensured through the careful selection of ingredients that are safe for these products. Manufacturers conduct extensive safety tests through recognized CRO to ensure that these products are safe. Among the tests conducted are those to ensure that the products do not cause any irritation or that they cause allergic reactions.
The FDA recommends that Hair Shampoos and Rinses be assessed to determine the type and degree of eye irritation that may occur, and to assure that products are not contaminated and will not become contaminated during normal use. Hair products may be adequately preserved with antimicrobial agents to prevent microbial contamination..
Products claiming a lot of benefits for healthy hair or scalp bombard the consumer, who has no idea how to gauge the effectiveness and safety of these products. Product safety is established though strict adherence to the principles of Quality Assurance and Good Manufacturing Practices. This includes testing the compatibility of the product with packaging as well as shelf-life stability. As good business practice, good clinical practice, regulations and voluntary organizations all ensure that claims are reasonably supported,
In this competitive environment, it is essential to have powerful product claims that an everyday consumer can easily understand and differentiate from other similar products. Products should speak for themselves at the point of sale with claims that are not only appealing but truly deliver on performance. This can be achieved by having
- A good technical rationale,
- Good instrumental data showing differences with and without the beneficial ingredients,
- In controlled clinical studies, there should be statistical differences between test and control.
- An average consumer should be able to recognize the benefits without being prompted with a concept statement through consumer studies.
Supporting product claims that can withstand scrutiny is a challenging activity that needs to be done before market introduction. Finally, the safety of products is monitored in the market-place through reports of consumer comments and complaints.