COVID-19 restrictions have changed the way we engage with beauty and certainly has a say on which hair-care products and haircare trends will be popping up on the market.

Hair health and styling got more attention in 2020 and continue to be the beauty stories of 2021 as a result of mask-wearing, since the onslaught of the covid 19 era.

Even before the Covid effects on haircare trends, the sector was set to experience a global surge. Now, there are even more opportunities for organic formulators to get creative with on-trend haircare products and lines.

While market growth figures are all very well, what do they mean in terms of new products, consumer preferences and habits in haircare, especially against the backdrop of Covid-19? In our research, we’ve picked up on some interesting haircare trends in 2021:

INSPIRED BY NATURE

Studies have showed that demand for natural ingredients have been evidently high. As a result of high demand for natural products, majority of companies have been led to launch products that have been inspired by nature. This could be the year to start formulating advanced organic haircare products. The opportunities to formulate natural products to promote scalp health are immense, especially as some products and regimens we have noticed are treating the scalp holistically.

HEALTHY SCALP AND HAIR

The scalp health haircare trends started a few years ago in fact, but has been given a boost recently. “A healthy scalp allows follicles to function to the best of their ability so hairs can grow,” says New York City-based board-certified dermatologist Joshua Zeichner.

There is a lot more of DIY on the application of deep moisturising masks and treatments as well as the removal of split ends, which used to be salon business, as more focus is on how to maintain healthy hair and fix hair issues rather than faces and this is as result of masks.

HAIR LOSS

People have been noticing a lot of hair loss lately, and in the spirit of capitalism, brands are happy to step up by providing products you can use at home to combat it. Products such as scalp serums and scalp oils and those dealing with hair loss prevention are trending.

HAIR DIVERSITY

There is more interest in celebrating hair diversity and its propensity to be what it is rather than try to make it look a certain unnatural way. The Black Lives Matter movement, bringing the beauty of the African hair, its curl and bulk, to the fore, has transcended into all cultures being more accepting of their natural curls and waves and hair styles and refraining from straightening hair.

Haircare diversity is not only about ethnicity; age and gender are also being addressed: men’s haircare and beard care products on the rise, hair and scalp issues that can be caused postpartum or during menopause, then the whole going grey trend, which seems to be entertaining a split 50/50 between those who want to accept their white hair and those who wish to keep up the colouring.

THE ONE-SIZE-FITS ALL TREND

The trend for products that can be shared across gender and family members in the bathroom shows no sign of decline. Family shampoos are still here to stay especially as skinimalism and sustainability concerns are driving a less-is-more approach. This we predict is a trend most definitely here to stay given that we’re mostly doing our own hair at home.

ECO-FRIENDLY PRODUCTION TREND

Innovative ways to deliver haircare products are coming to the fore. The waterless movement is driving some forward-thinking brands to explore alternative methods of delivering shampoos and conditioners. These include high-performance dry shampoos, solid shampoos delivered in innovative ways, such as on paper blotters and various application tools like reusable brushes, and even innovative biodegradable containers that end up as the liquid soap or shampoo itself.

HAIRSTYLE TRENDS

What trending style is your formulation capable of helping to maintain? This is a question you would need to pay attention to if you are formulating natural haircare products. Since we are not styling our hair that much in 2021, natural is the watchword of 2021 hairstyle trends.

AT-HOME COLOR CARE

Brands are turning out a number of color-care and maintenance products that are user-friendly and affordable, because DIY beauty has become the norm with salons continuing to open and close based on local COVID restrictions. Several at-home options have been introduced into the beauty market.

HAIR AND SCALP CLARIFYING

Hair and scalp clarifying, in particular, has been gaining popularity. Products for this are also called multitasking, as they are formulated not just to give you a healthy scalp, but to also fortify your strands that come from hair growth stimulated by the products, that also clarify the scalp and hair of impurities.

WIGS AND EXTENSIONS

Brands are working to satiate our hunger for switching up our hairstyles, and they are also working to make it easier than ever. And when we say easy, we mean easy.

But as the market for wigs and extensions continues to grow, it’s important for consumers to understand that this hair — whether it’s human or synthetic — needs to be taken care of.

“As people invest in human hair extensions, they learn that just like the hair attached to your head it needs a little TLC,” notes Lopez, “sulfate-free hair cleansers and buttery conditioners will refresh and revive hair extensions in a snap.”

Experts predict consumers will continue to seek out styles and cuts that allow their natural hair texture to shine through in 2021.

For formulators, this low-key trend will be emphasized by consumers seeking out products that work with, not against hair types.

Bottom line? Natural, vegan, and plant-based haircare formulations has skyrocketed in popularity as consumers seek out the niche, eco-friendly claims that matter most to them.

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