During worldwide COVID-19 lockdowns this year, many consumers turned to at-home hair colour and treatment kits as they were unable to visit salons. And fashion and beauty trend forecasting firm WGSN said the shift in mindset towards DIY hair care would continue through to 2022.
“Low-maintenance, colours and techniques will be key as people are more reluctant to spend money on high-priced treatments in times of economic uncertainty,” said Annie Johnstone, beauty analyst at WGSN in its recent forecast report Hair – Colour & Texture.
“This, coupled with more time spent at home, will see high-performance, spa-like products gain traction, with leave-in products and sensorial formulations becoming more important,” Johnstone wrote.
And the report noted some specific areas of opportunity for hair colour and treatments in this post-COVID beauty landscape.
Hair colour trends – ‘energetic shades’ that spark optimism
WGSN said that with mask-wearing set to become part of the new normal for consumers in 2022, hair colour would take on a “new importance as people use it to express individuality”.
In particular, the report said “energetic shades that bring a sense of optimism” would hold relevance for younger consumers, given usual forms of self-expression through make-up were stunted with this mask wearing. Orchid flower and magma orange would take over from traditional pinks, along with “experimental purples and greens” that created a “futuristic” and “fun” feel for consumers – ideal in spray-on or paint-in DIY kits that washed out easily.
These 2022 colour trends would tap into increased demand for “beauty products that bring comfort, reassurance and joy”, following the period of unrest during the COVID-19 crisis, WGSN said. But industry also had to address the rising need for low maintenance hair care when developing these formulas, especially for the blonde hair dye category, it said.
In 2022, the blonde category would be all about “lower maintenance”, with products that had a “softer, purer appeal, inspired by alt-milks such as almond, cashew, soya and oat”, the report said. At-home blonde dyes could, for example, be formulated into “super-size naked bars” for ease of application, where consumers simply “pull product off” and apply directly as a leave-on hair and scalp mask.
Hair care formulation trends – ‘inspired’ by nature
A rising fear of zoonotic ingredients – outlined in an earlier interview with Jenni Middleton, director of beauty at WGSN – would also accelerate the vegan and natural dye market in hair care over the next two years, the report said.
WGSN said that according to Google Trends data, searches related to natural and vegan hair dyes had increased by 40-150% in the last three months compared to pre-lockdown figures. And by 2022, it said innovations in the space would mean consumers did not have to sacrifice sustainability for performance.
This desire for natural and vegan hair treatments could also inspire certain colours and textures, WGSN said. “Off-kilter natural shades inspired by fermented foods”, for example, could prove promising in 2022, particularly if formulations incorporated actual fermented ingredients with added benefits for the hair and scalp. This ‘fermented food for hair’ opportunity could even be paired with a nutritional supplement offering, it said.
Hair colours inspired by crystals and minerals would also gain relevance in 2022, WGSN said, as the healing capabilities of stones were “further recognised within beauty formulations”. Pink clay and pink amethyst were two examples that could inspire colour and texture for hair care formulations, it said, especially at-home kits where consumers could mix a desired amount of crystal/mineral pigment with other ingredients.