The Brazil-based ingredients provider has invested significantly in its hair care research and development capabilities in recent years, tapping into the need for ever more targeted active ingredients that can help to differentiate brands and enhance product claims.
Cosmetics Design spoke to Alan Tristão, marketing manager for hair care at Chemyunion to find out about what trends his team are working towards, new ingredient technologies, the difference between developing hair care formulations for male- and female targeted products, and much more.
Natural hair styles and natural solutions
On the issue of hair care trends in the region, Tristão confirmed that the pervasive one currently is the move back to more natural hair styles, which has resulted in a spike in the number of natural-based ingredient technologies specifically targeting this area.
“By uniting plant extraction, organic synthesis and delivery systems, we aim to introduce to the market hair care actives of natural/vegetal origin with improved efficacy to fight environmental causes of hair damage such as pollution, heat and UV,” Tristão said.
Although the move toward naturals has been particularly in the region’s biggest market, Brazil, the trend has been gaining momentum throughout the region, but that is not to say that regional variations are not pronounced.
“There are significant differences throughout the region,” Tristão said.
“For instance in Mexico, the consumers do not use hair conditioner because they believe it will cause hair fall. That is the reason why shampoos must have conditioning properties. On the other hand, in Brazil, consumers buy four products to treat their hair: shampoo, conditioner, mask and leave on. In Colombia, professional hair care is a key trend, since Colombian women usually go to hairdressers before work.”
Hair care leads in LATAM
But one thing that does unify the region, and that’s the importance of hair care, where it is invariably the biggest category in almost every singly country.
The development team at Chemyunion is also highly aware of how much potential the category holds, building still further on outstanding industry leading growth of recent years.
“Because of Brazil, according to Euromonitor, the LATAM hair care category grew 48.9% between 2011 and 2017 in value share. Meanwhile, Brazil grew 33.6%. Brazil is the fourth biggest hair care market in the world, behind US, China and Japan,” Tristão said.
“Moreover, Brazil accounts for 50% of hair care market in Latin America followed by Mexico, 14%, and Argentina, with 10%.”
It is all about differentiation
But drilling down deeper, the growth in the region’s hair care market needs to be broken down into a dizzying array of targeted products, with each new launch seemingly targeting an as yet unrecognized need.
One area of differentiation is a little more obvious, but still requires significant thought, and that’s hair care products developed for male and female hair needs.
“Hair care routine and product positioning differ for men and women. Whereas male consumers only require a shampoo and sometimes finishing products, women hair care practices comprise several other steps. Hair loss and dandruff are the major worries for men but for women, hydration, shine and repair remain on top. Latin American men are increasing their consumption of cosmetic products” Tristão said.
“However, stereotypes are still an obstacle. Thus, the idea is to explore multifunctional trends to have men experimenting with more products. As for women, products claiming naturalness can be a great bet – although they do often have very complex hair routines.”
Providing proven natural-based solutions
Ultimately, the hair care development team is focused on providing solutions that draw as much as possible from nature, while having demonstrable active properties.
“We combine with our expertise in plant extraction, organic synthesis, and delivery system, to provide an optimized effect on the hair,” Tristão said.
“We carry out several studies until we find the perfect match of components to maximize product's efficacy, while robust protocols demonstrate the mechanism of action and the benefits our ingredients bring to the hair.”