Today, top stylists have an array of tools to ready models for the runway and movie stars for the red carpet. And the masses will set out to replicate those looks with products sold at the local salon, beauty retailer or box store.
Sales of all styling products in the salon channel were $320 million in 2015 for a nearly 5% increase in sales, according to Cyrus Bulsara, president of Professional Consultants & Resources, a strategic consulting and industry data supply company in Plano, TX that specializes in the beauty, salon and cosmetics industry.
According to data from IRI, sales of hair styling gel/mousse rose 1.3% to $1.1 billion while sales of hair sprays fell 1.29% to $710.3 million at US multi-outlets (supermarkets, drugstores, mass market retailers, military commissaries and select club and dollar retail chains) for the 52 weeks ended Nov. 29, 2015.
Tools Take Their Toll
One hot area within hair care is the growing popularity of multifunction styling products that prevent thermal damage from curling, straightening or even basic blow-drying.
“Straightening and curling irons have increased their heat output to around 450°F, to allow for faster styling,” explained Bulsara. “The newer genre of styling products not only style hair, but also protect it from thermal heat damage.”
Redken’s recently-expanded blow dry collection includes new Pillow Proof Blow Dry Express Treatment Primer Cream, which is designed to protect hair from heat up to 450˚F. It is formulated with exclusive Microflex Stylane technology, which Redken says creates a protective thermal blanket on hair for lasting style memory and strength, as well as trisiloxane and isododecane, which reduce blow-dry time and achieve a silky-smooth finish.
With a focus on color-treated hair, which is often more prone to damage than virgin tresses, Pureology is also turning up the heat with new products like its Smooth Perfection range. Designed to create frizz-free blowouts for all types of color-treated hair while protecting from the color-distorting effects caused by heat tools, SKUs include Smooth Perfection Lightweight Smoothing Lotion, Smooth Perfection Frizz-Fighting Serum, Smooth Perfection Intense Smoothing Cream and Smooth Perfection Style Shaping Gel. Each provides 72-hour frizz and flyaway control and humidity defense, according to the brand, which is owned by L’Oréal.
Farouk Systems’ CHI brand also offers a multi-use styling line to help define and regulate movement while providing thermal protection. Formulations are enriched with silk to provide a layer of protection while enhancing shine, and a ceramic compound infused with proteins that work with thermal styling tools to seal the hair cuticle and secure the proteins in each strand of hair to increase strength and ensure protection. The range includes Texturizing Spray, Styling Cream Gel, Finishing Pomade, Spray Wax and Re-workable Taffy.
Variety of Forms
Stylists and consumers have an arsenal of product formats to style their hair these days, from old school pomades and hair sprays to products that range from taffy to tonic to styling froth, to name just a few of the formats touted by leading brands.
“Innovative new forms of styling products like gels, mousses, whips, spray gels, foams, hard and soft waxes, and pomades—all in very nice, luxe but functional packaging—drive sales in this category,” said Bulsara.
In fact, the hair styling category is just like hairstyles themselves; it is never one size fits all.
Stylists, of course, have their favorites.
“As a stylist, keeping the integrity of the hair is the most important factor of any product I use, so I always look for one that has UV and thermal protection. Mousse and pomades that lock in moisture and have anti-humidity properties are always my go-tos,” said Anthony Cole, an international artist for Sebastian Professional, which touts products such as Stylebrid 9, a micro spray mousse that melds care and styling benefits; Shine Crafter, a malleable, moldable wax that shimmers; and Shaper Zero Gravity, a lightweight control hairspray.
Over at Joico, there’s new Joico Curl, and according to Paul Norton, Joico’s celebrity hairstylist and spokesperson, the most fun and innovative product in the collection is the Curl Defining Contouring Foam-Wax.
“It’s the only styling product for curl that really dries without getting frizzy when you add heat; it’s like you actually air dried it but obviously much faster since you can safely defuse it into the hair with your dryer. I love the separation it provides yet still feels great to the touch,” he said.
Norton also lauded the performance of Joico’s first ever refresher, Joico Curl Refreshed Reanimating Mist, which he called “CPR in a bottle—perfect for a midday rescue against frizz and lackluster definition.”
Still another novel product has been rolled out by fast-growing salon brand Kevin.Murphy. Doo.Over is billed as a styling product that utilizes the attributes of a styling powder and a flash drying hair spray. It provides volume, texture and a lasting hold, and is designed to revive a blow dry or extend the life of second-day hair—offering an instant “hair doo” in a can, according to the firm, which recently opened a new global HQ in California.
Fascinated by the volume that powder can achieve, Murphy wanted a spray version that could be used anywhere, anytime. Doo.Over uses a powder technology that won’t create a “web of resin,” which allows end users to recreate and re-form new looks and shapes, according to the brand. Key ingredients include tapioca starch, Virginian cedar wood (that works as a gentle astringent and antiseptic) and silica, which increases body and sheen.
From mass market brand TreSemmé is the new Beauty-Full Volume collection, which hit counters in January. It features several stylers, from a hairspray to mousse to the hero SKU, TreSemmé Beauty-Full Volume Hair Maximizer. The Maximizer is formulated with “Fleximax Volumizers” and “fiber polishing actives” to provide bounce, frizz control, smoothness and manageability.
One Day More
Back in the day, women would head to the salon once a week to have their hair “set.” Over time, that routine gave way to wash and wear on a daily basis. But today’s time-crunched consumers are looking for ways to cut their prep time each morning, including in their beauty routine—and this is visible within the hair care category.
“One of the major trends sweeping major metros is that busy, working women are shampooing their hair less often with regular shampoo,” said Bulsara, noting that sales of dry shampoo were up nearly 32% last year.
The growth has prompted more brands to enter the category, including Aveda, which added Shampure Dry Shampoo in Q4 2015. Aveda’s SKU is a 99.8% naturally derived, non-aerosol powder mist that includes natural powders to absorb excess oils and impurities and lift them away from the hair as well as its Shampure aroma, which has 25 pure flower and plant essences including certified organic lavender, petitgrain and ylang ylang.
Nexxus New York Salon Care, which recently revamped its styling and finishing collection (including on-trend rose gold packaging), also touts a new Dry Shampoo Refreshing Mist. It is formulated with active ingredients such as pearl extract that weightlessly refresh hair between washes.
The growth of dry shampoos is good news for the styling aids category, as the use of these products “necessitates the quick blow-out and styling with styling products,” Bulsara added.
Anabel Kingsley, trichologist and daughter of hair guru Philip Kingsley, talked up the benefits of dry shampoo, including Philip Kinsley’s own One More Day.
“This can be used in-between shampoos, or at the end of the day, to refresh the hair and add texture and volume. It can also be used to brighten blonde hair at the root area if you are in-between coloring appointments,” she said.
One More Day is formulated with lightweight particles so it does not leave the hair feeling gritty or coated. But according to Kingsley, the most innovative part of the product are the ingredients that build a healthy scalp—namely zinc PCA (which prevents flakes and regulates the sebum production by controlling excess oil), allantoin (which soothes the scalp and calms itchy, irritated skin), anti-inflammatory bisabolol, and rice starch to thicken and provide texture and volume.
Kinglsey’s focus on serving those with hair in need of TLC is apparent in other styling products such as its Maximizer medium-hold hairspray, Preen Cream and Weatherproof Styling Froth.
“Key to our philosophy that beautiful hair is healthy hair, Maximizer doesn’t only add lasting hold and volume, but it contains hydrolyzed keratin (protein) and conditioning agents to keep the hair in excellent condition. It also contains a sunscreen to help to guard the hair from UV damage and color fade. As Maximizer makes the hair more manageable, it may also reduce damage that can occur as a result of over-styling,” said Kingsley.
Preen Cream, a lightweight protective styling cream for fine hair that reduces frizz and adds shine and manageability by smoothing the hair cuticle, contains babassu oil, vitamin E and sunscreen, while Kingsley’s Weatherproof Styling Froth relies on aloe vera extract, pro vitamin B5 and cactus flower extract to add body, shine, hold and softness.
The bond between hairstyles and product growth can never be broken, as leading stylists set the trends that drive the sales.
“For women, tousled beachy waves and ‘lazy girl’ texture continue to be huge. Women are no longer shampooing and blow drying every day, but rather embracing and enhancing their natural texture, which makes this trend especially popular,” said Jim Markham, founder of ColorProof.
The brand’s new TextureCharge Color Protect Texture + Finishing Spray is a “next generation” texturizing spray that’s perfect for achieving that look, noted Markham. The hybrid formula creates a charge that repels fibers away from one another to infuse buildable texture, body and grit.
One of newest products to come out of the R&D department at ColorProof is CraftingPomade Texture + Hold + Shine, billed as a hybrid styling product that delivers instant texture, long-lasting pliable hold and extreme shine in a single formula that can be used by men and women.
According to Markham, next generation ingredients drive all of ColorProof’s formulations.
“First and foremost, all of our products, stylers included, are formulated with our Advanced ColorLast System, which features Chromaveil and Heliogenol along with other color-preserving ingredients, to provide full spectrum UVA/UVB color protection. Unlike our competitors, the entire ColorProof collection is designed exclusively for color-treated hair, protecting and keeping color vibrant from start through finish,” he said.
Markham is also a fan of nanotechnology, which allows ColorProof’s chemists to incorporate select active ingredients (up to 1/50,000 the size of a human hair) that deeply penetrate the hair shaft for incredible strength, repair, moisture, shine and color and heat protection.
As a fixture in hair styling, Markham has seen styles come and go, and come back again.
“For men, we are seeing a revival of vintage hairstyles from the 1960s and 70s reinvented for modern day,” said Markham, who cut and styled Steve McQueen’s hair during the late 1960s and early 1970s (the “Towering Inferno” and “Papillion” years). “McQueen’s style, which was shorter on the top and left fuller on the sides, is tremendously popular again,” he said.
Men are also opting for classic, groomed looks, enhanced with texture that can be achieved by way of new styling aids.
“Another vintage look trending now is achieved by leaving a bit of length on the top, with shorter sides and a well-defined side part. Depending on the look, it can be styled either slicked back or worn with texture. In addition, fringe is also having a moment for men. Fringe works best for straighter hair types and slightly longer locks and can be worn refined and sleek, or with texture and dimension,” Markham noted.
Making it as easy for men is key for American Crew, which has a new water-based liquid wax that offers the styling power of a wax with the added convenience of applying like a liquid.
“Liquid wax styles the look without taking it over,” said Paul Wilson, American Crew Global artistic director.
Driven by women’s use of heat-driven tools, hair styling products in salon channels are projected to grow at mid- to high-single digit levels during the next five years, according to Professional Consultants & Resources.
Experts believe the growing diversity of men’s hairstyles—from surf-head to fades to spiked hair to longer looks—will also contribute to category growth.
“Men’s styling products will continue their rapid growth, as these are the first products men will try and buy, after shampoos,” said Bulsara.
“Men are realizing that with some length, the use of a blow dryer and the support of great product, they can create the versatility they have been working toward,” noted American Crew educator Bradford Davison. “On the other end of the spectrum are the men who are looking for ease but still want to look sharp. These men tend to prefer the classic crew cut – a look that is short and low maintenance. With just a tad bit of product, they are on their way!”