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Consumers can find it hard to keep ahead of the hair care wave in a market constantly volumised by new product developments. As we head into the cooler months, however, natural products, experiential treatments and exotic ingredients are the season’s mane events, experts say.

“2018/2019 are the years of nature,” says Claude Al Hachache, Creative Director and Master Colourist at Dubai-based salon Powered by Claude. “But the best trend is one that suits each individual.” With consumers increasingly demanding chemical-free products, the industry has responded by rolling out natural treatments across the board.

True colours

“Tone-to-tone hair colours are becoming more popular since they give the hair a lot of shine and have a lot less chemicals,” Al Hachache explains. The technique allows for varying degrees of warmth and coolness within the same colour family, replicating the multi-hued look and feel of pure, untreated hair.

Al Hachache highlights two other colour themes. Earthy and pastel tones are also trending, she says, although with pastel tones requiring pre-lightening, she recommends only treating a few strands of hair, and the use of a bond treatment.

When it comes to hair care, Mana Kinoshita, Product Development Coordinator at Hask Beauty, says many UAE residents attribute their hair problems to the UAE’s hard water and harsh climate. “Consumers are looking for high-value products that undo long-term damage and hence sulphate-free and moisture-based shampoos and conditioners are gaining a lot of traction. There is a shift towards natural and/or organic products.”

Skin deep

Product developers have also borrowed from skincare manufacturers’ colouring books. “Recently we have seen a definite shift in the market trend for skincare ingredients in haircare, as consumers have started applying the same regime process to their hair as they do their skin,” Tamara Ecclestone, Founder and Creative Director of luxury brand Show Beauty, which prescribes tailor-made haircare regimes individual to each client’s needs, tells GN Focus.

Kinoshita says, “Brands are now educating their consumer about the importance of treating different parts of your hair just like how we treat our skin. For example, we are seeing more scalp serums, scrubs, sheet masks for hair, multi-masking for hair and hair essences to name a few.

“Along with new skincare-inspired products we are also seeing ingredients which are popular in skincare such as hyaluronic acid, salicylic acid, AHA and BHA making an appearance in hair care products.”

Love touch

The trend of replicating the spa experience in your home bathroom has naturally developed into a demand for touchy-feely products. “Today, textures play an immense role in impacting consumers’ perception of a product and it is a helpful way to build a story around a product,” Kinoshita explains, pointing to new textures such as jelly, foam, gel-to-foam, crackling foam, balm-to-oil, cream-to-oil, powder-to-foam, powder-to-serum and so on.