The market research firm said among the 654 US hair care launches that it recorded last year products with their origins in skin care such as exfoliating and anti-aging treatments featured highly. Shampoo sales have been struggling in the developed markets of the US and Europe in recent years forcing manufactures to pursue growth through innovation. Inspiration from skin care Mintel analyst Alexandra Richmond told CosmeticsDesign.com that manufacturers are applying principles developed in the formulation of skin care products and applying them to hair care. Exfoliating scrubs and bed time sprays feature among the recently launched niche products that are inspired by skin care. More significant perhaps are anti-aging hair care products. These burst onto the market several years ago promising to restore youthful shine and protection from the damaging effects of the sun. Anti-aging hair formulations such as the recently released Age Renew Polishing Serum from One 'n Only have since proved popular with consumers of anti-wrinkle products seeking to build a comprehensive defense against the effects of time. Salon brands Another area where manufacturers are taking a leaf out of the skin care book is in the retail of salon brands. The willingness of consumers to pay extra for the professional touch is behind the popularity of both salon brands in hair care and doctor brands in skin care. L'Oreal sees great potential in this market having acquired three hair salon businesses in the US recently; Maly's West, Beauty Alliance and Columbia Beauty Supply. Not only are an increasing number of people buying hair care products when they visit salons, but they are also willing to pay premium prices for what they perceive to be high quality products. Manufacturers therefore enjoy relatively high margins on the sale of these products.