Q&A with Iliyana Mesheva on trends and opportunities in haircare

Q&A with Iliyana Mesheva on trends and opportunities in haircare

Iliyana Mesheva, Associate Analyst at GlobalDataMaria, discusses her upcoming presentation ‘Trends and opportunities across the global haircare landscape,’ which will take place at in-cosmetics Global 2018: Amsterdam.

Can you give an overview of some of the most exciting new haircare consumer behaviours/haircare trends? Why are they coming to the fore now? What’s bringing them into the spotlight?

Taking influences from the skincare space, the trend of multi-step beauty regimes, looks set to enter the haircare category. Motivated by consumers’ increased attentiveness towards hair and scalp health, haircare brands are beginning to take the same targeted approach used by their skincare counterparts. This encourages consumers to adapt their haircare regimes according to their individual needs and appearance-related goals. Therefore, as consumers look to using more sophisticated products, we are seeing new innovations such as pre-shampoos, scalp masks and exfoliators, being developed. In fact, based on GlobalData’s 2016 primary consumer research, this elaborate multi-step regime concept appeals to 42% of consumers globally.

Another key trend that is driving innovation within the haircare sector is that of customisation, both active and passive. Active customisation refers to the ‘create-your-own’ approach gaining traction within the haircare space. This appeals to the 61% of global consumers who find the concept of products they have helped to create appealing. Additionally, brands are engaging consumers passively by offering DNA customised products created in line with consumers’ individual hair profiles. This approach to passive haircare product customisation is further facilitated by high-tech advances, which enables consumers to monitor their hair and scalp health in real time using apps and devices.

Can you give examples of any exciting brands, ingredients and innovations in the haircare space at the moment?

Schwarzkopf’s ‘Beology Pre-shampoo haircare mousse’, which recently launched in China, taps into the multi-step regime trend by adding an additional step to haircare routines. It is meant to deeply exfoliate the scalp, while simultaneously hydrating the hair prior to shampooing. Pre-shampoo products remain quite niche, but this product launch is indicative of consumer demand for specialist products over multi-functional all-in-one products.

Oleum Vera’s ‘Do-It-Yourself Organic Haircare Kit’ from the U.S, captures consumers desire to follow customised haircare regimes by providing them with a “do-it-yourself” kit. The easy-to-use kit which contains a selection of fresh and natural ingredients, appeals to consumers who want to design their own haircare products, such as hair masks or serum oil treatments, by following guided recipes.

Kérastase Hair Coach Powered by Withings Brush, which debuted at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas USA, allows consumers to closely monitor their hair regime and receive real-time guidance on product recommendations suited to their specific needs. Claimed to be the world’s first-ever smart hairbrush that has an incorporated microphone to listen to the sound of hair brushing, it is able to identify brushing patterns and detect hair issues such as dryness, fizziness, split ends and breakages. Once the data is collected, it is sent via Wifi or Bluetooth to a mobile app on the users phone, that then delivers a personalised profile and offers recommendations of Kérastase products and routines to follow.                                                                                              

Who will be the key consumer groups for haircare players to target in the next ten years?

As haircare brands look ahead to the next ten years, several consumer groups are emerging as promising potential targets for different aspects of product innovation.

Gen Y consumers (Millennials) are showing a strong willingness to experiment with new brands, products, and haircare concepts. Based on GlobalData’s 2016 primary consumer research, when it comes to trying new varieties of shampoo and conditioner products, almost half (47%) of consumers of this generation say they often try new shampoo varieties. Therefore, haircare brands can capitalise on this by introducing novelty products that help address individual consumers’ appearance-related goals.

The Gen Z consumer demographic is also one that opens opportunities for haircare brands to explore. This “i-gen” cohort, with birth years starting from early 2000s, is said to be highly connected and socially active, demanding unique products tailored to their individual needs and personalities. This offers opportunities for haircare brands to create hyper-customisable products that are available for purchase through social media channels, such as Instagram, and that are unique enough to be photographed and shared online.

Equally open to embracing their individual needs and preferences, are consumers aged over 55 who are placing increasingly focused on the hair health and maintenance. This group should not be overlooked, brands should target them with products that meet their specific concerns related to hair and scalp health. ‘White Hot Hair’ is an example of a haircare brand that has positioned itself to address the changing needs of this consumer – with products by them designed to embrace the hair aging process through strengthening and brightening white and grey hair.

Any top tips for haircare brands looking to make an impact in the coming period?

Brands can capture consumers’ desire to achieve their individual haircare goals by engaging them in the process. To do this in an enjoyable, unique, and effective way, brands can take active or passive customisation approaches. Active customization allows consumers to create products tailored to their needs using “do-it-yourself” kits, whereas passive customization enables brands to cater for consumers’ unique needs through interacting with them on social media platforms.

Looking beyond skin care influences, haircare brands can also take inspiration from the food and drinks sector, by using ingredient formulation that would help consumers achieve their desired hair goals. We are starting to see more haircare brands blurring the lines between food and beauty by introducing product ranges that use ingredients known to have hair benefits, such as superfoods.


Iliyana Mesheya, Associate Analyst at GlobalDate will be speaking on ‘Trends and opportunities across the global haircare landscape’ at the Marketing Trends Theatre on Tuesday, 17th April  at 12.15 at in-cosmetics Global in Amsterdam

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