According to Alyssa Behrendt, senior research analyst, Kline Consumer Products, while a 10% decline to $3.5 billion in 2020 is, by no means, optimistic for the US salon hair care market, industry professionals have been pleasantly surprised by professional hair care’s performance during the past year.
“The biggest bright spot was e-commerce, which was up 86% and was the only outlet to record growth according to Kline’s Salon Hair Care study. This was coming from all areas of e-commerce, including third-party sites such as Amazon and Dermstore; brick-and-mortar websites such as Sephora.com and Ulta.com; and branded websites, where brands such as Amika, R+Co and Olaplex recorded exceptional performances,” Behrendt told Happi.
But innovative products aside, stylists and salon owners said they have felt the crunch of 2020.
“The pandemic has impacted our industry in so many ways. Not only have we faced challenges we’ve never before imagined, we’ve been told at least once (up to three times in some regions) that we must sit home and wait,” said Steven Picciano, a Goldwell national artist based in Long Island, NY. “Which for most stylists I know, was the opposite of how we operate, we like to move and get things done. We’re used to standing on our feet all day and loving it. We’ve gone from the most social daytime career one can hold to something far less warm and fuzzy with wipeable surfaces and PPE. Everything has changed including the way we greet our clients and fulfill appointment needs.”
For Picciano, the pandemic stripped away the luxury element of the client experience.
“(But) that doesn’t mean we can’t help clients bring the luxury they’re seeking home with them in their end result and after care products,” he said. “Clients have changed as well, some of them have seen themselves with roots for such a long time they’ve decided to grow them out. Some of them haven’t picked up a styling tool in months. Clients are feeling one of two ways; either they want to buckle down and keep to what’s essential or they want to be uplifted by what they see and to escape the past year craving something fun.”
Presley Poe, owner of Portland, OR-based Gold Studios, and Cosmoprof Beauty artistic team member, agreed that the salon sector has undergone tremendous change.
“For me personally, the pandemic has made a huge impact on the relationship I have with my clients. For starters, the focus on more natural colors has become more than 90% of my clientele as opposed to pre-COVID when it was 85% vivid clients,” she told Happi. “Clients are looking for more longevity with their service, and after 6-10 months of growing out due to shutdowns, they have been embracing their natural tones more and more.”
According to Poe consumers want products that truly cater to their personal needs, especially with such a focus on textured hair care.
“Shoppers are becoming more conscientious about what ingredients are in products and how they impact the planet. This has more and more people looking at labels instead of scent and packaging,” she said.
As reported last month in Happi, the pandemic was probably one of the most dynamic forces to hit the hair color industry in many years. According to Marlene Lotter, senior vice president, global retail hair, Wella Company, Geneva, Switzerland, “On the professional side, we have seen salons and hairdressers go through a rollercoaster of closures, openings and closings again. For hair color users, many haven’t been able to stick to their usual routines and have had to adapt to new habits, from going longer between salon appointments, to looking to solutions sold in retail channels.”
According to Laura Gibson, artistic director at Rusk, since clients have now experienced taking longer breaks in between appointments, they want low maintenance color.
“Clients are asking for hair color that offers natural looking regrowth which gives them the option to come to the salon less often. They are also looking for quick appointments so they can minimize any risks,” she told Happi.
Rusk recently rolled out Rusk in 10, an advanced performance, permanent cream hair color formula that processes completely in just 10 minutes. Rusk in 10 lets salons add an express service to their menus, one that reduces processing time. The formula boasts a special micro-pigment technology that deposits color deeply into the cortex for long-lasting results and complete gray coverage. It conditions and protects with amino acids like serine to deliver vibrant color and shine.
Rusk in 10 comes in 15 different intermixable shades featuring 100% oxidative dyes for use with a dedicated 20 volume developer. It delivers 100% gray coverage and can match, darken or lighten natural hair color. It can also be used to highlight natural hair.
“With this shorter processing time, salons can really minimize appointment times so that they can see more clients per day while also allowing clients to be in and out much quicker than usual,” said Gibson.
For R+Co Collective member and color expert Richy Kandasamy, Miami, the pandemic did have a silver lining.
“Overall, the industry needed a shake-up, especially as professionals,” he told Happi. “The pandemic has made us appreciate our color clients a little bit more. Also, our clients appreciate hairdressers a little more, too.”
Kandasamy said clients want big changes and are more flexible to try new color palette since they are not at corporate offices anymore.
“A lot of my clients are experimenting a lot with color since the pandemic. I have been doing a lot of pastel colors and even bolder color placement. Since clients are not going to the office, they have less fear,” he explained. “I’ve also seen a lot of new color-virgin clients. They have been exposed to so much color on social media, that now they feel like they need to join the color trends.”
For salon professionals, blonding is big business, but it often requires multiple steps. The new Pravana ChromaSilk Hi Lifts are a single-step blonding formula designed to counteract brassiness plus one versatile hue that works with hair’s natural undertones. According to the company, this formula is proven to lift up to four levels, neutralize and tone without the use of bleach.
Powered by omega 9-rich fatty acids and apricot oil to maintain the integrity of the hair, Pravana ChromaSilk Hi Lifts inspires confidence in professional colorists to create beautiful results, said the company.
Meanwhile, Matrix rolled out the Total Results Unbreak My Blonde Collection. Unbreak My Blonde is a three-part shampoo, conditioner and leave-in treatment meant to revive hair damaged by chemical lightening. The formulas are infused with citric acid and free of sulfates.
According to Matrix, Unbreak My Blonde is not just for blondes, but for any hair that has been damaged by over-processing caused by coloring. The Total Results Unbreak My Blonde Collection was tested via the brand’s Hair Diversity Matrix, ensuring the products are compatible with all hair types.
Oribe Hair Care’s latest launches also target lighter locks. The Bright Blonde Essential Priming Serum and Bright Blonde Sun Lightening Mist are an extension of the brand’s best-selling Bright Blonde Collection, specially formulated to brighten and enhance natural and professionally-colored blonde and light brunette shades for brighter days ahead.
As an essential first step when caring for blonde hair, the Oribe serum is formulated for violet and pearlized pigments. It also protects hair up to 450°F during styling. Prickly pear fruit extract smooths the cuticle and helps improve elasticity. Meanwhile, the mist gradually lightens hair with the heat of the sun (or hairdryer). The peroxide-free spray is formulated with a natural blend of lemon and chamomile to illuminate highlights while imparting weightless moisture and UV protection.
For all hair hues, salon brand Prorituals this month is launching a newly reformulated direct dye series called ProPigment 2.0, which the company describes as bright and bold. This unique direct dye creates long-lasting, vibrant color and imparts a rich shine leaving hair feeling soft and silky. Use the Clear formula to lighten and brighten any ProPigment 2.0 shade and White to create pastels.
Aveda introduced Blonde Revival, a 96% naturally-derived, vegan, and silicone-free system specifically formulated to revive blonde hair in just one use. The natural beauty brand owned by Estée Lauder Companies was recently revamped as a vegan brand—though cosmetic chemists are quick to point out that most hair care formulas are vegan. The new, multi-benefit system features a purple toning shampoo and conditioner that helps neutralize brassy tones for a brighter, beautiful, illuminated blonde result after just one use, said the company. The blonde revival system includes a sulfate-free shampoo developed with a low lather to help maximize toning benefits as it gently cleanses hair without stripping. Violet rich pigments revive the look of salon-fresh blonde color by neutralizing brassy yellow tones for a brighter blonde result. The range also features a silicone-free toning conditioner said to instantly condition, smooth, soften and detangle with lightweight oils including açai and passionfruit.
Also new to professional hair care is the Joico Colorful anti-fade range. It is formulated with camellia oil and pomegranate fruit extract to help provide shine to hair, as it strengthens and protects it from color-fading elements. Developed with antioxidants and “vibrancy-boosting” technology, Joico Colorful delivers strength, repair, and anti-fade protection to each strand of hair with SmartRelease Technology, a one-of-a-kind liposome delivery system continuously releasing rosehip oil, arginine and keratin to help repair, strengthen and protect hair from the damaging effects of daily styling.
“Colorful is a well-rounded line. The fact that it is free of SLS/SLES sulfates while being able to cleanse and preserve the vibrancy is a game changer for my clients. Not to mention how incredible it smells, and the packaging is absolutely beautiful,” observed Olivia Smalley, a Joico brand storyteller and celebrity stylist.
Joico also launched RiseUp Powder Spray for volume and texture. The product is designed to elevate limp hair and deliver immediate volume at the roots while protecting against pollutants. Ingredients include silica silylate to provide grip and density, allowing hair to be infused with instant lift and lightweight volume; as well as moringa seed extract, a well-known antioxidant and free-radical scavenger that helps protect hair from dullness caused by pollution.
Besides maintaining color, hair health is the other opportunity for product development.
Sunnie Brook, Biolage global brand ambassador and celebrity hair stylist, Los Angeles, told Happi, “Right now, I think people are trying to simplify and streamline their hair care routine. Multi-benefit products are a big trend right now! Consumers want products that can be used in multiple ways, address multiple hair needs and can create multiple looks. During the past year, a lot of people had to balance working from home, with home-schooling and keeping the family safe and healthy all at the same time—people are really looking for simple and quick approaches to hairstyles that have big results.”
The HydraSource line from Biolage has been touted for its gentle, high-performing formulas. Available since 1990, the line has more than 10,000 five-star reviews across e-commerce platforms including Amazon and Ulta. Formulated with soothing aloe, HydraSource nourishes and detangles dry hair, leaving it soft, shiny and up to 15 times more moisturized, according to the L’Oréal-owned professional hair care brand.
The new Biolage All-In-One Coconut Infusion Multi-Benefit Spray is said to be one of the most versatile hair products on the market. Ideal for all hair types and hair needs, the product works as a primer, detangler, heat protectant, frizz controller and more. This multi-benefit spray is safe for colored hair and leaves a silky, shiny touch after every use. Not only is this coconut-infused product healthy for hair, the vegan formula is 100% free of sulfates, parabens, artificial colorants and waxes.
Also focusing on wellness, My Hair. My Canvas. is the latest collection at Henkel’s Alterna Haircare. These high-performing, versatile products feature the benefits of something called “vegan botanical caviar” to nourish strands. The stylers and cleansers also include essential oils that offer aromatherapy benefits with scent profiles such as Bergamot & Jasmine or Sea Berry & Mandarin. To cater to the eco-friendly crowd, My Hair. My Canvas. formulas are 100% vegan, with all bottles and tubes made of 50% post-consumer recycled plastic with twist-open and close pumps to minimize plastic waste.
To boost hair strength, L’Oréal’s Kérastase recently rolled out Genesis Sérum Fortifiant for a daily dose of fiber strength. This translucent, fortifying serum for weakened hair strengthens the fiber day after day to reduce hair fall due to breakage from brushing, according to the company.
L’Oréal sister brand Redken has always offered formulas based on protein, moisture and acidic pH for healthy hair. This year, the brand launched the Redken Acidic Bonding Concentrate range, which is billed as a unique all-in-one solution for damaged hair. Formulas contain citric acid, an alpha hydroxy acid within Redken’s concentrated Bonding Care Complex, which is designed to reinforce weakened bonds. The result is improved strength and hair resiliency following salon bleach and color services.
“It’s so important for my clients to have the best hair care products to maintain their hair’s health in between appointments,” said Redken Brand Ambassador Matt Rez.
“This new range from Redken is a do-it-all for that luxe, healthy-looking hair we all strive for. I love the acidic formula, which works to upkeep what we did in the salon to keep the hair healthiest at home. The acidic formula maintains soft, healthy hair between salon visits and significantly lowers color fading, which is a must-have for me to have my clients look and feel their best! Plus, it’s so easy for clients to use no matter their hair regimen.”
Also new at Redken is the Volume Injection Shampoo and Conditioner range, which features pH-balancing formulas that are formulated with filloxane—known to help penetrate and expand hair’s diameter from the inside out while softening strands.
Salon staple Fekkai is bringing back its iconic Shea Butter Collection from the 1990s. Not only is the brand re-releasing the collection, it is expanding the product range to deliver optimal care for a wider range for hair types from wavy to tight curls. Collection highlights include the Intense Mask, a vegan, silicone-free mask to deeply moisturize and soften curly, textured hair and the Intense, which can be used on both hair and body, powered by 10% Natural Shea Oil to deeply hydrate, nourish, and smooth wavy, curly, textured hair for bouncier, shinier waves and curls.
Meanwhile, indie male grooming brand Baxter of California’s latest innovation in hair styling is a liquid, non-clumping formula that delivers an all-day, flexible hold while helping to maintain overall hair health. The brand-new styling paste product has an easy-to-use and versatile liquid formula for an even application, combining all the benefits of elevated and modern styling without the hassle of breaking down or clumping in the hair.
“Our new Styling Paste fills a gap we’ve noticed in our hair care and style portfolio,” noted Nathan Cook, brand manager at Baxter of California. “Guys have asked us for a versatile styling product that provides a flexible, all-day medium hold, and the Styling Paste delivers on that with a smooth, semi-matte finish that makes it ideal for any setting.”
The new Styling Paste features a host of hydrating and hair-friendly ingredients including cactus extract, agave and ginseng.
New Olaplex 8 4-in-1 Moisture Mask is designed to provide deep hydration and volume to all types of hair. According to Olaplex, the formula is color-safe, vegan and infused with the brand’s patented bond-building technology to create smoothness and shine. It is made without sulfates, phthalates, parabens or gluten.
Big news in the strengthening product category is a distribution deal between BosleyMD and SalonCentric. BosleyMD, an authority on thinning hair, is partnering with SalonCentric to expand, allowing more salon professionals direct access to BosleyMD’s regrowth treatments, scalp therapy and volumizing styling products, and everyday hair care essentials.
“We are excited to work with and be distributing through SalonCentric,” said BosleyMD president Ian Murphy. “These days, women and men suffering from hair loss spend endless, and, sometimes confusing, hours researching and guessing which products would be the best for their needs. They trust their stylists and now, their stylists can recommend BosleyMD and our superior complete and clean solutions for a total holistic hair health program beyond just a shampoo.”
Designed to help prevent hair loss and thinning with a 360-degree approach to healthy hair, BosleyMD’s products are formulated in collaboration with the Bosley Hair Restoration team. BosleyMD offers a curated collection of products, including BosleyMD 30-Day Kits, BosRevive Shampoos & Conditioners, and Thickening Treatments, Healthy Hair Follicle Energizer, Women’s & Men’s Hair Growth Supplements and Rejuvenating Scalp Scrub.
Mizani has unveiled three products for its Style Shifter Society collection at SalonCentric. Wonder Crown Scalp Foaming Pre-Cleanser, Heat Screen Heat Protectant Spray and Coco Dew Pre-Styling and Restyling Spray have been rigorously tested by texture experts so professionals and at-home users can effectively care for hair, no matter the style or how many times it changes. Mizani Wonder Crown, Heat Screen and Coco Dew address the top hair concerns—scalp issues, heat damage, and moisture loss—and are formulated with effective, on-trend, recognizable ingredients, said the company.
Much like the consumer retail market, the salon hair care market will see increased demand for “natural” and “clean” beauty products, noted Behrendt of Kline. She told Happi, “In 2020, we saw an increased momentum toward this segment of the market, and there is tremendous potential for brands and marketers looking to tap into this fast-moving area.”
There will also be a continued shift to independent stylists, Behrendt said.
“The coronavirus pandemic placed a significant amount of strain on the stylist, and the appeal of setting their own prices and schedule, among other aspects will encourage more to shift towards an independent structure, especially in salon suites,” she added.
Lotter of Wella Company observed while there’s already been a strong demand from consumers, particularly younger ones, for products and ingredients that are “safe and gentle,” the pandemic has further drawn attention to health habits and wellness.
Brook of Biolage agreed.
“There’s a shift right now away from trends and focusing on celebrating individual beauty and your own uniqueness. I’m seeing a lot of people embracing their natural hair color and celebrating their unique, natural beauty,” she told Happi. “With that said, there’s a push for inclusivity and diversity within the professional hair care industry. Ensuring that stylists are well-educated and able to do hair of all textures, as well as ensuring that brands have products that truly work for those textures.”
Picciano of Goldwell speaks for nearly everyone in the professional hair care sector when he mentioned his desire to move on from the pandemic.
“Moving forward into 2021, let’s all be on the lookout for trends that make us feel good and encourage people to change what’s not working and to embrace what is!”
Every beauty professional has a dream of being her own boss. However, for many, finding a place to work which suits their needs is challenging. ArtistOnGo allows artists to rent a chair at top salons with flexible and affordable pricing.
The new platform enables artists to control where and when they work. They get to pick everything from the salon they work at, to their schedule, and even their service prices without having to pay salon commissions. Instead of working for a salon owner, they can work for themselves at a top salon, earning up to 3x more income with total flexibility and control over their work.
Independent artists have already opted to rent salon chairs long-term with ArtistOnGo via monthly, weekly or even hourly rentals with flexible pricing options. What’s more, artists can work at one salon or multiple salons to make it easier on themselves and their clients.
ArtistOnGo says salons owners love this concept because they earn more income with zero additional costs or effort. Plus, ArtistOnGo fills chairs or treatment rooms that would otherwise sit unused. This income for salon owners can be significant, covering up to 50% or more of their monthly rental overhead.
ArtistOnGo is the brainchild of Dharmendra and Aarti Manwani who have more than 30 years of beauty and tech experience between them.
Pat Parenty, former president of L’Oréal, has also joined the team to lead strategic partnerships and brings more than 26 years of industry experience to the company. The team is ready to transform the industry into a community of artists that can rent salons chairs flexibly and affordably, right from their phones.
“The traditional salon model has become outdated, especially post-COVID as artists and salons seek more flexibility,” said Parenty. “ArtistOnGo has built a modern, easy-to-use platform that not only works better for both salon owners and independent stylists but helps them earn more income. In my view this is changing the industry for the better.”
ArtistOnGo is currently available in New York and Miami and is rolling out across other US cities.