Style in Motion

By Christine Esposito, Associate Editor | March 13, 2013

Today’s styling aids deliver performance—and care—in a variety of forms.

Hair professionals “wax” poetic about the style trends that will be all the rage in the coming year—maybe a defined center part or twisted roll, or for men, spiky surfer style. To pull those looks off (and keep them that way) stylists and consumers typically turn to one or more styling aids—and that’s great news for the hair care category.

The styling aid category has grown considerably from sprays and mousses of years gone by, and the proliferation of product forms has helped fuel sales, according to those who track the industry.

“Styling products in advanced forms like gels, mousses, whips, spray gels, hard/soft waxes and pomades, in very innovative and functional packaging, bring robust growth to the category. New innovative product forms, colors, function and funky packaging keep expanding the category,” noted Cyrus Bulsara, president of Professional Consultants & Resources, a strategic consulting and industry data supply company that specializes in the beauty, salon and cosmetics industry.

In fact, hair styling products had one of highest growth rates in 2012—9.7%, when compared with all hair care at 3.5%—based on data compiled in the “2012 Salon Industry Haircare Study,” which was released last month by Bulsara’s Plano, TX-based company.

Outside of salons, the category’s performance was less impressive, but not too bad considering the state of the economy. According to SymphonyIRI Group, for the 52 weeks ended Dec. 30, 2012, sales of hair spray/spritz in US multi-outlets rose 0.81% to $721.8 million and hair styling/setting gels/mousse sales were flat at $1.05 billion.

A Kinder Hold

Whether stocked in the supermarket or salon, today’s styling aids share a common thread—they promise to perform their duty (say curl definition), but claim to be kinder to hair than previous generations of product.

For example, Aloxxi’s new styling products work to maintain color via the company’s ColourCare Complex technology, a blend of 10 antioxidants.

Aloxxi’s new range works to protect color as its helps maintain style.

“All of our styling products contain Aloxxi’s Colour Care Complex and UV filters to protect color from harsh environmental factors. Our stylers are super light and can be layered on top of each other without compromising the health, integrity or style of the hair,” said Lisa Maiman Hoffman, director of product and brand development.

The Aloxxi Style range includes several SKUs, from thermal styling spray to a weightless styling gelée that lightens and brighten locks to specialty serums.

The Aloxxi Thickening Serum, which Hoffman considers a superstar product, contains the “most advanced thickening agents available to help expand the diameter of each strand, creating exceptional body and fuller, thicker hair” as well as apple stem cell technology.

According to Aloxxi, while many volumizing products work against color by swelling the cuticle, the combination of apple stem cells (from Swiss-grown Uttwiler Spätlauber apples) and ColourCare Complex protects, strengthens and adds volume without opening the cuticle and exposing delicate color molecules.

Oil Is In

A continuing trend in 2013 remains the use of natural oils—from Moroccan to argan to macadamia—all designed to straighten, soften and smooth hair while imparting healthy shine.

Consumers have a growing cadre of choices in this area, including a recent rollout from Aloxxi. Its Essential & Restorative Hair Serum combines seven botanic oils—olive, walnut, jojoba, grapeseed, clary sage, geranium and sunflower seed—in a paraben-free, weightless formula.

“The formula is crystal clear so it won’t affect hair color, which is especially important for blondes,” noted Hoffman.

Redken will add to its oil collection this May, when it rolls out its Diamond Oil Haircare line, billed as the next generation in oil care. The line contains Shine Strong Complex, which features a blend of natural apricot, camelina and coriander oils that penetrate to the core. In addition to shampoo and conditioner and a deep treatment, the Diamond Oil range includes two silicone-free oils—Shatterproof Shine and Shatterproof Shine Intense. Redken creative consultant Guido enlisted Intense during his work backstage during New York Fashion Week.

Curl expert Ouidad is also harnessing the power of natural oils. The company’s new Curl Recovery Whipped Curls daily conditioner and styling primer has a triple olive oil blend combined with shea butter, glycerin and green tea extract. The SKU works as a base, sealing in the moisture and providing smooth even distribution when applying a styling gel or cream.

“Think primer for your face—helping fill in uneven surfaces so that you achieve a smooth polished finish,” Morgan Willhite, creative director for Ouidad, told Happi.

Ouidad’s R&D efforts have centered on ways styling aids can achieve volume and accentuate and hold the curl pattern while maintaining moisture.

“There needs to be a balance of moisture and frizz controlling hold. If a product is missing one of the two, over time, your hair can become either dry or just not hold its defined style,” said Willhite.

Willhite calls Ouidad’s new PlayCurl Volumizing Styling Spray “mission accomplished,” as it defines, accentuates and holds natural curl patterns.

PVP (polyvinylpyrrolidone) polymer technology provides the volume. According to Willhite, this water-soluble polymer helps form a film cushion on the hair shaft, creating hold and texture, bounce and volume.

“Because it is water-soluble, you avoid the crunchy, sticky feel to the hair,” she said.

Adaptability & Versatility

Keeping track of trends—and raw material technologies—has become a must for formulators and stylists alike.

“Trends play an important role in determining the function of the product and of course consumer needs. As technology changes, Sexy Hair evaluates the necessity to reformulate and to incorporate new ingredients to increase the performance,” noted Rafe Hardy, Sexy Hair artistic creative director.
One of Hardy’s favorite additions is Big Sexy Hair Big Altitude Bodifying Blow Dry Mousse. “Let me tell you, this is not your mother’s mousse,” he said. “Big Altitude is not only highly combable, but has no product feel and protects against high humidity and environmental stresses.”

Specifically, the mousse contains Voluminis, which gives the appearance of thicker, fuller hair while providing long lasting volume without the weight.

According to Sexy Hair, the season’s biggest hair trends revolve around versatility and adaptability—think textured interiors with a softer adaptable fringe for both medium and long hair.

“These can be styled any number of ways from casual to outrageous and everything in between,” said Hardy, who turns a trio of versatile products including Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Touchable Weightless Hairspray, Straight Sexy Hair Smooth and Seal and Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Paste Pomade.

“Soy Touchable is a very flexible light holding hairspray that can be used in layers to achieve multiple designs. Smooth and Seal is used to add shine and can be used in between styles to help rejuvenate hair texture. Lastly, Soy Paste is a pomade that can be used to create amazing texture and styles,” he said.

A New Spin

While pomades have been around for years, formulators are tweaking the recipes to create styling aids designed to appeal to the needs of modern consumers.

“There is new sense of freedom in men’s grooming which combines the best of the past with the promise of the future,” added Bill Kochanski, brand manager for men’s grooming products at American International Industries (AII), parent of Woody’s Quality Grooming. “Men’s grooming has seen a return to classic styling products, yet the trend allows for a re-interpretation of the products’ composition. We can now merge the best of the past with the discoveries of the present to create products that do more for the user.”

Woody’s says it has done just that with its new Headwax.

“We took classic ingredients and merged the old and new to produce a product that retains its classic sensibility as it produces results on a level beyond the obvious,” said Kochanski.

The first five ingredients of the pomade—petrolatum, mineral oil, beeswax, paraffin and lanolin wax—provide for an “extraordinary styling product but a product with exceptional conditioning properties. Add to this our blend of aloe, ginger root, horsetail, safflower and cannabis sativa seed oil and you have one powerful conditioner for all hair types and conditions.”

For Kochanski, beeswax is the essential ingredient for any true pomade.

“It’s a natural wax with exceptional hold and flexibility. The styling properties of beeswax tame even the coarsest, curliest, frizziest hair, keeping hair under control longer and rendering it softer and shinier all day.”

Also designed for men is Redken For Men’s new firm grasp texturizing clay, which glides on for easy molding and dries to a matte finish, yet still washes out easily thanks to the brand’s “Easy-Rinse Technology.”

Redken’s Firm Grasp is texturizing clay that dries to a matte finish and washes out easily.
“Redken For Men firm grasp texturizing clay has instantly become my new go-to for my male clients. It really helps achieve that “lived-in” look that so many guys ask for,” said Jenny Balding, Redken styling and grooming expert. “ I love that it works on almost all hair lengths and types, and especially that I’m able to promise they won’t spend forever trying to wash it out.”

Simple to use styling aids that have a sense of familiarity can work well to capture a man who’s on the edge of adding to his routine.

“Men’s styling is one of the first products men try after shampoo and conditioner,” noted Bulsara.

And as more men embrace a more complex grooming routine, the market is gaining new players trying to cash in on the category’s expansion. For example, UK hair care brand Doop has recently come across the pond in search of new customers.

“Doop products are true to the culture and vibe of the UK environment. Consumers love a taste of faraway countries through food, art, music and consumer goods. Who says a little jar of Doop isn’t art?” asked Maria Rush, head of the purchasing and brand development team at Beauty Collection, which is the exclusive retailer of the Doop brand in the US.

According to Rush, the hero products in the collection include The Rocker, which delivers an “old school freeze effect,” and The Outsider, a mud that offers extra strong hold and a super dry look as if there is no product in the hair.

“Both of these items meet the needs of today’s current hair styles. They provide the hold, texture and versatility of re-styling throughout the day without the weight, build up or tackiness some products may leave on the hair,” said Rush. “

Looking Ahead

Bulsara of PCR is bullish on the future of gels, spray gels, pomades, lotions and waxes.
“Hair styling products will continue to grow strongly in the next five years, at least at 5% to 7% on average,” he said.
The market will be continue to see more performance-driven products as leading formulators seek new materials that can add new dimension to their sprays, muds and mousses.

“We are constantly on the lookout for the latest, cutting-edge raw materials specifically for hair and scalp health plus styling efficacy,” said Willhite of Ouidad. “Our focus is always on blending ultimate performance with a beautifulaesthetic and, of course, tying it all together with the right fragrance.Innovative styling resins, exotic ingredients, intelligent peptides to improve the quality of hair and health of thescalp, breakthrough polymer systems and naturally derived fruit and plantcolorants are many of the elements we look for.”

Wella’s Reuben Carranza Named Spirit of Life Honoree

Five past and present salon industry Spirit of Life honorees, from left to right: Pivot Point’s Robert Passage, whose father Leo was honored; CND’s Jan Arnold; Joico’s Sara Jones; Wella’s Reuben Carranza and Redken’s Ann Mincey.
• City of Hope’s National Professional Salon Industry will honor Reuben Carranza, North American CEO of Wella, the salon professional division of P&G, with its 2013 Spirit of Life Award TheSpirit of Life Award is City of Hope’s most prestigious philanthropic honor, presented annually to an industry leader who has demonstrated outstanding business and altruistic achievement.

City of Hope will present the award on July 13 at Cosmoprof in Las Vegas.

Carranza has chosen to direct funds raised during his Spirit of Life campaign toward City of Hope’s cutting-edge research in diabetes. Coming from a family ravaged by this chronic disease, Carranza has seen the impact diabetes had on his mother and his aunt, both hairdressers, as they struggled to continue to work behind the chair.

“I’m proud to support City of Hope and the groundbreaking diabetes research being conducted there. City of Hope is an organization that is committed to creating longer and healthier lives for our salon professionals,” said Carranza.

Carranza joined P&G in 1990 and has held significant positions in many divisions. Carranza can be credited for integrating Clairol and Nioxin into Wella’s portfolio, and for the re-staging of two legendary salon brands, Sebastian Professional and Wella Koleston Perfect. Most recently, as CEO he has led the blockbuster launch of Wella Professionals Care and Styling in North America and the relaunch of the Clairol Professional brand.