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Variety is the Spice

R&D teams are adapting to consumer demand by incorporating novel ingredients, forms and functions to the latest hair styling products.

This season, consumers are looking for hair styling products that speak to their individuality. According to Rochelle Graham, CEO of Alikay Naturals, Fort Myers, FL, a brand that recently launched in Target, “In 2014, we are going to see more creative hair—including bold colors and edgy cuts. These hairstyles call for styling products that enable individual variation of the trends: gels, heat protectant sprays and products that will not only extend the life of your style; but add volume and texture without drying the hair or stripping it of natural moisture.”

In the hair styling category for the 52-week period ending Dec. 1, 2013, gel/mousse sales stayed flat at $1.07 billion in total US multi-outlets (supermarkets, drugstores, mass market retailers, military commissaries and select club and dollar retail chains), according to IRI, a Chicago-based market research firm. Hair spray/spritz sales slipped 3.2% to $699.3 million.

So, what SKUs are replacing these styling staples as the “must-have” items for creating a finished look?

Hair oils with additional benefits such as color-lock technology with UVB absorbers and other benefits will be hot in 2014, noted Sai Swaroop, senior consultant, Kline Group. BB and CC creams have been very popular in the makeup and skin care categories and, in the coming months, will move into hair care as well, he added.

“This move is forecasted to be big. Hair care products will have formulations of BBs and CCs (curl care) that would contain anti-aging ingredients to help strengthen hair,” Swaroop told Happi. “We also see style-extenders that lock hairstyles for a longer time and hair foundation for touch-up treatments.”

Top Trends
Different looks do call for different products; styling experts concur that slicked-back ponytails are created best with gel, or that loose, flowing waves are perfected by a smoothing serum or a puff of mousse at the scalp to add balance.

“Hair trends for 2014 couple soft, naturally-achieved styles; tousled waves, relaxed up styles with loose strands, and antiquated braids, achieved by using lighter, nourishing products worked into place; and center parts, slicked down and low ponies, choppy fringe and blunt-cut bobs,” noted Jamie Muniz, Pravana hair stylist, Woodland Hills, CA. “Both ends of the styling spectrum call for high-performance products.”

Also, an “up and coming” trend in stylers is mousse, according to Nunzio Saviano, owner of Nunzio Saviano Salon in NYC.
He explained it’s “not the mousse we’ve been used to seeing, but one that is creamy, has less liquid, is not drying and is a thicker foam with more nutrients than before.”

The mousse not only adds volume, but makes the hair thicker and fuller. He added, “Everyone is looking for a product that adds body—and this is it. Shoppers are looking for something that makes the hair easy to blow dry and that gets the job done, while of course adding body. No one likes a heavy product on the hair and everyone is looking to make hair more full.”

Mohammad Rahebi, a celebrity stylist at Identity Salon, Encino, CA, contends 2014 is about more natural looks and healthy hair.

“This trend carries over to styling products too,” he told Happi. “Now, more than ever, people are concerned about their health and looking for non-toxic styling products. I use and send my customers home with Herbalosophy products, for example.”

Pump Up the Volume
The mass market is brimming with styling launches this season. From volume-boosting sprays to smoothing serums, marketers are cashing in on consumers who covet affordable, yet high quality, styling SKUs.

“With the saturation of hair care products on shelves, brands in the space are putting more and more emphasis on packaging and branding that makes their product stand out in the crowd,” noted celebrity stylist Mark Hill of Mark Hill Salon Professional, London, whose line recently launched at Walgreens stores in the US. “Highlighting attributes and product capabilities is key, but the use of distinct colors, stylized fonts and engaging point-of-sale marketing is what bolsters a brand’s ability to grab the attention of beauty consumers.”

Another mass-market splash comes from Salon Grafix, a hair care line sold at stores like Walmart, CVS and Target. The brand is set to debut Play It Big!, a collection of “breakthrough, statement-making” hair products for bigger and bolder looks. This affordably-priced, salon quality line of hair sprays and dry shampoos is enriched with a unique Keratin Protein Complex to help strengthen hair while providing maximum volume and body, according to the company. Also, all Play It Big! hair sprays have a unique micro-mist diffuser cap that provides a salon-like application.

“Play It Big! is the new Salon Grafix line that encourages women to utilize a hair spray daily to achieve fashionable styles to look and feel confident without facing a professional price tag,” said Lisa Yarnell, CEO of parent company Continental Consumer Products. “Because of its Keratin Protein Complex, women can now use a fixative spray styling product every day to deliver high performance and big results. Volumized hair is incredibly on-trend right now, and as a company that is committed to meeting the consumer’s needs, we sought to tap into this market and give them products they will be able to use daily and achieve professional results.”

Another important launch for Spring 2014 comes from Garnier Fructis Style. Its new De-Constructed Sheer Texturizers are scented with black fig and feature edgy packaging to attract the young and the trendy. Boasting 24-hour control plus a touchable finish and satin shine, the black fig ingredient is said to be a natural detangler, imparting a clean, lightweight feel to the style. The collection includes the De-Constructed Pixie Play Crafting Cream, De-Constructed Move It Manipulating Gel and De-Constructed Beach Chic Texturizing Spray.

Also new for 2014 is Garnier Fructis Marvelous Oil 5-Action Hair Elixirs, a range of versatile, exotic blends specifically created to nourish, illuminate and smooth a variety of hair types. According to the company, the weightless, multi-use formulas impart a zero-residue finish that won’t weigh hair down. The collection also features exotic blends such as cupuaçu and Brazil nut oil and moringa and sweet orange oil, among others.

Parent company L’Oréal is bulking up its hair care offerings as well under the L’Oréal Paris brand. Its new Advanced Hairstyle range is said to be the first-ever styling collection to utilize Fibralock Technology, which is said to boost the endurance of any style. It features 14 stylers across five hair segments: hold (Lock It), volume (Boost It), smooth (Sleek It), curl (Curve It) and texture (TXT It). The Fibralock Technology features micronized styling polymers that create a workable, holding matrix that locks style strand by strand. The products in the Boost It, Sleek It, Curve It and TXT It collections also contain L’Oréal Paris’ Arginine-K Complex (amino acids plus protein), the transversal ingredient throughout the Advanced Haircare collection. Products vary from hair spray to curl-taming cream to reach all demographics.

The team at John Frieda Frizz Ease is also expanding its reach with a new range of stylers for those with wavy locks. Frizz Ease Go Curlier Heat-Activated Spray and Frizz Ease Unwind Curls Calming Crème are said to transform hair to the exact level of desired curl.

According to John Frieda international creative consultant Harry Josh, “It’s a new era in curly haired styling. Polished curls, undone waves, and big shiny ringlets are what I’m seeing more and more editorially and on the world’s most beautiful women. With the Frizz Ease curl products, the John Frieda Hair Care experts have given all women the tools they need to create beautiful curls right at home.”

Sprays to give hair a lift are also big this season in stores. For example, Sally Hershberger’s latest launch in outposts such as Duane Reade and Harmon is Major Body 3-in-1 Dry Volumizing Spray. Billed as a stylist’s secret weapon, this cutting-edge, 3-in-1 formula builds volume, instantly refreshes hair and gives style a light hold, according to the company. The waterless, weightless and caffeine-infused formula makes this product the first of its kind. Better than a dry shampoo, Major Body’s revolutionary formula allows you to control the fullness of your hair with the touch of your fingertips, for a flexible hold and style that truly lasts, said the company.

Additionally, this month, Umberto Beverly Hills, sold at Target, will launch Dry Texture Spray, the latest addition to the comprehensive line of salon-quality products. According to the company, this styling spray is ideal for all hair types, as it holds and finishes any style with flexibility without weighing hair down. The Dry Texture Spray keeps pieces separated, creates dimension and definition, adds volume and shine and tames flyaways for the perfect “undone” look, added the brand.

Other mass-market hair care leaders such as Pantene, TreSemmé and Neutrogena are adding on to their styling portfolios for Spring. Pantene’s new dry shampoos can double as stylers, as its Root Reboost formulation is said to revive flat hair with tapioca to instantly absorb oil for cleaner hair on non-wash days. Meanwhile, Neutrogena’s Triple Repair Hair Collection features a leave-in cream said to protect hair that’s been cooked to 400°F by styling devices. Finally, TreSemmé’s Keratin Smooth Heat Protection Shine Spray also is said to help shield hair from the damaging effects of styling and seals in shimmer too.

Ultimately, hair styling products like gels shouldn’t be “one size fits all,” as products must be customized and targeted for each user, said Jocelyn Yuan Riddle, VP-marketing, Newhall Labs Inc., Stamford, CT.

She added that “gel is back” for styling in 2014. “Our L.A. Looks gels provide options for different levels of hold, textures, lengths, styling needs and looks,” she told Happi.

Popular in Prestige
Current hairstyle trends are much softer and “looser” with a bit of texture—and hairstyling products help provide that look, said Wella top artist Aubrey Loots, who is based in Los Angeles. He recommends lightweight oils such as Wella Professionals Oil Reflections and texture sprays like Sebastian’s new Drynamic products to achieve these results.

Styling and grooming expert Jenny Balding points to both dry shampoo and texture spray as top styling products of the season.
“Every woman wants to look beautiful, but effortless. These days, it’s all about creating that perfectly disheveled texture,” said Balding, who promotes and works with Cutler and Redken. “To achieve that, dry shampoo gives body at the roots where it may be too silky or limp; while texturizing sprays are a fantastic way to give a perfectly disheveled finish to the hair.”

For Spring 2014, Redken has reinvented its styling portfolio to encompass eight different categories featuring something for every consumer to achieve the most sought-after styles seen everywhere, from the catwalk to the sidewalk, contends the company. Built upon research and innovation, the new Redken Styling line allows consumers to “style your story” with the most technologically advanced styling products on the market.

The Redken Styling line not only has sleek new packaging, but also a more intuitive navigation system that is color-coded by end result: Blow Dry, Flex, Hairsprays, Heat Styling, Shine, Smooth, Texture and Volume. The brand also kept the classification of numbering each product by level of control, which is a combination of all the benefits a product provides: hold, strength, protection and more—for example, Mild control: 01-05, Medium control: 06-15 and Maximum control: 16-28.

This month, Redken also is rolling out a new Blowdry category, which guarantees two days of “pillow proof” results; as well as launching the highly anticipated new Flex category, which consists of three innovative cream-pastes that provide a range of texture and hold with a flexible finish. Slight texture and easy movement, both key trends on and off the runway this season, have never been so easy to achieve with the new Flex collection, say sources at Redken.

“Right now it is chic and cool to have an ease toward one’s hair. Texture and control are important, but it is essential for the hair not to look too contrived. The softness and movement that I am able to maintain with the new Flex collection is really brilliant. I can add as much or as little texture as I want, but the finish remains flexible and moveable,” said Guido Palau, Redken creative consultant.

Also making hair styling news this season are two new launches from Living Proof, the innovative beauty company that uses new technologies originating from MIT, Perfect Hair Day (PHD), a 5-in-1 styler and a flexible hair spray. The combo SKU promotes five benefits in demand by consumers (smoothness, volume, conditioning, shine and fighting breakage); the Flex Shaping Hairspray joins its existing Style Lab Collection.

“Until now, the term styling treatment has been a bit of an oxymoron because existing technologies couldn’t deliver,” explained Eric Spengler, Living Proof senior vice president of R&D, who is based in the Boston area.

“PHD really is the pinnacle of our scientific work because, for the first time, we’ve combined our two patented molecules, OFPMA and PBAE. These molecules are compatible, so we can deliver shiny, healthy hair plus a smooth, voluminous style in one bottle. Women can style and treat hair at the same time.”

OFPMA, the miracle molecule in Living Proof No Frizz and Restore products, forms a residue-free, weightless shield around each hair strand to smooth and protect the cuticle, while adding vibrant shine (without a greasy finish). It also conditions and strengthens the hair, but because it’s free of oils and silicones, OFPMA doesn’t weigh hair down.

To that, the company also added PBAE, which delivers a microscopic pattern of re-formable thickening points on each hair strand—this creates long-lasting, fullness.

Since PBAE doesn’t rely on traditional stiff resins, it produces volume that’s actually “revivable and touchable,” said the company.

Forward into 2014
The hair industry doesn’t usually fall far behind what the skin care industry is doing, noted Jamie of Pravana.

She explained, “As the Baby Boomers are aging, products are beginning to tailor themselves to address the big issues among this large consumer-base through anti-aging properties. The hair industry is following suit with anti-aging complexes and ingredients within their hair products.”

Riddle of Newhall Labs agreed. She told Happi, “The anti-aging and repair category continues to grow, with users looking to restore hair back to its natural and healthy beauty after damage from color, processing, environment and stress.”

Also on the horizon are more lightweight gels that work like a mousse that work to help blowouts and hold styles, said Saviano of Nunzio Saviano Salon.

“Curls are still in, especially curls that go all the way to the end of the hair,” he said. “A gel sets the hair and though it won’t add as much body as a mousse, it will give you the hold to make the curl stay from root to end.”

Swaroop of Kline predicted that products that promote curls and waves to be the next trend—which is a shift from the hair straightening treatments of the past.

Additionally, according to Graham of Alikay, “Based on the continued increase over the past three years, there will be an even bigger rise in eco research in 2014, which means an improvement in the availability, efficiency and texture of all-natural active ingredients for hair styling.”

While the hairstyling product segment has struggled, market analysis outlet Mintel forecasts an uptick in growth this year, potentially driven by a surging men’s marketplace.

Man buns and more…
• Jason Schneidman (below), Dove Men+Care hair expert and “The Men’s Groomer” based out of Los Angeles, took time to correspond with Happi about the latest styling looks for guys.

Happi: What are the top trends for hair styling products for 2014 and why?

JS: We saw a lot of very barbered, structured cuts this past year like the Great Gatsby, but now trends are getting a little more relaxed—and even mainstream guys are catching onto looks like the “man bun” (a personal favorite). In 2014, we’ll see products that help men’s hair look/feel thick and healthy without seeming like they’ve wasted hours in front of the mirror.

A trend that I think is getting really popular is mixing traditional hair styling products for your own perfect concoction. For example, when I do Bruno Mars’ hair, I like to mix together a paste with a tiny bit of oil so that he has the flexible hold he’s looking for from the paste, but he also has shine so that his hair doesn’t look dry and lifeless.

Another example is when I’m doing a really voluminous look, I like to use dry shampoo on top of a spray wax. I know it sounds crazy, but the spray wax does an amazing job of building the volume, and the dry shampoo soaks up any excess oil from the wax.

Happi: What’s next for styling products?

JS: You can tell what products are going to be in by looking at the upcoming hairstyle trends! Messy, effortlessly cool hair styles are in, which means that products that allow for movement, like matte styling pastes are popular.  Sticky, hardening gels are dated.

In 2014, look for improved pastes: they offer improved hold but keep their moldable texture. Personally, I love pastes because they’re versatile—and they can make a cut look edgy and nonchalant or cool and sophisticated.  They’re perfect for the messy look, such as the style I did for Rob Lowe at the Golden Globes this year, but can also be used to create a very sleek style, like the style I did for Hugh Jackman at the Academy Awards last year.
Plus, you can easily re-apply the product to refresh your look, which is crucial for the guy on the go. Gels and sprays, meanwhile, aren’t going to cut it anymore because they become crispy and flakey when re-applied, which is definitely a “don’t.”

• Professional hair stylists, editors and girls-in-the-know smuggled this 1950s cult classic from Europe long before it became available stateside in 2008. L’Oréal Paris Elnett Satin Hairspray still remains a classic and continues delivering the “gold standard” hair styling results that have stood the test of time, according to the company.
Now for 2014, L’Oréal Paris introduces Elnett Volume, which offers all the benefits of the coveted Elnett Satin Extra Strong Hairspray with added volumizing properties thanks to a copolymer in the formula that helps to lift and hold volume.

This spray joins other formulations such as Strong Hold, Extra Strong Hold, Volumizing, unscented, UV-protective and travel-sized options.
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