Greener surfactants and better sustainability: how green formulation is transforming hair care

By Lucy Whitehouse contact

- Last updated on GMT

Greener surfactants and better sustainability: how green formulation is transforming hair care
How can green formulation be applied to hair care, and what does the future of its application in the segment look like? This expert interview reveals all.

We caught up with Dario Zanichelli, R&D Manager, Phenbiox, on how green formulation is impacting on hair care.

Zanichelli will be speaking at ‘Beyond natural – New frontiers in green formulation’ at Workshop Room G104- G105 on Tuesday, 17 April, 11.15 – 11.45 at in-cosmetics Global​ in Amsterdam.

Can you give an overview of green formulation for hair?

Green and natural formulations for haircare are still rather niche, compared to the overall volume of hair care products available.

However, consumer demand for these types of products is rapidly growing.

Therefore, we are now seeing much more attention being focused on this area by the producers of professional products where performance is still the main driver, but probably no longer the only one.

What are the key drivers for green formulation in hair care, and which brands and ingredients manufacturers are leading the way?

Greener surfactants with good performances are of course the main driver for this sector, but there is also an interesting trend in trying to rely on more natural ingredients for the efficacy.

Silicones and synthetic polymers are becoming less and less accepted by “green” minded consumer, this means that there is a great need for natural active ingredients and for better performing hair care formulations.

This trend not only involves the more natural oriented brands such as Davines or Neal’s Yard Remedies, but also the mass market-oriented brand and professional brands, who are now moving in this direction.

Phenbiox is investing a lot in developing new natural active ingredients for these purposes to fulfil the formulators ‘needs in that sense.

What are the main challenges and opportunities for green formulation in hair care?

Consumers have been always been demanding in terms of product performance, the fact that they have become increasingly focused on the naturality and greenness of products, does not mean they are willing to sacrifice performances.

This raises the bar for manufacturers, and any company that adapts to this change promptly to these changing requirements and can produce high quality products will benefits most.

Where do you see this trend progressing, what innovation and research are we likely to see?

The majority of innovation within this field is likely to not be directly evident to consumers, as it will involve changes to the ingredient manufacturing process used in order to reduce environmental impact.

What consumers will notice however, will be a reduction of synthetically derived ingredients and an increase in the amount of natural derived one.

This is because changes like these are much easier to communicate from a marketing standpoint to consumers.

So, the challenge becomes finding and using effective, naturally derived ingredient.

To that extent technology is used to obtain these ingredients will be a key topic, as it will not only have to boost the efficacy of ingredients but also have a low environmental impact.

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