Smooth, frizzy, thick, thin, red, blond, gray—there’s a wide range of hair types and hair care requirements. Daily care is only a small part of the picture—after all, everyone wants to have attractive hair. For men as well as women, hair and hairstyles reflect an important aspect of their individual style, or even their whole personality. This is not a quirk of contemporary fashion. Since time immemorial, hair has been an expression of individual status and style, health and attractiveness, cultural customs and religious dictates.
Depending on an individual’s culture, region, ethnic group, hair type, and preferred fashion, he or she will require different effects, products, and marketing strategies. That’s why in some countries the regional brands of hair care products have a 50 percent share of the market—a strong showing compared to the global brands. Local companies’ product developers respond more flexibly and precisely to the wishes of their regional customers. As a result, every year about 10,000 new hair care products are launched in markets all over the world.
Evonik provides the biggest and also the smallest hair care product manufacturers with a range of various ingredients for creating this variety. It includes mild surfactants for shampoos, highly effective ingredients for conditioners, and a whole palette of auxiliary materials and additives that make products suitable for daily use.The formulations made from these ingredients are adap-ted to the end consumers’ expectations. For example very long hair is an important element of ideal beauty for Brazilian women. Especially in Brazil’s humid climate, long tresses require lots of time-consuming care. The average Brazilian woman washes her hair twice a day and prefers especially rich conditioners that make the hair easy to comb.
The dominant local hair structure has an impact on the consumer demands. In Brazil, which is a melting pot of indigenous, European, and African hair types, dark wavy hair dominates, whereas northern Europeans tend to have thinner, light-colored hair. The two types of hair require different kinds of care. In addition, African hair in particular is often severely damaged, whether the customer is African or African-American. Frequent combing causes frizzy hair to break. Many consumers also use straightening irons, chemical hair straighteners or hair dyes that further damage their hair. Evonik has therefore set up local applications laboratories in South Africa, Brazil, Singapore, and China in order to develop new and more precise solutions, such as special formulations, that meet local customers’ specific needs.
In addition to the familiar hair needs, new consumer demands must also be taken into account. For example, the latest products also protect the hair from ultraviolet radiation and other external influences, thanks to additives from Evonik. This feature is increasingly demanded by customers in China’s megacities and elsewhere. There’s also a global trend toward natural raw materials, as well as concerns about specific ingredients that are under scrutiny even if the reasons are not always scientifically justified. Brazilian people love natural extracts, while many people of the Asian population are buying more and more silicone-free products and people from France tend to choose products without parabens. Evonik follows a clear strategy in achieving sustainable targets and creating solutions for our customers.