What’s next in hair care? Emerging trends from Mintel expert

By Lucy Whitehouse contact

- Last updated on GMT

What’s next in hair care? Emerging trends from Mintel expert
We caught up with Andrew McDougall, Associate Director of Beauty & Personal Care at Mintel, on the big drivers currently defining the hair care market.

McDougall will lead a session at in-cosmetics Global​ industry event, 2-4 April, Paris, offering further insights into this key category and its potential in the coming period.

Sustainability, biodegradability, scalp care and probiotics are some of the trends we’re seeing defining hair care in 2019, McDougall says.  Here, he offers insight into each of these trends. Discover part II of the interview here​.


Water shortages and sustainability are sources of concern for many consumers. Reducing consumption, waste and packaging all need to be a focus in order to meet the industry's sustainability goals.

Consumers want brands to be mindful about the environment and are sensitive to company ethics – in the US, 59% of iGens and Millennials stop buying products from a brand or retailer if they believe they are unethical.

Consumers are increasingly willing to invest in water-saving innovations and in hair care categories saving water also has a practical appeal.

Examples we are seeing in haircare are inspired by dissolvable formats, such as water-soluble sachets that have long been used in the laundry detergent category.

Single dose formats are being used more now in the beauty and personal care sector, requiring less water during use and minimising the need for packaging.


Biodegradability is also becoming a ‘must have’ in haircare, as products go directly into wasted waters.

This has seen the “silicone-free” claim become popular in recent years, as these oils, very commonly used in hair care, are not biodegradable.

The main challenge is to switch to more sustainable formulas while keeping a good sensory experience – as these demands are high priority in haircare.

This means that the majority of hair care products still contain silicones, probably because of the sensorial properties.

We are seeing ingredient suppliers develop silicone-free textures that produce the sensorial benefits of silicones but that are biodegradable.

Scalp care

Skincare claims are beginning to really influence scalp care. Brands speak of gentle cleansing benefits and look to language used around micellar concepts and probiotics to use familiar and trusted communications.

Haircare is a market asking for product customisation and segmentation, so there will be a wider variety of claims in hair care in the future.


Probiotics have also entered the scalp/hair care space. Lactobacillus is the hero ingredient in skin at the moment and is used to support skin barrier function and dryness claims for the skin, as well as stimulating growth of skin/scalp-friendly bacteria that can help balance the microbiome.

Research suggests a new way to treat dandruff to increase the Propionibacterium and decrease the Staphylococcus on the scalp.

Probiotic hair products adjust the balance of bacteria on the scalp and the focus has been on the anti-dandruff segment.

Consumers may benefit from an oral supplement and topical application applied directly to the scalp.

The positive health message with probiotics creates new storylines for scalp care and can expand the overall haircare routine.

For McDougall’s insights on specific brands and products leading in these trends for hair care, click here.

Discover more at in-cosmetics Global

Andrew McDougall

Andrew McDougall, Associate Director of Beauty & Personal Care at Mintel, will lead a session at in-cosmetics Global on ‘Emotional skincare: how sensitivity and allergies are changing the category’ – on Wednesday 3 April at 14.00.

The session will identify and understand emerging haircare trends, consumer concerns and desired outcomes. For more information on the in-cosmetics Global 2019 education programme, visit here​.  

Related news

Related products

show more

Natural CBD Beauty Solutions For Personal Care

Natural CBD Beauty Solutions For Personal Care

Robertet Health & Beauty | 19-Nov-2021 | Product Brochure

From Seed to CareTM, Robertet masters every step of the process and combines safety, sustainability and traceability to offer premium CBD ingredients that...

Tagra SunCaps™ Keep Your Skin UV-Filter Free

Tagra SunCaps™ Keep Your Skin UV-Filter Free

Tagra Biotechnologies | 12-Nov-2021 | Technical / White Paper

Tagra's SunCaps™ microencapsulation technology improves product safety by removing the possibility of UV filters entering inside the skin.

who has something new to tell? we do.

who has something new to tell? we do.

Ashland Global Holdings Inc | 26-Oct-2021 | Technical / White Paper

Ashland’s line of gentle deo actives is growing. Sensidin™ pure skin multifunctional is a strong and fast-acting deodorant active. It is effective against...

Related suppliers

Follow us


View more