Sales of major styling aid staples such as hair sprays/spritzes and styling/setting gel mousse sold at US multi-outlets (grocery, drug, mass market, military and select club and dollar retailers) for the 52 weeks ending Dec 3, 2017) totaled $860.2 million and $1.05 billion, respectively, according to Information Resources, Inc. Sales for both categories were down from the prior year; sprays/spritz fell 4.44% and mouse/gels dipped 2.06% based on IRI’s analysis.
In the salon sector, hair spray sales increased 2.4% in 2017 and hair styling products (non-aerosols) increased 4.5% (manufacturer’s shipments), according to Professional Consultants & Resources’ 2017 Salon Industry Haircare Study. Cyrus Bulsara, who leads the Plano, TX-based consultancy behind the report, said advanced new styling products like gels, mousses, whips, spray gels, foams, hard and soft waxes and pomades in highly functional packaging drive sales in the category. Innovative form, color, function, viscosity and attractive functional packaging are vital factors, too.
According to Bulsara, hair styling products are forecast to grow about 5% per annum during the next five years as there’s a wide range of on-trend looks that require specific products. For example, at-home styling for straight, sleek hair or soft curls, often achieved with styling irons, call for thermal styling products. Shorter hair, styled in a chic bob, lob, mop, peek-a-boo, and even the pixie, needs its own straightening, control and styling-hold products, too.
What About Bob?
It is clear that the cookie cutter days of hair styling are over. As Alyssa Hrisko, flagship educator for Seven haircare, told Happi, “people are no longer following the trends, but going for what works best for them and their lifestyle. We’re entering into a season of “Do you, be you.”
According to Hrisko, “we’re going to be moving out of the lobs (long bobs) of 2017 into softer hair that’s full of movement. Pixies will still be all the rage, and fashion colors are becoming the new norm, but more of a sheer wash of color, and less of the bold colors we’ve seen in the last year or two. Bangs are definitely back, in a variety of lengths—short and defined, as well as longer curtain bangs, to add softness to the lobs as we’re growing them out.”
Hrisko’s go-to styling products include Seven’s Beach & Putty, which “create a customizable textured look minus the weight and drag of traditional sprays.”
Ivan Rodriquez, BioSilk hairstyling ambassador, described the “midi bob” as seen on Selena Gomez and Kendall Jenner as a “first option for this beginning of the year for all medium hair lovers.” The second option is long-with-layers, cut just “5-6 fingers below the shoulders,” like the look sported by model Sara Sampaio. According to Rodriquez, both are an evolution of previous cuts, with a new way to texture them to create a more casual look. Products such as BioSilk Silk Therapy + BioSilk Silk Therapy Texture Spray are perfect for consumers when they don’t have a lot of time to style. Other liquid products recommended by Rodriquez include BioSilk Silk Therapy Protectant Mist, BioSilk Silk Therapy Finishing Spray Natural Hold + BioSilk Silk Therapy Shine On.
According to expert stylist Rodney Cutler, popular styles for the new year will include the curly shag; the “true” bob (chin length is the new lob, he said); bangs of all variations; and grown out crops.
“These looks are more evolutionary—it’s more about building off of previous trends (i.e. the super crop/buzz look of 2018) in an organic way,” he said.
For that curly shag look, Cutler recommends using Redken’s No Blow Dry Cream to enhance natural texture and a few spritzes of Redken Wax Blast 10 for added body and dimension. For the true bob, Redken’s Pillow Proof Primer Spray will heat-protect hair, followed by Redken’s Align 12 Hair Lotion to straighten hair and smooth frizz.
For bangs, “I’ve got to use my beloved Redken Wind Blown 05 as a finishing spray to create texture without the tack,” Cutler told Happi.
Golden Globe viewers may have spotted Sharon Stone’s “tousled and modern crop” on the red carpet. It was created by hair stylist Giannandrea who enlisted MOP products such as its new Lemongrass Volume Whip, which creates moveable volume with medium hold, giving each strand a strong grip on volume before blow drying; and new Basil Mint Clay for definition and maintaining hold. The final step included setting the style with MOP’s C-System Firm Finish Hair Spray.
“For 2018, I think haircutting trends are going to be moving towards a mixture of 70’s influenced shags, 80’s rude boi cuts for women and 90’s blunted bobs with long, seemingly un-kept layers,” noted stylist Presley Poe, who is a member of the Pravana Collective. According to Poe, the comeback of the shag is “the evolution of what it means today to be sensual with an edge. This cut allows a range of people to express themselves with just the right color for the ultimate soft or alternative vibe.”
Poe predicts Pravana’s Lived-In Powder Potion will be a favorite “this coming year for texture. This versatile product leaves your hair soft while giving you that “lived in,” second day hair effect—it’s magic,” she said.
Deb Pereira, chief executive officer of Neon & Co, an Australian hair care company that opened a pop up shop in New York City and exhibited at Consumer Discovery Show last fall, pointed to the air-drying trend.
“Blowouts are all the rage in Melbourne where our brand was born, however after spending some time in NYC we soon discovered that city girls are all about air drying,” she told Happi. “It’s all about spending less time and effort, but still having great hair, which can seem impossible especially for those with hair that’s harder to control. As much as this isn’t a hairstyle in itself (although the effortless look has been in for quite some time), it’s more about a lifestyle trend that’s becoming more and more prevalent. Less time in front of the mirror, more time doing what you love!”
Neon & Co.’s motto is “Live Well, Wash Less.” The brand offers three “base” products—Good Hair Shampoo, Good Hair Conditioner and Magic Water Treatment Oil—that when used together will reduce drying time and “actually reduce the frequency at which you will need to wash your hair, meaning that soft and silky feeling will last longer,” said Pereira.
Less frequent shampooing is impacting how stylists think about styling products.
For example, Hrisko of Seven assesses whether or not a styling product can be worn in the hair for one to three days. “The average client is not a daily washer, so looking for products that are weightless is extremely important.”
In addition, she called for products that can do double duty.
“You want something so versatile that it may give you volume on day one, but can be used on day three to restyle as well,” Hrisko said, noting that Seven’s new Boost is a “fantastic product for reforming a look as the week goes on.”
While consumers and stylists expect leading brands to sell products that can create and maintain a style, they are looking for formulations that have ingredients with benefits that are kinder on tresses.
Philip Kingsley’s Instant Beach, for example, gives users a way to create tousled, healthy beach waves. The salt-free texturizing spray (suited for fine, medium, coarse, African-Caribbean hair types) is said to nourish and condition hair while giving soft, natural looking texture and hold. The spray features elastin and meadowfoam oil to create soft, bouncy beach waves, without drying hair or causing breakage, according to the brand.
Kristin Ess Hair—a line created last spring by celebrity hairstylist/co-founder of TheBeautyDepartment.com especially for Target—is expanding with new products, including two air dry options and other styling aids. For air dry looks, there’s Weightless Shine Air Dry Crème, which smooths hair and adds shine, separation and texture, and can be applied on any hair texture and Sea Salt Air Dry Spray, described by the brand as “unique to the market” with a super-fine, constant mist that ensures a more even application compared to the average pump applicator.” The product is designed to go on wet or damp hair.
Additional styling options from Kristin Ess Hair include Anytime Anywhere Recovery Balm, a stick that has a coconut and castor oil base that adds shine, treats dry hair, tames fly-aways and softens and adds moisture to the hair on the go; Intense Shine Pomade + Edge Control; and Style Assist Blow Dry Mist, which cuts dry time, detangles and adds shine. The entire assortment is formulated with a strengthening complex called Zip-Up, which is comprised of Kerabead microcapsules and conditioning ingredients such as chia seeds, pea protein and marine algae to help protect hair from damage.
Experts who spend their days behind the salon chair have go-to ingredients and key attributes when it comes to styling aids.
“I love the products with amino acids and silk because they help me to make the hair feel soft and look healthy,” said Rodriquez.
Cutler keeps an eye on buildup. “With any styling products, I always want the end result to be lightweight, yet effective, so that we don’t get buildup in the hair,” he said.
Poe said manufacturers must also address the wants and needs of consumers.
“As we move forward, people are becoming hyper conscious of the products being used in their hair and straying further and further away from harsh chemicals. Our fast-paced culture has also led us into an era of “a one stop shop” when it comes to products, and more and more we want one product that will deliver it all,” she said.
On the men’s side, Bulsara of PCR said men’s looks such as bed-head, surf-head and spiker hair are fueling sales expansion for products that include basics like gels, spray gels, pomades, lotions and waxes. In addition, men are looking for more multi-function, shine and gloss products like waxes, pomades and gels to style looks like the Marine/Army buzz cut as well as tousled hairstyles.
The hair category has become a fast-moving one as men who dive into grooming often do so by first wading into the styling sector.
“Men’s products are evolving rapidly, and American Crew, Mitch and Redken for Men are pacesetters,” he told Happi.
One of those leaders has just rolled out a new line that takes its cue from the super-hot craft beer movement.
Redken Brews is described as the “next generation of men’s essentials.” The collection’s extensive styling product SKUs include three new formulations—a wax pomade for mild control with a shine finish, a clay pomade for maximum control with a gritty finish, and a hairspray to help keep style in place with maximum control in a “compact, super-charged” bottle. The hair spray, which has a mild fragrance, relies on new technology that reduces the amount of propellant to provide twice as much product in a smaller, more discreet can.
A beer-inspired hairspray that can set a head-turning look in a bottle that won’t draw attention? Stylish men will say “cheers” to that!