A boom in natural hair care launches is being fueled by an increasing selection of natural-based ingredients and formulation solutions that are helping manufacturers and brands give consumers in the region what they want.
Cosmetics Design spoke to Alan Tristão - Marketing Manager Hair Care at Brazil-based Chemyunion, one of the largest providers of cosmetic and personal care formulation solutions in the Latin America, to find out how the company is meeting the demand.
What are the main trends in LATAM natural hair care formulation right now?
Naturals are on the rise and increasingly popular among consumers as they perceive them as purer and safer. As reported by Euromonitor, Brazil represents approximately 50% of total personal care market in Latin America and, according to Mintel, 41% of Brazilian consumers would be interested in a wide selection of natural products when shopping for personal care products. Right now, we are facing growing interest for ethical, silicone-free, animal-free and eco-friendly products.
What are the challenges in formulating for natural hair care?
Consumers want more than just natural products. They want them to be performing and deliver sensorial; as well and in this case, the synthetic products outperform the natural ones. Thus, replacing high-performing synthetic ingredients for natural ones has limitations. This is because we cannot easily find natural alternatives for all those ingredients that bring the performance that consumers expect from their hair care products. When we find one, sometimes, environmental conditions may have a significant impact on its characteristics and availability. But Chemyunion has developed alternatives to provide solutions for those problems.
What type of products are brands most interested in launching in the market?
Hair damage is still a major concern for women, thus products that deliver repair and treatment remain in demand. However, as consumers are more acquainted to hair damage, they seem to be more interested in preventing it, rather than repairing. Brands can benefit by delivering solutions to avoid hair damage. For instance, primers in hair care could be designed to protect hair prior to aggression such as heat, pollution, sun and chemical treatments.
What ingredients are particularly useful in the formulation of natural hair care products?
At Chemyunion we are currently able to extract, purify and modify natural molecules with reduced environmental impact. Specific vegetable polysaccharides found in Wavemax, for instance, can be used to form a flexible film upon hair fibers preventing frizz caused by humidity, heat and wind. Other solutions, such as Polluout, can even reduce the adhesion of pollution particles on hair. Nourishing seeds oils and butters are a good alternative to restore the protective lipid layer (Omega Plus) and improve sensorial profile (Sensoveil Sil). Finally yet importantly, Hidrahair O2 3R, which contains natural antioxidants, can prevent sun damage and avoid hair color fading.
Has the number of ingredients solutions for natural hair care grown on the back of the trend?
Since consumers are looking for natural products, manufacturers started to develop alternative solutions to meet their needs. Understanding this shift in consumers’ behavior, Chemyunion has been developing natural ingredients that certainly will contribute for the growth and availability of natural ingredients for the hair care market.
Do you have any new ingredients targeting natural hair care in the pipeline? If so, can you tell us more?
The number of consumers following the global natural trend is increasing day after day. They are aware of the impact the products they use have on their personal wellbeing and the environment. As such, they want personal care products based on alternative, eco-friendly and frequently animal-free ingredients. However, they are not willing to sacrifice products performance or convenience.
As consumers start to look for silicone-free and animal-free solutions, manufacturers who want to develop products without them must find efficient, innovative and natural ingredients that come as close as possible to their sensorial and benefits. Following the Fundamentals of Green Chemistry from the American Chemical Society, we have converted nourishing sunflower, avocado and crambe oils into linear esters with a rich, caring sensorial with no use of organic solvents.
Sensoveil Soft is a naturally derived conditioner alternative to dimethicone, compatible with a large variety of hair care formulations and effective to improve the sensorial profile of hair such as shine, compatibility, smoothness, detangling and hydration. We will also be displaying a high-performing heat-protecting active with no animal-derivatives or silicones. ThermoShield Veg has superior performance compared to the benchmarks. It prevents hair from overheating during the use of flat irons and preserves cuticle integrity.