Skinification of hair: decrypting the market and the trends that are shaping it

Published on 09 May 2023 Read 25 min

In recent years, consumers have become increasingly interested in natural and holistic approaches to beauty and wellness, which has led to a shift of focus from simply addressing hair concerns to taking a more comprehensive approach that includes caring for the scalp health as well. The demand for hair skinification has been largely driven by the consumer which has generated a dynamic throughout the entire beauty and personal care value chain.In this article, Alcimed decrypts the market and 3 trends that brands should keep an eye on in order to adapt their product portfolio to the growing skinification of hair.

What is skinification of hair?

The hair “skinification” refers to the trend of treating the scalp and hair like the facial skin by adapting skincare routines and ingredients. It highlights the importance of taking care of scalp health in order to achieve healthy hair and improve one’s overall appearance.

The booming consumer interest makes the skinification of hair a promising market

As a matter of fact, scalp care web searches have doubled between 2019 and 2022. The growing interest of the skinification of hair is also visible on social networks with over 1,4bn views under the #scalpcare hashtag and 21,1bn views for #haircare on TikTok as of June 2023. In comparison, #climatechange accounts for 5,5bn views over the same period of time.

The increasing weight of haircare is also expressed through its market dynamics. Indeed, the hair and scalp care global market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 7,0% from 2022 to 2030 compared to 4.6% for the skincare segment over the same period of time (source: Grand View Research).

The skinification of hair is a global phenomenon, but it is particularly prominent in certain regions. It began in Asia, which still represents the majority of this market, mainly due to its long traditions of including hair care and scalp care as part of overall well-being, health and beauty. In addition, North America and Europe are closely following this trend due to the rising consciousness of consumers in clean and holistic beauty.

3 consumer trends to keep in mind to win over the market

Trend n°1: transferring active ingredients from skincare to haircare

The skinification of the hair is inspired by the skincare routine, consequently, it involves an adaption of its ingredients and practices.

The transfer of skincare ingredients into hair care requires a deep understanding of the scalp anatomy to define if the active ingredient can be applied to the scalp as well. The development of an effective formulation resides in the selection of the right active ingredients to target each concern. Some examples of unmissable ingredients and their claims:

  • Salicylic acid and glycolic acid help to exfoliate the scalp and to remove dead skin cells and excess oil.
  • Hyaluronic acid helps to improve the hydration and moisturization of the scalp, reducing dryness and flakiness.
  • Allantoin helps to soothe and calm the scalp, reducing irritation and inflammation.
  • Caffeine helps to stimulate hair growth and to reduce hair loss by increasing blood flow to the scalp.

Trend n°2: implementing a highly targeted hair skinification routine to treat specific symptoms

Skinification products are part of a tailor-made routine that responds to the need for personalisation and adaptation to each individual (pathologies, scalp issues, hair type, …).
The key products include:

Chemical scalp scrubs

They allow to remove the dead cells and impurities from the scalp, targeting more dandruff and oily scalps. For example, we can mention Typology scalp scrub with 5% of PHA, Poly Hydroxy Acid, a gentler chemical exfoliant than AHAs such as glycolic acid.

Hair serums

The serums are developed to treat specific concerns as hair growth, dandruff or even tugging. The DR. Barbara Sturm has developed scalp serums to answer different problems such as dandruff and itchy scalp, hair thinning/loss and sensitive scalp or aging scalp.

Hair masks, pre-shampoo and leave-in products

They provide various benefits such as strengthening, repairing, and restoring the hair. For these products we will highlight the brand Grow Gorgeous which has already communicated on skinification and developed specific products as anti-pollution leave-in spray or even fibre-sealing split ends treatment.

Shampoos and conditioners

There is a focus on using gentle, sulphate-free, organically approved formulas that are pH-balanced, especially adapted to sensitive scalp. We can cite the dermo-soothing shampoo of Les secrets de LOLY describing itself as pH-balanced and claiming to be cruelty-free, vegan, natural and without silicon.

Need help to adapt your product portfolio? Discover how our team can help you in your projects related to product innovation >

Trend n°3: turning to new tools to optimize the skinification of hair

Associated devices allow to massage the scalp in order to activate the microcirculation, to stimulate hair growth and to improve the penetration of the products. CUT BY FRED offers a stimulating scalp brush and recommends to use it with mask or any other step of the hair care routine.

Overall, the skinification of hair can be seen as a natural progression of the growing emphasis on holistic wellness and consumers’ recognition that healthy hair starts with a healthy scalp. We already observe new, personalized hair care routine, together with advanced care formula focused on scalp, and this is just the emergence of this new cosmetics market segment! Alcimed helps you discover, decode and better understand the associated opportunities to this trend and others. Don’t hesitate to contact our team!

About the author, 

Tessa, Consultant in Alcimed’s Cosmetics & Luxury team in France

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