The Skys the Limit

By Melissa Meisel, Associate Editor | March 4, 2011

Today's consumers want volume and hold in hairstyling products.

The right products can make the hairstylist’s artistry last days and even weeks beyond the initial visit. After all, a multitude of mousses, gels and sprays on the market can add luster to dull locks or even make temporary works of art stay put in any direction, up or down—just think Snooki’s mile-high poof from “Jersey Shore” or Justin Bieber’s slicked-down shag.

Despite the plethora of styles out there, however, sales haven’t budged much. Sales of hair spray and spritz products rose 1.2% to $412.4 million in U.S. supermarkets, drugstores and mass merchandisers, excluding Walmart, for the year ended Dec. 26, 2010, according to The SymphonyIRI Group of Chicago, IL. Sales of hair styling/ setting gel/mousse SKUs were nearly flat at $632.4 million in sales (see chart, p. 72).

According to Mintel, among styling products, sales of hairspray, which make up roughly 12% of the total category, have held up better in the past few years than sales of gel/mousse. But it’s the independent marketers who are capturing the attention of the fickle consumer for future purchases in the gel/mousse segment, so expect more launches from this category soon.
What’s Hot Now
Volumizing powders, dry shampoos and texturizing sprays are in demand for 2011, according to Michele Sherbet, brand manager of Not Your Mother’s hair care products, Tampa, FL. The line is available at Walmart.

“Our target consumers are mainly teens and young women who are much dialed into trends, fashion and what’s new now,” she told Happi. “They want products that are convenient, show results and give instant gratification.”

For example, the company’s Beach Babe Spray is a current bestseller.

“You just spritz it onto wet hair for a ‘just left the beach’ look, cutting primp time down to nothing. Instant gratification and a hot easy style!” Sherbet said.

Sandra Smith, an artistic designer for Matrix, Dalton, GA, agreed.

“This season, the two key trends in hair are texture and control, so styling products that support those features are popular,” she said.One example of better texture is the new Matrix Design Pulse Beach Clay, which creates strong, matte, reworkable styles. And for control, the new Design Pulse Mix in Shine is a polishing serum that provides a lightweight, controlled finish. Both products are available in salons this month.

Speaking of polish, smooth yet controlled hair remains another goal of most American women, according to Steven Goddard, president and founder, Pravana Naturceuticals, Woodland Hills, CA. Products that can help achieve and maintain this look are the ones in demand.

“This certainly includes the many serums which have been prevalent in the market for the last two years,” he explained.

“Serums are great,” agreed Loren Ridinger, senior vice president of Market America, Inc., Greensboro, NC, which is releasing a new hair care line this season called Fixx. “First, they help keep unruly frizz under control and make your hair easier to comb and style—which, in turn, will reduce breakage.”

Stickier formulations that hold and shape hair are also on the rise. According to Mike Gilman, founder of Grooming Lounge, Washington, DC, a source for men’s grooming products and services, waxes and pomades seem to be increasingly popular this year. Why?

“Waxes are easy to use and great for both conservative or more textured tossled looks,” he told Happi. “Pomades are also very popular for guys who have a style with a bit more length. They have appropriate hold with a high shine, so it’s great for anyone that’s seeking either a conservative, parted look, or a slicked-back style. Guys also like that pomades are very easy to use and can be used in both towel dried or dry hair.”

Hair styling products are also using innovative applicators for Spring 2011. For example, the brush-on

In Alterna’s new Bamboo Shine line, a styling cream and mist round out the mix of offerings.
Volumizing Dry Shampoo Lift Powder from Keratin Complex provides an instant tress transformation, according to the company. This portable powder instantly refreshes and adds volume. Plus, an exclusive pure hydrolyzed keratin permeates strands to nourish and strengthen locks.

All About Ingredients
As far as hair styling components (see our listing of the latest ingredients on p. 75), exotic extracts and oils are de rigueur now, according to Kuen Rameson, president of Gloss Moderne, Newport Beach, CA. His company’s products feature Cocos nucifera (coconut) oil, which functions as a protective antioxidant; Betholletia excelsa flower extract to deliver proteins and nutrients; and Passiflora incarnata (true passion flower) fruit extract, a natural antioxidant clinically proven to promote relaxation. Gloss Modern’s High-Gloss Serum is a top-selling product at Rameson’s company, a serum that gives a “mega-lacquer” finish.

Michael Shaun Corby, global creative director at Alterna Professional Haircare in Beverly Hills, CA, concurs that right now, it’s all about oils.

“Oils blend treatment and styling, offering a dual purpose product in a natural, new and unique form,” he said.

Get Your Fix
Here’s a look at the latest rollouts in the hairstyling marketplace for Spring 2011.

Suave is rolling out the red carpet for the new Suave Professionals styling line($2.99), said to works as well as salon brands. The reformulatedand redesigned range features everything from an anti-frizz serum to heat protection spray.
More info: www.suave.com

VO5’s new Perfect Hold Styling Line ($2), in four different applications, is formulated with a unique polymer blend that assures all-day hold with a lightweight feel, according to the company. The collection features everything from hairspray to mousses.
More info: www.vo5.com

The new TreSemmé Climate Control Collection ($4.49) helps achieve salon quality hair every day, regardless of the weather. Formulated with a Climate Control Complex, which contains olive oil, keratin, UV blockers and polymers, it creates a barrier between hair and the weather, according to the company.
More info: www.TreSemmé.com

Biolage’s new Hydrathérapie Hydra-Seal Softening Mist ($14) is said to continuously moisturize hair with the anti-dry care of aloe and passion fruit. Coconut and olive oil detangles and softens dry tresses.
More info: www.biolage.com

New göt2b Powder’ful Volumizing Styling Powder ($5.99) is formulated with virtually weightless micro-particles that help texturize the hair’s surface, giving hair radical root lift in 10 seconds flat, according to the company.
More info: www.got2b.us

The latest Organix hair care collection, Renewing Moroccan Argan Oil, includes fair trade argan oil, a powerful antioxidant that is rich in vitamins to restore shine while strengthening elasticity, according to the company. Renewing Moroccan Argan Oil Penetrating Oil ($7.79) is said to fight frizz and style the tresses.
More info: www.beautypureandsimple.com

Body by Blow mousse ($19.75), new at Ulta, is designed to provide style and control without the tackiness of a traditional mousse. The rich whipped foam texture offers touchable hair without residue or crunch, according to the company. Heat activators also polish hair.
More info: www.blowNY.com

A big launch in the men’s category this season is Axe’s newest styling innovation, Axe Buzzed Look Cream + SPF 15 ($7). It is the brand's first and only product with SPF and protects the scalp from UVA/UVB rays, too. More info: www.theaxeeffect.com

Alterna just launched Bamboo Smooth Kendi Pure Treatment Oil, made from rich kendi nuts found on the island of Sulawesi, Indonesia. Kendi Oil is said to fight frizz (one of the most common hair complaints) and strengthens tresses. Alterna is also taking oils to the next level with two new forms of oil-based products: Bamboo Smooth Kendi Dry Oil Mist; a lighter, dryer spray oil for finer hair types, and Caviar Seasilk Oil Gel; an oil and gel “in-one” product.

Besides adding luster, today’s styling products also must offer flexible hold with modern ingredients that can be layered or“cocktailed” together for customized style, noted Angelia Polsinelli, senior director of North American education, Joico, Arcadia, CA. Her company’s latest line of stylers for thinning hair, Clinicure, target such issues.

Not Your Mother’s hair care is a new range of styling products available at Walmart.
“When it comes to thinning hair, the buzz is lightweight, natural feeling stylers that make the hair feel thicker without feeling gritty, dry or dull,” she told Happi. “Lines like Joico’s Clinicure offer stylers that use botanical technology to thicken, hold and add featherweight shine to natural or chemically-treated thinning hair. Ingredients like bamboo extract, acacia gum and quinoa replace old PVP film formers and resins that can build up.”

Fernando Salas, chief executive officer/ founder of White Sands Hair Care, Inc., Irvine, CA, said the opposite about ingredients—it’s not the components that make the magic of hair styling standouts, but the delivery mechanisms.

“What seems to be really popular are natural ingredients that are great to talk about, but don’t have much in the performance department,” he told Happi. “For example, most gels on the market today are alcohol driven and make hair dry, flake and hard to the touch.”

Pravana offers a collection of styling products chock full of natural ingredients to nourish tresses.

As a result, White Sands created two different types of gels—a “mega volume” Designer Gel and a “moderate volume/high shine” Glaze Plus with a water delivery system that will not dry the hair out, and has a low pH balance that has the desired holding power and is soft to the touch.

So, what are upcoming trends in hair styling SKUs for 2011 and beyond?

According to industry insiders, innovative ingredients and versatile stylers are growing trends that are going to hit it big next in the hair care business.

“I think we will continue to see lots of dual and multipurpose products for men and women on the go,” said Corby of Alterna. “We will also see some new innovation in the semi-permanent styling world, for that same busy consumer.”

“Look for more targeted products that perform in highly specific ways, but can also be combined with other products for completely customized results,” added Smith of Matrix.

Shaping Up the Future
Smooth, healthy-looking hair will also continue to be in vogue. According to Goddard of Pravana, a “glass-like shine” will remaina primary focus this year.

“The most sought-after items will be products that can smooth without any associated health risks and without compromising the integrity of the hair fiber,” he told Happi. “Styling products which can support and enhance this look will be in greatest demand.”

Rameson of Gloss Moderne agrees. “The use of technology in luxury hair care—creating high-performance products that provide relentless thermal protection—makes an indulgent experience for the senses as well as startling shine,” he said.

Innovative solutions for traditional resins, polymers and film formers are also paramount for styling products currently in development, according to Polsinelli of Joico. The emergence of botanical ingredients that are hybridized from nature and mimic older ingredients’ performance but in a more modern, lightweight way will lead innovation, she said.

Overall, marketers can look to the beauty aisles now to see what’s selling…and what’s not.

“The breakthroughs of tomorrow are present today,” said Salas of White Sands.“From our point of view, the question is not what is coming, but what is here already.”

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