Cropped short, long and flowing, bright red, black, or blond: Our hair is part of our identity and a way of expressing our personality. And that is not simply a short-lived fashion trend! Hair has played an important role in the history of civilization for thousands of years. In the Bible, Samson is famed for both his strength and his magnificent long hair. When his enemies cut it, he loses his strength.
Today, well-groomed hair does not simply make us look healthy and attractive; it is also a sign of style and status. At the same time, it reflects social values. “There is a clear trend towards naturalness and sustainability. Consumers want hair and skin care products that contain as few unsustainable ingredients as possible—preferably based on nature”, explains Yann d’Hervé, head of the Evonik Care Solutions business line.
A challenge for the formulators
But natural hair care can be a challenge for the formulators: To meet the consumers' favor of natural ingredients that also fall within the guidelines of natural cosmetics certification standards, the choice of approved ingredients is limited. In addition, hair care products need to fulfill many different functions. The goal is to find a balance between the different desired properties all within one product, from sensory to application, rinsability and performance.
Evonik has aligned its research and development into ingredients for cosmetic products to the growing global trend. For example, Evonik Care Solutions has designed a bio-inspired hair and scalp care ingredient, combining olivebased ceramides and natural oils to achieve mild and well tolerated efficacy.
Apart from ethical questions, the individual structure of each person’s hair plays a key role in the choice of hair care products. For example, people with unruly hair that is difficult to style need a conditioner that makes it smooth and manageable. Quite different formulations are needed for those who want to tease out their wild natural curls. Evonik offers manufacturers of hair care products a blend of expertise and cosmetic ingredients to help meet the extremely varied needs of consumers. Our broad portfolio ranges from a three-step care concept for curly hair to ingredients for gentle shampoos and rich microemulsions for frizzy hair.
Regional differences are also very important. After all, hair is just as varied as people. For instance, Asians tend to have very smooth, thick and silky hair, so they need specially tailored products. In Brazil, long, well-groomed hair is a regarded as beautiful—a real challenge in the tropical climate: People who shower frequently because of the heat are thankful for rich conditioners that repair damaged hair and ensure it is easy to comb. To respond to such varied demands, Evonik has special test laboratories in South America and Asia—to ensure lush and healthy hair around the world.